Concentration at cross balls again but knock out round on merit


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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  1. Burgas


    For all that sounds like good (ish ) news, I am not so sure. A clean break heals quite quickly.A return to normal for ligament damage can be quite a slow process.



  2. traditionalist88 on

    HOT SMOKED on 14TH DECEMBER 2018 2:37 PM





    The MSSM tells Celtic fans that Celtic are not very good, really.





    You are clearly in the minority who still read the output from the MSM.



    When will people learn?

  3. mike in toronto on

    Hot Smoked



    Isn’t the flip side of that…



    the Board ignores problems



    CQN ignores the Board ignoring problems



    most on CQN ignore problems.



    perhaps, as you suggest, it is all just a big co-incidence…

  4. KL @ 2.22



    RBS are stuck in a footballing backwater.


    Just look at how crap last nights TFOD2.1 opponents were …



    RBS came to CP to do a job and we let them.



    Some of our play was straight out of the Keystone Cops.


    We played with no heart and no confidence — the first 45 minutes was a farcical performance.


    And the second half was better but not by much.



    One specific — Every GK has the odd howler.


    It is part of the hazards of playing in that position.


    However we have a situation where all the howlers seem to be in big CL / EuL games.


    Does that mean that it is all down to pressure?



    We are missing something.


    Second specific — CB pairing / how did they manage?


    JS — Looked like bambi on ice / you would not put money on him to cross a quiet road.


    FP — Struggled at times but kept going and won a couple of individual battles.


    Who has the experience in this comparison?



    Players are not maturing at CP — they seem to be stuck in some sort of Neverland limbo.


    The managers come and go but the attitude never seems to develop.

  5. Last night we were terrible but a couple of weeks ago against Leipzig we were great. I think we are just trying to understand ……why??

  6. Hello again all you young rebels.



    Logged in tonight very happy, 9 points in a very difficult group


    and we got through.


    But after reading back, maybe i’m mistaken judging by the posts


    we must be out.


    Feck me, no more drink.




    If you remember i extolled the series Ray Donovan a while back


    here on CQN, don’t know if we get them sooner here in Oz but


    presently watching Boardwalk Empire with the marvellous actors


    Steve Buscemi and Michael Shannon.


    Again an Irish family with mafia like tendencies.




    H.H Mick

  7. traditionalist88 on

    HOT SMOKED on 14TH DECEMBER 2018 2:43 PM



    Depends on the article, but nuance doesn’t seem to suit your argument here.



    If you read any output from the MSM this morning and it said we played poorly then would that be an incorrect assertion?!



    Sometimes even the big bad MSM get it right apparently.



    Once again (and maybe a little nuanced for the hard of thinking) – it IS possible to be happy to have qualified AND concerned about the nature of the performance last night. This is a discussion forum, essentially, a Celtic discussion forum.



    Some are afraid of reality, it seems.



    If we fix the bad bits of our performances we can be even better.

  8. KL @ 2.36



    The UK car industry was killed by poor management, poor technical standards and a get rich quick attitude in the boardroom and on the shopfloor.



    Any progress was down to individual talent in amongst a herd of useless wallopers.



    The lack of market understanding and customer requirements is something to behold.


    Problems started around 1955 although it took 20 years for the penny to drop.



    JLR is an experiment in full public view to determine if we have learned or history is about to repeat itself — things are touch and go at the moment.



    They are currently doubly cursed …



    When things go right — they don’t understand why.


    When things go wrong — they don’t understand why.


    Compare and contrast the Evoque and the XE / new XF.

  9. BB @ 2.54



    RBL — We thought it would be difficult and they allowed us to play and we gradually grew in confidence.



    RBS — We thought we were world beaters and they were at us from the off and we shrank in front of their eyes.

  10. We need to be realistic and realize that our coaching is not really good enough at a European level.


    2and 1/2 years into Brendan’s tenure and we still struggle against good European teams.


    Against the very top we have been merely cannon fodder.


    Our players with few exceptions have froze on this stage.


    There has been no real improvement in this area.


    Is it all down to player personnel?


    A team is a collection of eleven players and system, tactics and talent determine how effective they are.


    Have gone on for ages that we are ill spaced and not a cohesive unit.


    Last night the distance between defense, midfield and front created acres of space for a good team to exploit.


    Individual players shoulder some responsibility but when they were constantly outnumbered in all areas it was a hard ask.


    Brendan has done an excellent job coaching individuals to be better.


    Time for coaches to work on making us a cohesive ,compact and complete side to maximize the talent in our squad.



    So we don’t get them sooner lol.


    Now watching Succession with that great old Scottish actor


    Brian Cox but maybe i should be moaning about how bad the


    Cellic ur.


    H.H Mick

  12. traditionalist88 on

    The signs were there against Leipzig too as we almost let them back into the game having been well on top.





    *Bad decision making from Edouard on 37 mins to shoot from a tight angle when he had at least 2 teammates waiting for a square ball to tap the ball home.


    *Direct free kick later in the game which positionally would have suited Tierneys left peg but Edouard takes it and hits the wall despite shouts from the touchline to leave it to KT.



    Its fine margins in these games.




  13. MiT


    It won`t surprise you that I don`t agree :-)



    `the Board ignores problems`



    I don`t know if they ignore them or simply deal with them in a different manner from that which I would like to see;



    `CQN ignores the Board ignoring problems`



    CQN certainly does not ignore the Board`s attitude to perceived problems. The Board gets quite a lot of criticism on here.



    `most on CQN ignore problems.`



    See above.



