Forrest and Bitton steal the show as Celtic go down


Bayern Munich left Glasgow with three points, but that was two more than they deserved. The game was decided on a 22nd minute lapse. Dedryk Boyata should have headed but allowed the ball to bounce behind him. This is the kind of mistake which primary school kids are shouted out for.  From that moment, Coman was clear through on Craig Gordon, who made the mistake of coming out of his box in the vain hope of reaching the ball before the French international striker.  That aside, Celtic were excellent and deserved a point for their efforts.

As  with the corresponding game in Munich, this was a game for James Forrest, not Patrick Roberts, so I was pleased Brendan Rodgers’ hand was forced with the injury to Patrick.  James was outstanding.  He regularly drew three defenders, kept his head up in possession, and created the chance which allowed Callum McGregor to convert.

Watch James again at the goal.  He played the magicians’ trick: “Look over here, watch me.”  Every Bayern Munich player was focused on him before he pulled a rabbit out of the hat, it was a thing of beauty.  Wing play is difficult, although it seems it is more difficult for some to understand it, than it is to play there.  I enjoyed watching Arjen Robben, but James was the more productive winger last night.

Screeds have been written about a momentary lapse by Nir Bitton at Firhill, which cost Celtic nothing.  Last night, under the most intense pressure, the player grew in stature in the central defensive position.  I heard “What are you doing?” as he chased down a loose ball in the Bayern right back position a moment before the Celtic goal, but without that, or his build-up play which led to the goal, we would not have drawn level.

It is also worth recording that Celtic still had the option to make a substitution when Nir received a head injury which resulted in several minutes treatment and the application of a substantial bandage.  If his appetite for a scrap was in question (you know what I mean), he would have left the field at that moment.

I was getting frustrated for Callum McGregor, who constantly showed for the ball, but in the central role he started the game, seldom received it.  It was a brave move for Brendan to hook Scott Sinclair and push Callum wide, although Scott was clearly below his best, but this change was pivotal in getting Celtic level.  The aforementioned build up play from Bitton, the run and delicious dink from Forrest, cut Bayern open.  In true Halloween fashion, Callum wasted no time in burying ghosts of past German encounters.

Scott Brown was imperious, while Stuart Armstrong will still be replaying his early chance to open the scoring over in his mind, he can be satisfied with his performance.  Lustig and Tierney put in mature and energetic efforts.

Moussa Dembele had little scope to shine; an early left foot effort which he didn’t connect with cleanly was the sum total of his genuine opportunities.  Celtic wisely put numbers in defence and midfield, leaving the striker isolated.

A word about Dedryk.  He dropped on his knee on the final whistle, no doubt feeling the pain of his earlier mistake.  You and I have been watching football long enough to know this is part of the game.  Big Billy shared a couple of similar memories with me, which he carried like old wounds.  Dedryk has recovered from darker places during his time at Celtic and can use the hurt from last night against PSG, and when his countrymen visit on match day 6.  It was an infuriating moment, but he is a player unrecognisable from the Dedryk we lamented in Molde.

There is so much to be positive about.  On similar form, we will destroy Anderlecht and no one will fancy coming to Celtic Park in the Europa League.  So what do you have to worry about?  We’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Brendan Rodgers – The Road to Paradise is available now from CQNBookstore.com – the first 100 orders received will come with a free gift.



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  1. Watched the Development squad before the big bhoys. If you haven’t watched it do so. You’ll smile at the thought of the depth of highly technically gifted youth we are developing.

  2. When Tom came on they didn’t just triangulate him, they boxed him. They totally nullified him, like they did with Moussa. Incredible tactical Genius by the Bayern coach.



    The best moment of RESPECT for Celtic was when Celtic were going for it 1st half….. they dropped most Bach into Defence. An incredible team that is always thinking. Unlucky CELTIC.

