Celtic expose Newco inadequacies


After Newco dominated long periods on play when these sides met at Ibrox on 2 January, it seemed likely Ange Postecoglou would start Aaron Mooy in the middle of the park.  This change set the tone for yesterday’s game as it was Mooy who dictated territory and pace.  He was forever calm in possession, drew fouls and nullified a tight Newco midfield.  He also managed two secondary assists, making him by far the most influential player.

In a first half largely controlled by Celtic, Newco built two good attacks when Sakala overlapped Greg Taylor.  On both occasions Carl Starfelt flew to the rescue.  These interceptions were an indicator of how confident the player is right now, perhaps too confident for some of us while under pressure inside his own box.  Next time, chip it higher, Carl.

The first great chance of the game fell to Newco.  Tavernier found space on the right side of Celtic’s penalty area and fired a low ball across goal.  It looked perfect for Sakala but Cameron Carter-Vickers slid in to knock the ball wide.  From my angle at Hampden, it looked a goal.

Connor Goldson carried defensive blame for both Celtic goals.

Aaron Mooy is not an easy player to lose sight of but Newco’s three central mids, Lundstram, Kamara and Tillman, managed just that.  See above.  When he collected the ball at first goal, Mooy is 8 yards from the nearest opponent in the middle of the Newco half.  At this point Goldson was marking Daizen Maeda but he soon lost concentration.

As Maeda advanced to the six-yard box, three Newco players noticed Greg Taylor and each thought they should close him down.  Do these guys ever train together?  It was like watching defending at one of those celebrity games.

Goldson dropping Maeda is a decision of the ages.  Davies then had to leave Kyogo to cover Maeda at the front post.  Greg Taylor’s cross was perfect enough to reach Maeda but not so perfect that Daizen made contact.  Davies was out of play and Kyogo found himself unattended inside the six-yard box with the ball at his feet.  Our star man will not get an easier chance all season.

The second goal was also a defensive calamity.  Tillman was the wrong side of Mooy, which allowed Aaron time to thread his pass to Hatate.  The back four were in a good line but two players were caught sleeping.

Goldson’s body position was straight onto play, meaning he would need to make a 180 to chase back and cover a forward pass.  As it happened, he turned left when play went out to his right, necessitating a 270 degree turn that brought to mind the Ever Given’s attempts to swing around.  This lapse gave Reo Hatate scope to drill a cross into the heart of the box.

How many times has Barisic napped at the back post against Celtic?  Kyogo had the pace to get into the heart of the box, and the physical presence to hold-off a belated challenge from Barisic to double Celtic’s lead.

Newco had an excellent chance to level with the score at 1-0.  Callum McGregor tried to steal the ball inside the Newco half but missed.  Tillman ran 40 yards before passing to Kent, who did well to hit the post.  The rebound fell to Sakala, who had the goal gaping albeit from a tight angle.  His bottle crashed, or maybe he’s just not that good.  Like Goldson, he takes a lot of responsibility for the defeat.

Newco’s goal was also the result of slack defending.  A set-piece cross should never be allowed to bounce inside the six-yard box.  Morelos got a shove on Mooy, which bought him space.  Alistair Johnston was in a perfect position to head but never once looked at the ball, instead he studied Goldson, leaving unattended space where none should be.

The sight of Morelos celebrating without a single team-mate congratulating him spoke volumes.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cup final goal scorer ignored like this.

The game ended with Celtic’s substitutes strolling through Newco.  Matt O’Riley and Sead Haksabanovic could have scored three between them.  Sead in particular, did well.

We should have had a penalty kick on 20 minutes.  Kyogo knocked the ball outside Newco keeper McGregor, who then clattered into the Celtic striker, but the referee was not interested.  It made no difference, so you and I will move on, but be clear: Kyogo controlled the ball, knocked it to his right, then McGregor made contact with both Kyogo’s legs.  The keeper never touched the ball.  It was of the stonewall variety.

Congratulations to Ange and the players.  Our sixth League Cup win in seven years; it’s not a bad old life.  More on the consequences of this later – and there are plenty.

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  1. Prestonpans bhoys on

    I had a new experience in watching a final without a single drink , certainly made me more attentive of the players.



    What stuck out was the physical condition of fat boy, how a professional athlete can get himself in that shape is beyond me. The fastest we saw him was during his goal celebration, on his own as P67 said…….

  2. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Well, as I said last week, the only way we could lose the game was if we got sucked into the old firmery of it and – in spite of the best efforts of the opposition and their pathetic little halper-boys in the media – that was simply never going to happen under this Celtic manager.


