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Concentration at cross balls again but knock out round on merit

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We sacrificed Scott Sinclair at half-time to pack central mid, but this left Kieran Tierney covering two men at the opening goal, meaning Salzburg had time to deliver a cross.  A consequence of this is that Celtic had an extra man in the middle, to help the already surplus defender count.  No Salzburg player should have gotten near the cross ball.

Olivier Ntcham was lost in no man’s land, not helping Kieran Tierney and nowhere near a Salzburg player.  Think back to the Gold Standard of Celtic packing a defence, Barcelona 2012.  Just as we did in the second half last night, we sacrificed space on the wings, allowing the opposition possession there, but  everyone in the box knew their job and stuck to it – and that was a defence with Kelvin Wilson, Efe Ambrose and Adam Matthews playing out of position on the left.

Losing the first goal due to a lack of concentration when a cross came into the box with a surplus of defenders in position, was the same trait that saw us leave the Champions League in August.  I’m more inclined to forgive Craig Gordon’s lapse at the second goal – a freak mistake that will not be repeated – than shrug off the fact that we switch off at crosses at a rate not known under Efe Ambrose and Kelvin Wilson, two defenders who would not get near this team!

Salzburg were superb; the significantly better team.  In these circumstances, we have to make life difficult for them.  Try to ensure that if they get a goal, they have to do something exceptional to earn it.  Had we been at our best and done this, we would have left with the point we would have needed, if unanticipated events did not take place elsewhere.

If I’m getting everything off my chest at once: missing three consecutive penalties!  Really?  Practice, practice, practice.

The uptick in our threat level increased when Filip Benkovic was moved forward into a striker’s position.  We struggled to get the ball forward before this, it was just not sticking to Odsonne Edouard.  Odsonne is playing the role Dembele fulfilled before his flounce, but he is a different player to Moussa.  I don’t think he will flourish in a solitary role with his back to goal.

So much of our transformation in recent weeks has been down to the impact of Ryan Christie.  If he is out for an extended period, which looks likely, this will have a negative impact.  The return of Kristoffer (Alfredo) Ajer was welcome, although our resident Norwegian must have hoped for an easier game to feel his way back into.

The outstanding player in a Celtic shirt was James Forrest, he was the only player who could live with Salzburg’s speed of thought, never mind speed of foot.  We think of Kieran Tierney as our MVP, but James is the one opposition scouts will leave talking about.

And what of Rosenborg?  At Celtic Park they did what we should have done last night: stick to task, don’t make mistakes and hope for a break, which almost got them a point.  I was surprised they came back from a goal down in Leipzig, but, without seeing the game, I am sure they deployed the same game plan there as in Glasgow.

Nine points is a fabulous return from that group.  Eliminating Leipzig, a team who reached the quarterfinals of this tournament last season, knocking out Zenit and Napoli, before losing to eventual finalists, Marseille, is an exceptional achievement.

We got the break when we needed it, but we earned the right to be waiting on the break for performances across the six games.  Napoleon (translated) said, “I’d rather have lucky generals than good ones.”  He should have added, “But don’t talk about luck if you win having battled on all fronts for weeks.”  We are into the knock out rounds on merit.

Bring on the Hibernians.

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535 Comments

  1. So Ejaria has returned to Liverpool cos he canny hack it in Glasgow, or so level 5 will have you believe, the truth is he is going back cos of the racist abuse he has had from the hun support.

     

    Now where is SRTRC ?

     

    Absolute scum

  2. TET

     

     

    As you know I listen to SSB all the time, their excuses for Ejara were laughable …. I know you want the board to do more and I totally understand that …. but the “Hun” is protected people are scared to tell the truth about their hate … I will never leave Scotland I love the fact they try and justify their hate :-) our media helped liquidate the original Hun … just think how much they cheated before social media :-)

  3. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Big George’s fan club – hail hail wee oscar on 15th December 2018 10:22PM

     

     

    Neither of my sons would make insulting references to a stranger on the internet.

     

     

    I’ve a different opinion about ticket begging than you. In the context of my post, parasites are the corporate/investor members who sell on the away game tickets they don’t want. Celtic value their custom more than that of those such as me.

     

     

    Do you ever ask, why does this person have an unwanted ticket for an away game? The club told me it was a sellout.

  4. Gerry

     

    I didn’t hear them tonight but I can imagine, I have always thanked the smsm for helping kill them, had they told the truth back in the day there might have been a very good chance that they could have stopped them for kicking the bucket, but maybes not, their supremacist dna just couldn’t let Timmy get the better of them.

     

    Mags McGill posted a long post on Sentinel Celts today, it was a litany of the hun and their crap over the years, it hardly scratches the surface but it’s a cracking read all the same, if only to remind you of why they are hated so much.

  5. TET Contrast the response by the English politicians and media to the racist abuse that Raheem Sterling received from Chelsea fans to the ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ response in Scotia to the racial abuse that our players received at Ibrox. The best wee bigoted country in the world. Hh

  6. Guyfawkes

     

     

    I enjoy your posts but come on why shouldn’t Celtic fans post in a Celtic site for any spares ..

