Frustration and promise in Seville


A game most of us expected to lose without fuss instead turned out to be a frustrating look into what could have been.  Again, we lost four goals in Europe, as we did on three occasions in our Europa League group last season.  Again, we allowed a two-goal lead to slip away.  Despite the superficial similarities to last season, there are reasons to believe we are on a different trajectory.

Celtic bossed Real Betis for the first 30 minutes; the home side could barely hold possession in the final third.  At 0-2, the game could have slipped away from them, but a couple of breaks of the ball 18 yards from the Celtic goal was enough to bring them back into contention and transform the night.  Celtic were too fragile to assert telling authority.

Tom Rogic was head and shoulders above everyone else on the field.  On nights like that, you wonder what he is doing in Scottish football.

After an uninspiring start against Ross County on Saturday, Jota showed us what all the fuss is about.  Forced to play on the right, his deliveries were a delight.  His chance to put Celtic three up may, or may not, have changed the outcome of the game; if you can lose four so readily, there are no guarantees.  The winger pulled up with cramp on Saturday and was visibly waning after 75 minutes last night, when his touch and composure deserted him, but we have a player straight from the ‘Bums on seats’ drawer.

Albian Ajeti’s movement inside the box set the game alight.  He got onto the end of Jota’s cross to score the opener, then tempted Claudio Bravo in the Betis goal into a challenge before nipping the ball away from the keeper.  Would Eduard have made either run?  Not recently, that’s for sure.  The penalty was of the stonewall variety.

After the game, when asked why we keep losing so many goals in Europe, I protested.  The central defenders only met last week, the left back has never played there before this month, and the right and left side pairings were completely new partnerships, “This is different”, I insisted.  Time will tell.

I have watched a lot of Celtic teams lose in Spain but do not recall going there with such an attacking strategy.  I suspect it would never occur to Ange Postecoglou to play any differently.

The game had the look of one of those all-star games we used to see in the 80s, “England v The Rest of the World”, type affairs.  Plenty of talent and lots of goals, as no one really knew each other or what the structure was.  Both Celtic and Betis will improve.  Going on my expectations before the game, there were reasons to be encouraged, despite all the goals against!

BT will be interested to hear that Uefa permit member clubs to veto broadcaster staff assigned to cover games.  I doubt it.  BT subscribers were denied the channels’s top team when Newco refused to allow Neil Lennon and Chris Sutton entrance to Ibrox on security grounds.  Where else outside of the Gangster Clubs will you see behaviour like this?  It is like a club being run by children.

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  1. D66


    How about




    Welsh, CCV, Starfelt


    Juranovic, Montgomery


    Jota, McCarthy, Turnbull





  2. John White played in the 5-2 game.I was there to see him and Greaves.Lift over,right down to the front corner,of the old Celtic end.Saw Eintracht,Real Madrid,Fiorentina,all beat them.Puskas,Kurt Hamrin,scoring.Was only a kid.How times change.My parents would get jailed now,I would be in care.

  3. TB, not sure Calmac is fit


    Hope to see


    Giakoumakis get some game time, and possibly Scales come on once game is wrapped up

  4. Here are today’s Celts: Hart, Juranovic, Welsh, Carter-Vickers, Bolingoli, Turnbull, Rogic, McCarthy, Abada, Jota, Ajeti.



    Subs: Bain, Scales, Bitton, Soro, Johnston, Montgomery, Ralston.

  5. What on earth is the point n playing Bolingoli 😡



    We have Both Montgomery or Scales that Should be in front of him

  6. BADA BING!! on 19TH SEPTEMBER 2021 1:53 PM


    Mulgrew or Starfelt?




    Both – Mulgrew cost nothing




    D :)

  7. Sky highlighting we are 6th now.



    Of course a win takes us to 2nd.



    The latest time I was at Livingston with 10 mins to go rangers were heading for a draw at Ibrox v Hamilton and they lost. We were heading for defeat and we drew.



    A switch which probably took us from Null and void to being awarded 9.

  8. BSR



    They don’t have the rights. It’s Livingston’s home game and they are broadcasting it PPV £20.




    Yeah , we should have bought the rights by negotiation. Restricted access for Celtic fans non televised game Celtic supporters would pay up.



    Going to be a lot of this, in the season if things keep going this way

  10. No Forrest McGregor Kyogo Starfelt and obv Julien.



    Still a strong side. Hope the new lighter weight wide guys can perform on the rubber carpet.



    Hope We see what McCarthy is all about today. In a constructive sense.



    Any win will do CSC !



    but I think we might be pleasantly surprised today.



    And with the Mothers at Ibrox too.



    Predicting Motherwell top and Celtic 2nd at 5pm.

  11. BSR



    It’s been that way for decades. The game is only on Sunday because we were in Europe. We’ve always had some away games not televised. Celtic don’t need to negotiate. Livingson are already showing the game on PPV. It’s open to everyone. Yes it’s expensive, but we can’t expect Celtic to get rights from Livingston and sell it cheaper to their own supporters.

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