  3. Bawsman on 1st November 2017 12:16 pm



    Watched the Development squad before the big bhoys. If you haven’t watched it do so. You’ll smile at the thought of the depth of highly technically gifted youth we are developing.







    Links/Sausages whatever. :)))




  4. I think the CL teams,and winners of their groups are seeded in EL.


    Watching the goals from all the games last night,quite a few mistakes made by defenders,especially Chelsea.Sheet happens sometimes.What i will say is that Boyatta went on to have a terrific game.As did Biton,who was only beaten by a prodigious leap for the second goal.

  5. weebobbycollins on

    When the Lions scored their second goal in Lisbon it was a good job they didn’t celebrate, otherwise the Italians might have equalised…

  6. weebobbycollins on

    TB…big Nir has been a great learner these recent games…his passing out of defence has been terrific at times…

  7. Great performance last night, if not the result we wanted.



    Forrest had his best ever game in the hoops. He was top drawer. His ball through for the goal was Messi-esque.



    For all of Bitton’s and Boyata’s efforts, we missed big Jozo. Hopefully we can help him put his frequent injuries behind him.



    Plenty to be optimistic about with the age profile of the squad and the level they are playing at.

  8. weebobbycollins on 1st November 2017 12:37 pm



    TB…big Nir has been a great learner these recent games…his passing out of defence has been terrific at times.






    Nir has been Magical l8tly.



    Delighted he is going in where it where it hurts, that means so Much.



    It is never about Self, it is always, always about Others.




  9. Barney67 on 1st November 2017 12:37 pm



    Sick of ‘Gallant loser’ tag.





    Armstrong and Boyata owe us, big time.






    No they don’t.

  10. Big mistakes cost us the goals.


    Little mistakes cost us the chance to equalise or even a win.



    Ability is not the issue.


    It is appetite, attitude and confidence.



    All the talk of BM’s big money buys is a distraction and does not help.


    All it points to is the money in the game at the moment — not the ability of the player in question.



    Are there players in the game 200 times better than a late 70’s version of TF?


    No chance but the Scottish Cringe amongst us would suggest that there are because a number tells them that.



    Last night was a good performance but a poor result.


    If we work hard to train the muscle between our ears we will win games like last night.



    I don’t think BM of this vintage will make it into the quarters.

  11. Lovely wee moment on Italian tele of a totally dejected / hands in pockets Conte standing on the touchline while Roma fans sang — ” Mr Intense Where’s Your Juve Ref Gone ? “. –Middle of The Road sold big in Italia.

  12. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Good analysis, Paul.


    Personnel, shape and mentality were all well ahead of the game in Munich.


    Boyata put his mistake behind him and played well. Forrest’s pass for the goal was quality, but don’t underestimate the run from McGregor.


    Fancied us for a draw and so nearly got it.


    Can’t be too complacent though. We didn’t have the movement of Bayern’s “big two” to deal with. Switched off to let Rodriguez in, but Gordon saved well.


    Very happy overall though.

  13. South Of Tunis on

    MAD MITCH @12 50



    ” I don’t think BM of this vintage will make it into the quarters ”



    They might get a kind enabling draw from their pals at UEFA — but – 2 different tv channels and 1 radio station -last night — firmly of the opinion that Bayern are not good enough to win it .

  14. Barney 67 if anyone owes us it is Scotty Sinclair seems have lost his Mojo, not a moan just an opinion. H H Hebcelt

  15. In my view Celtic were terrific last night. The fact that we played our game, didn’t park the bus and came away with a narrow defeat against one of the favourites to win the competition speaks volumes for the progress Brendan is making.



    Onwards to Saturday where the team can go 63 games with a domestic gallant loss.

  16. The Bayern website had Calum as Celtic’s best player and said that he covered more ground than any other player on the pitch. He is underestimated. And to think that Calum and James sat on the bench when Scotland needed a win in Slovenia.



    Stuart A. made a great run into the box but how did he miss that sitter? I can’t imagine a Bayern player missing that kind of chance. That’s the difference, it’s all down to ability, there was nothing wrong with Celtic’s attitude last night.