    ` perhaps, as you suggest, it is all just a big co-incidence…`



    I am sure you know I wasnt suggesting that at all :-))




    The reason I am mainly uncritical of Celtic is because of my belief that there are enough outlets in this country willing to do it for me.


    I think CQN was set up to balance that perceived bias. I support that idea so, whilst not ignoring `problems`, I choose not to air them . I can rely on many others to do that for me.



  14. MadMitch on 14th December 2018 1:50 pm



    I won’t disagree with you that McGregor was poor last night as was every player. I think your points on our failings are fair enough also.



    But that was an excellent side we played last night. They will go far in this competition and would be just about the last team i’d want to meet again.






    No excuse for Celtic’s nervous performance.

  15. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Initial news on Ryan’s injury encouraging.



    Fingers crossed he is back after the midwinter break.



    Other good news – have just seen the Hootsman’s latest circulation figures.



    Terminal – it’ll be gone by end 2021 with other “news” papers to follow.



    Hail hail

  16. traditionalist88 on




    Other good news – have just seen the Hootsman’s latest circulation figures.



    Terminal – it’ll be gone by end 2021 with other “news” papers to follow.





    Good. I’m not sure why some on here continue to give them relevance by even mentioning them.



    Encouraging about Christie, lets hope hes back sooner than we all expected.




  17. i have said this before that we are a very good team in scotland but when we step up to cl level we are pretty poor against the better teams.



    i dont know if its coaching from a young age or coaching period.



    also talent does help.

  18. The news coming thru at the game last night of the Rosenborg goal and more importantly the confirmation of final 1-1 score and subsequent celebrations might not have been in “Love Street 86 Category” when I had a ghetto blaster perched on my shoulders on the terracing behind Jim Stewart’s goal praying for good news from Dens Park……..but it was still a moment that – if you were at last night’s game – you will always remember, despite our poor performance.



    I read all the pre-match stuff about Celtic not playing for a draw, our natural game being offensive etc….but the reality was that we did not cope well with the fact that a draw would suffice for us. Salzberg were excellent but we did not play our normal home European game, sat off them too much, and never got in their faces. We have played better against better teams at home (think Bayern Munich last season) and produced far better performances against teams of similar quality to Salzburg (Zenit/Leipzig).



    We have previous for this scenario where we start a home game with the advantage – one of our most abject performances last season was Anderlecht at home where a draw or 2 goal defeat would be good enough for us.



    Our normal game goes out the window and we fail to adjust.



    It bothers me but not too much right now as I check out the Europa Away Trip possibilities for February.



    Now a pilgrimage to Sevilla would be nice…..

  19. bada bing



    its hard to keep shows going for five or six seasons, the wire was a great show that kinda went the way of empire.



    the show that did keep my interest goin for six seasons was breaking bad.

  20. CBN @ 3.11



    Struggle to work out CMcG and his talents / abilities.



    DM role — With the ball his passing range is pretty good.


    Mix of keep it moving plus a number of top quality through balls.


    Current SB is not a very high benchmark to compare him against.


    But he lacks the physicality to play the other half of the game.



    VW had the physicality to be a very good DM.


    However from memory his passing range was poor.



    But last night he would have been a revelation as his positioning would have given us something extra plus he would have won his individual battles before a tackle was needed to be made.



    Then there is my big problem with CMcG …


    LM / AM role — He has a habit of disappearing when the going gets tough.


    Against that he scores a great / important goal every fourth or fifth game so he is hard to leave out.


    For the record I am not a fan but I recognise the games he has won for us.

  21. 50 shades of green on

    Ach well at least most of us have the next round to look forward to, some folk think we are out already, a wee shame for them.



    But I’m sure they will be back on in February to tell us how pish we are.



    Meanwhile its Lennies mob in the league on Sunday.




  22. It was an inspired goal from Rosenburg that helped us qualify. I wouldn’t mind getting Arsenal. They were lucky against us the last time we played them in Europe and Emery was the manager for Spartak Moscow in 2012 when we qualified. Good analysis MM

  23. From etims



    Dad..what was Rangers score?We got beat!




    We are out!


    What was Celtic score?


    They got beat!


    So they out too?


    There’s nae such thing as Santa!!!

  24. Scum press had to be removed by police, after management at the facility, where LG is,called them in…..reptiles

  25. As official partners of Celtic Football Club, we have partnered with the club to create a series of special commemorative products for all fans to enjoy.



    After the success of our Double Treble gin, the craftsmen of Eden Mill have also developed a unique, extremely limited edition expression of Blended Malt Scotch Whisky. This whisky is limited to only 500 bottles and can be purchased online or at the Celtic Superstore.


    Eden Mill Double Treble Gin


    Alongside this new product, we’re pleased to also release our new Eden Mill Double Treble Gin gift set just in time for Christmas.

  26. Apparently new balance have let us down with the promised delivery of clover range not being met.



    Where’s Hummel when you need them




  27. The Celtic scarf behind the bar on Ray Donovan, was put there by Tony Curran, who has a part in the show and is a regular at Celtic games in the Los Angeles CSC



  28. TULLY57 on 14TH DECEMBER 2018 3:39 PM.


    Sevilla and Betis both in the opposite side of the draw, so two chances to be drawn to play in Seville. 15/2


    Valencia and Villareal both in that half of the too.


    A 15/4 chance of going to Spain.


    Hail Hail

  29. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    What in God’s name were the two Rosenborg fullbacks doing in the Leipzig penalty box ,with four minutes tae go, Tam?

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