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CELTIC IN SEPTEMBER

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THE month started off with a Friday night visit to Hamilton Accies where the Celts completely blew away the home side winning 4-1. In this game, new signing Odsonne Edouard was given his first start, with the big Frenchman bagging a goal on his debut.

The majority of the Hoops faithful were more sceptical about the game which followed in the Champions League against big spending spending Paris Saint-Germain.

Celtic were completely blown away in their first group stage match of campaign losing by five goals. The most expensive strike force in the world were all on display with Cavani, Neymar and Mbappe all getting on the scoresheet. Many supporters had said that the French outfit were one of the best teams which they had ever watched at Celtic Park with their pressing, pace and quality on and off the ball.

Though the quality was undoubtedly showing, Brendan Rodgers was very critical of his players saying that at times the Scottish Champions played “like twelve-year olds.”

Again though, the Invincibles were able to pick themselves after a disappointing result and easily saw off Ross County at Celtic Park beating the Staggies 4-0. In this game many fans were delighted to see Frenchman Moussa Dembele return from injury. Tom Rogic opened the goal scoring in the match but before half-time Dembele added to bag a goal on his return. The stand out performance in this match was James Forrest who bagged a brace in the second-half.

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The Celtic family was extremely saddened to hear of the untimely death of former player Paul Wilson on the 18th September. Wilson was part of the phenomenal Quality Street Gang coming through the ranks with Danny McGrain, Kenny Dalglish, David Hay, George Connelly and Lou Macari to all but name a few.

Wilson helped Celtic secure nine consecutive league championships in a row and was also the first player to score in each of the four cup finals in season 1974-75. Many older fans will remember his brace against Airdrie in the 1975 Scottish Cup Final which was Billy McNeill’s last ever game. Paul will always be remembered by the Celtic Family.

The next three matches to follow this were dubbed as being crucial in Celtic’s season. The Hoops travelled to Dens Park in the Quarter-Final of the League Cup knowing that nothing more than a victory would do. Celtic had not scored more than two goals at Dens since f February 2002.

This was soon to change as Celtic romped to another 4-0 victory with goals coming from Scotty Sinclair, Callum McGregor and James Forrest. This game again saw Forrest bag another brace with the winger on fire heading into the game at Ibrox on the Saturday. Dedryck Boyata also returned from injury, with the central-defender getting a good hour under his belt in this cup tie.

The next game up was a foregone conclusion according to Chris Sutton. The Hoops made the short journey across Glasgow to Ibrox to take on Sevco Rangers. Celtic weren’t greatly impressive in the first-half but showed their class after the restart. Tom Rogic smashed the ball into the net to put the Hoops one up after absolutely shambolic defending from the Sevco Rangers players.

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Leigh Griffiths doubled Celtic’s advantage after a tremendous ball from Patrick Roberts played the Scottish striker in to neatly tuck the ball away past Wes Foderingham. Celtic could now look to the crucial game in Brussels against Anderlecht.

Before the match many Celtic supporters would have gladly taken a draw.

On the night Anderlecht were not at all impressive but Celtic took their chances and easily saw of the Belgian champions 3-0. The goals came from Leigh Griffiths, Patrick Roberts and Scotty Sinclair. This was the first time in Celtic’s Champions League group stage history that a clean sheet was kept away from home. As well as this, it was only the second time that Celtic had won away from home in the competition with the first away win coming in 2012 against Spartak Moscow. On that evening the Celtic manager was Neil Lennon who was returning to Celtic Park with his Hibernian side on the Saturday.

Celtic’s final game of September ended two goals apiece. Brendan Rodgers made five changes to the side which won midweek in Belgium.

Celtic weren’t great in the game but went one up after a great move which was finished off by Callum McGregor or Calmac as the fans call him.

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Hibs responded well after the restart and went two-one up after a fantastic brace by John McGinn. Though, their lead didn’t even last five minutes with Calmac also bagging a brace. After the match Calmac was handed a well-deserved Scotland call up due to Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong having to withdraw the from the squad through injury for the crucial matches against Slovakia and Slovenia which will determine Scotland’s World Cup fate.

Celtic are now fifty-eight games domestically unbeaten, sitting in a very strong position in the Champions League group and have booked a Semi-Final place against Hibernian in October. A well-deserved break will come for some players during the internationals and hopefully Celtic will come back even stronger with Aberdeen running neck and neck in the Scottish Premiership.

Written by Declan McConville

NEW CQN PODCAST FROM CELTIC PARK ON SATURDAY

Kevin Graham is back with a new CQN Podcast from Saturday. He talks to supporters on the bus on the way to Parkhead, interviews John Paul Taylor outside the ground and captures the atmosphere and action inside the ground before getting some more supporters’ views on the bus home after an eventful afternoon at Celtic Park.

Apologies for a few sweary words in this podcast near the end.

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