    As the captain said we do things our way and we leave other clubs to do things the way they want.


    Let’s have our own values, our own standards, our own philosophy, our own vision, aims, ambitions and targets. Stop holding ourselves back.

  3. “The sight of Morelos celebrating without a single team-mate congratulating him spoke volumes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cup final goal scorer ignored like this.”




    I never realised that, at the time. Unreal. What I did notice was how fat he was. Again, unreal for a striker nowadays.

  4. Great day out yesterday. A few observations:



    View from the SE corner of Celtic End is gash



    where I was, we thought we were not in top gear and allowed them far too much room on the wings and a couple of times in the centre (Kent row z shots). I said it was probably a tactic to stay compact and it certainly worked. I thought it was even enough as they made some good chances but now realise I was just nervous!!



    Even though Abada dive was right in front of me; it was far enough away at Hampden for me to assume it wasn’t. He was in on goal, no need to dive etc.



    Spent a bigger chunk of time with Sevconians that i expected. On the airport bus to town – fair enough; on the train back up from my mam’s to go to the game – fair enough; a few walking to the game at the top of Vicky road – not expected; loads on Cathcart road on the route to Brazen – i had left before most Tims but they did seem to all disappear; in the taxi queue at Central. No trouble at all



    a really chilled day



    I could have done without all the rockets getting let off but i know it is a divisive issue. Must have been smuggled in with the TIFO as we were patted down on the way in



    Hail Hail

  5. Sevco are really quite a brutal watch. Long diagonal balls then play for set pieces.


    We could have won by more. All of the genuine footballers were wearing Hoops.


    Well played, Celtic

  6. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    My wife, who doesn’t know who Morelos is, remarked “he looks quite tubby”😂😂

  7. Afternoon.



    I think everyone’s got it all covered.


    Starfelt and Ccvs timely tackles gave us the bedrock to go forward and try and play our game on what looked like a very bumpy pitch .



    Thank you bhoys and BIG A ….



  8. Marspapa, at the game I couldnae Debbie McGhee, watching the game Bach This day.



    Carl was Superb.



    Callum was Brave and undaunted.

  9. Marspapa



    Agreed Re role of our two centre backs.



    The much maligned Starfelt’s interception of a Tav pass initiated the play for our 2nd goal.

  10. Anyone care what sounness thinks?



    This is the guy who wanted National Service reintroduced after Heysel.

  11. Newco Rangers won league 2 in 2013, league 1 in 2014 and the championship in 2016. Why are they moaning about trophies? That’s 3 they’ve got that we will never win, to our 1 which they will never win.

  12. After this weekend Celtic really could be on course to win a treble plus the Ladies and B team leagues.

  13. P67









    Bad enough msm having their narrative.


    We do not need to proceed with it.


    It is a new club


    ‘accepted into our 4th tier’ by their enablers at sfa.


    done so as James Bond popped in on lizzie at the opening of the olympics in 2012.




  14. PETEC



    Yes he was in the right place at the right time , great performance from a guy who at times looks so uncomfortable with the ball .






    He nearly gave me a heart attack when he did the Cruyff in the six yard box …..






    Great day yesterday spent in great company in the LIONS LOUNGE in Motherwell…….



    Kickinthenakas a top ghuy and superb host 💚.

  15. Goldson’s body position was straight onto play, meaning he would need to make a 180 to chase back and cover a forward pass. As it happened, he turned left when play went out to his right, necessitating a 270 degree turn that brought to mind the Ever Given’s attempts to swing around.


    Is this a match report or a geometry lesson?


    Only kidding Paul, keep up the good work.

  16. Maybe just Pauls angle Fred.;-)))



    Hope a good night was held in the county last night




  17. I was surprised to see Paul claim a stonewaller on Kyogo.



    I watched it back again this morning – shagger had one arm extended upright and didn’t make contact with Kyogo until the ball had gone.



    The other arm, I saw him push the ball away, before any physical contact was made.



    Maybe my eyesight is even worse now than I thought it was (and I’m glad the conversation is moot) but it didn’t look like a pen to me.

  18. Tictaewin.


    Sevco do have (what I believe may be) a world record ie a ten year old club getting to a European final.


    However, they won’t ever boast about that one.

  19. AN TEARMANN on 27TH FEBRUARY 2023 1:36 PM


    I know some of the young ones had a great day wi the taps aff,i hope they heated up well.







    Meantime taps burnin wi the gimps











    That Hun CHUMP appears rather upset with Beale.


    Burning his Hun jersey….and yet that Mob always claim to be ” LOYAL” ?



    Funny as Feck !



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