The look on Karamoko Dembele’s face! He had just been shoved, two handed, to the ground by a Dundee United defender, who made no attempt to play the ball or do anything apart from shove Karamoko, inside the box. If ever there was a ‘Welcome to Celtic’ moment for a young player, this was it.
Like many spectators, I was unsure what the current handball rule was when the ball struck Giorgos Giakoumakis arm before being turned in by Daizen Maeda, but I am not a referee. John Beaton is. The goal should have stood, the Karamoko incident should have been a penalty and a comfortable 0-3 Celtic win should have been a landmark statement of intent.
The goals John Beaton allowed to stand were scrappy. Two deflections and a fumble by a usually reliable keeper, not that this mattered. Celtic dominated play, United were unable to craft a chance worthy of the name.
We will face Newco in the semi-final at Hampden on Sunday 17 April. Newco are almost certain to play a Europa League quarter-final second leg on 14 April. We have a league game at Ibrox on 3 April and it is likely we will face Newco again at Celtic Park before the end of that month.
Celtic will have a week to prepare for each game. Newco have the prospect of two major European ties and three games against Celtic inside a month, an onerous load. The hard work is still to be done, but we are well placed.