     

     

    Would you prefer said fans not to bother … strange position to take

  7. TET 10.56pm

     

     

    BMCUWP sent me a link to saltires post the other week about cheating, i had a wee look at Sentinel Celts but sometimes Cqn annoys me (maself included) Sentinel Celts could push me over the edge :-) cheating is in every sports person whether it’s a dive or Roy Aitken taking a quick shy… the Huns have got away with nothing, enjoy these great Celtic times :-)

  8. Gordon64

     

    The incident that got me more than any was when Scotty Sinclair got the abuse at the airport, they had them and gave them a warning FFS, they would have been jailed down south.

  9. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Gerryfaethebrig on 15th December 2018 10:58PM

     

     

    I’m idling till later for the radio commentary from Perth. Hoping for a century by king kohli.

     

     

    You’re correct, it’s great Celts want to see the team. I just don’t want to read about it. People with a claim on tickets they don’t intend to use are a blight to me.

     

     

    Let’s have cash turnstyles and to hell with police scotland.

  10. Racism is an integral part of Scottish history going back to the merchant’s who made fortunes from the slave trade. Despite renaming St George’s Place Nelson Mandela place we are whether we like it or not an inherently racist nation. And your example highlights how little has changed here. Hh

  11. TET

     

    The old adage “no Irish need apply” has been updated.

     

    When Ejaria blessed himself on entering the field of play at the start of the season it caused concern. Apparently, Stevie G was expected to have a word. But he must have been too preoccupied with looking after wee Lourdes. This then led to Ejaria being referred to as a “bead rattling spear chucker” on their websites.

     

    Tonight their consensus is that the “iconic blue shirt ” was just too big for him.

     

    Words fail me!

  12. Guyfawkes 11.12pm

     

     

    I love reading Big George & wee Big George hunting for tickets and I also enjoy your posts … still don’t get the animosity of Celtic fans looking for any spares on a Celtic site …,

     

     

    Am pretty jealous and envious of the Chapelhall Bhoys …. :-) long may they chase tickets to watch their team ?

  13. There are no more places in this world covered by CCTV than airports, no ‘appetite’ for arrests? We all know what is the deal

  14. Gordon64

     

    Nelson Mandela Place was a tick box for the council.

     

    Look at how they’ve dealt with An Gorta Mor. Something that should have been centre stage due to the history of this country has been effectively celebrated down a back alley.

  15. THE EXILED TIM on 15TH DECEMBER 2018 10:37 PM

     

     

    The hun hoardes have been sending him racist tweets, and abusing him on and off the pitch. No wonder he’s got out of there sharpish. Utter scum. That Roger Hannah of the Sun and Radio Clyde tried to throw him under the bus earlier saying he couldnt hack it at a big club.

  16. Real hibs players coming to us

     

     

    1 Simpson,rough

     

    2 Chris shetland?

     

    3 ulrik laursen

     

    4 pat Stanton

     

    5

     

    6 pat mcginley

     

    7

     

    8 Scott brown

     

    9 leigh Griffiths’s

     

    10 John Collins

     

    11

     

     

    Players who went to hibs from us

     

    Allan sneddon the second John Hughes Joe McBride Bertie auld John McNamee

  17. Bada Until this country is willing to take an honest look at itself in the mirror and see itself for what it really is we will never move forward. But then again maybe it doesn’t want to. Hh

  18. Billy Bhoy

     

    I read some of the stuff about him on sevco media, dearie me, it’s incredible how far they can sink, they are an insult to scum, but they are protected in scotland, where else can a loyalist killer get 24 hour police protection in the UK, scotland where they are welcome and we arny, that’s the bottom line i’m afraid and to deny it is deluding one’s self, I have often said that we are akin to a Jewish team playing in pre war Germany, many have mocked me for saying it, things are getting worse by the day, it wasn’t that long ago that there was a civil war on an island just over the water, it may well yet decant to scotland, brexit could hasten it along it’s way.

  19. D 17

     

    I would imagine yer man will be talking to everyone at Liverpool and elsewhere, it will be interesting to see what happens when slippy is after loan players who are black, Solanke has been mooted, maybes Liverpool will tell them to gtf, I sure hope so.

  20. THE EXILED TIM on 15TH DECEMBER 2018 11:40 PM

     

     

    Solanke is on top dollar and far too good for the Huns anyway. They couldn’t afford Liverpool’s loan fee never mind his wages. Not chance he will sign for them.

  21. https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/dec/15/chelsea-fans-flag-ss-deaths-head-budapest

     

     

    Look at the photo of the flag in this feature. Shocked I am. Pure shocked. The old facist paradox at play here in a left of centre liberal artsy paper. Rangers casual, facist, stone island wearing ranks quite like Israel and stuff but this paper has a photo of another team with military likings who fought the nazis but chant nasty stuff about Jews and blacks and but so and eh – Brexit.

     

    If the Guardian had bothered they would have found the correlation between Yaxley Lennon and his ilk then Hearts Rangers Airdrie Chelsea Millwall etc and their binding politics and troubled paradoxes. If they had bothered they may have stopped Brexit.

     

     

    No pasaran.

  22. gene on 15th December 2018 1:09 pm

     

    Has that clown who threw the coin? on Thursday been caught?

     

    —————————————————————

     

    UEFA caught him alright. Probably one of the many, many thousands that spent the whole night jeering and shouting abuse at Celtic players.