  17. I disagree about Bayern’s chances in the CL. I rate them in the top five teams in Europe, with PSG, the big two from Spain and Man City.

  18. Just home from the game – early train south – thought we were terrific last night. For me Brown was MOM closely followed by Jamsie and Callum.



    Incredible atmosphere with the GB outstanding.



    Onward and upwards

  19. South Of Tunis on

    POGMATHONYAHUN @ 12 35 .



    Aaargh -The Tubes .



    Bad memories of Mrs S of T and I visiting / staying with friends in Glasgow and them having freebies for a Tubes gig at the Apollo . ( 78 or 79 ?). Not my cup of tea / even worse for Mrs S of T . C’est la vie !

  20. Ref was good but missed the BM player using his arm to control the Ball with and push it past CG. Video refs needed in these big games.

  21. I see someone over on Video Celts having a pop at fans leaving early last night. By my reckoning at the final whistle, after 96 minutes of pure gut-busting entertainment, there were well over 50,000 fans still in the ground to applaud the efforts of both teams. There was a very sporting send-off for Robbin as well when he went off, and I thought the Bayern team were well received at the end by the fans still there.



    Also notice that the always-pro-Celtic Evening Jump Shark are running a story about four (4!) fans being arrested last night. Haud me back on that one.



    I was outside the Superstore when a Celtic fan met up with three Bayern fans coming out of the store, each one having bought the dual Celtic-Bayern scarf. The Celtic fan had a ticket for the Jock Stein stand for one of the Bayern guys; after putting on the new scarves all four did a mini huddle, wished each other well then the two Bayern guys headed over towards their end while the Celtic fan plus German mate headed for the Jock Stein stand. Maybe is was the four of them got lifted? I love to feel their pain.

  22. South Of Tunis on

    Watched all of PSG 5 -Anderlecht 0 .



    5 /10 /15 . -doesn’t matter . If it was a boxing thing -the Ref would have stopped it .A total mismatch.. Verratti was wowee good . If I understood the French commentator correctly the left back who scored a hat trick ( Kurzawa ) was the first defender in Champions League history to do so.

  23. The BBC ( Bitter Bitter Corporation ) launched their script prior to k.o. with a never previously heard ‘illiminated from the champions league ‘ should we be beaten by Bayern. They followed it on this mornings news with ‘dream is over’ progress to the Europa it seems, died along with original Rangers.



    Celtic were magnificent and upped our game entirely and I don’t know anybody that expected us to win in Anderlecht let alone Bavaria or Paris, and us overtaking the pot three side is progress and positive on a long





    We’ll never know if Simunovic would have bettered Bitton Boyata or Lustig in central defence, but he’d have had to have played out of his skin. James Forrest laid on two goals including the one Stuart Armstrong should have scored to alter the entire proceedings.



    We can learn and develop from the fine teams that will roll up after Christmas and even the BBC will have to be there.

  24. Thoroughly enjoyed my trip down to the game yesterday, H H to all the friends I met in the BV- Old Tim was in great form must have bought the whole of Munich a drink!!! Greetings to Canbhoy??? who I met at the bus stop en route to the airport last night saw my Hebcelt beanie hat and introduced himself,also the many Munich fans I met who were a credit to their club I wish you all the best, onwards and upwards. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  25. 50 shades of green on

    Youth league on BT



    Napoli 0 v 3 Man City 25 mins gone



    Philistines celebrated every goal.

  26. Silver City 1888 on

    The left back getting a hat trick reminds me of when I was in a particularly poor football team. The opposition had knocked in several goals when they realised only two of their players hadn’t scored against us. In order that we were fully humiliated, they set out to get them on the score sheet. One guy they stood in front of goal and pretty much had to kick the ball off his shins into the goal. The other, well let’s say PSG better not think that they can send their goalie up into our box without consequence.

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