Celtic won their 17th successive game at Hampden yesterday to reach their fifth League Cup final in six seasons, though St Johnstone made them work for their rewards. Substitute James Forrest pounced on a loose ball on the 73rd minute to calm nerves among the vast majority of the crowd.
The defence’s impressive start to the season continued, in part thanks to St Johnstone’s inability to stage an attack that did not emanate from some slack ball control from a Celtic player. Despite a perfect Hampden pitch, our passing game was not at its best for fleeting moments.
Jota and Liel Abada were clearly under instructions to stretch the St Johnstone defence by sticking to the touchline. As a consequence, Abada was a virtual spectator, unable to influence the game with his timed runs into the box. Nir Bitton played well at occasionally broke through the lines, but for the most part, the gameplan looked to be stifling. It reminded me of the 2017 League Cup Final win over Motherwell, settled, in part, by another James Forrest goal.