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Game management, Christie, Hayes, Forrest, Ajer

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Last night’s was one of the most professional away performances in Europe by a Celtic team in recent years.  We matched Rennes across the field and never looked under pressure, although few chances were made by either team, apart from the penalty incidents.

Fraser Forster made comfortable work with a first half shot, and importantly, ensured the rebound reached safety, while the best chance from open play in the game fell to Celtic.  Ryan Christie rolled the ball in front of Boli Bolingoli for the full back to clip a low cross into the box.  Odsonne Edouard darted for the near post but dummied the ball.  The onrushing Mohamed Elyounoussi was a split second away from scoring into an empty net.

If this was a boxing match, there would be in inquiry into the nature of the way Celtic conceded a penalty in the 37th minute.  Kristoffer Ajer pulled Niang’s shirt with one hand, dragged him by the wrist with the other, then scythed him down for good measure.  Three simultaneous penalty offences.

It was inexplicable, coming well into a game Celtic had yet to concede a chance worthy of the name in.  Ajer made sure that situation would change.  With 90 minutes gone and the game poised at 1-1, Kris again pulled the shirt of an opponent inside the box, an incident that alarmed me as much as the first, coming after we all hoped Kris had learned a lesson.

There is no viable explanation for what happened.  He should be allowed to think about what he did on the bench him on Sunday.

When asked at his pre-match press conference which Celtic players concerned him, the first name out of Rennes manager Julien Stephan’s lips was “Christie”.  This 90 minutes validated that view.

Ryan has an impressive burst of pace over 20 yards and used this talent to nick the ball away from a Rennes defender early in the second half in the corner of the box.  The defender was already committed and took the leg from Christie.  Referee, Jose Sanchez, had a perfect view of the incident but inexplicably waved play on.  It was a portent of things to come.

If Kristoffer Ajer left his smarts in the dressing room, James Forrest was the hooped equivalent of Einstein.  Inside the Rennes box, he dropped the shoulder, then burst the other way, showing his opponent enough of the ball to tempt an intercept, but with Houdini-like deft, the ball was gone, replaced by James’ leg, which received the tackle instead.  The tariff for away teams for this Spanish referee is clearly two penalty incidents for one award.  He pointed to the spot and Ryan Christie made us forget how fragile Celtic were from 12 yards in recent seasons.

By this stage, Rennes knew they were second best and reverted to farce.  Jonny Hayes has developed a healthy role as cult hero coming off the bench in recent weeks.  With Niang racing onto a loose ball on the Rennes right, Hayes put his heart and soul into a flying tackle, knocking the ball clear away from the striker, who writhed theatrically for two minutes, before protesting at the challenge once on his feet.

Replays showed it was a genuinely great tackle.  The incident was reminiscent of the Jozo Simunovic tackle on our old pal Kenny Miller at Ibrox, without the ridiculous whining from Andy Walker in commentary.

Bayo replaced Odsonne Edouard but within four minutes was booked for an incident where his elbow clashed with da Silva, who left the field on a stretcher.  The yellow card was technically correct, but it was a nuanced.  da Silva barged Bayo as they left the ground, spinning the Celtic striker, which caused the damaging collision.

With da Silva off the field and all possible substitutions made, Rennes were reduced to 10 men.  Goalkeeper Mendy then feigned contact by writhing around holding his face after Bayo chased a ball he fumbled.  Again the referee had a great view of the incident and waved play on, but with the keeper on the ground holding the ball, Sanchez had no choice but to check on his condition.  After speaking to Mendy, the referee showed Bayo a second yellow card.  Those who say, “Why badger a referee, they never change their mind?” are wrong.

A couple of general observations.  Scott Brown picked up an early yellow card.  We are going to lose him to suspension during this campaign, so should get busy with a backup plan.

I can go back 30 years and recite good Celtic performances in Europe that were ruined by poor game management late on.  With 15 minutes to go last night, Neil Lennon knew what to do to get the point.  It was a great start to the campaign, well done.

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  1. Cant agree that Bayo’s first booking should have been a red, eyes on the ball, jumping using his arms for leverage, no intent at all, booking was the correct decision, the second one was a joke, there should be some way to overcome that one, but I doubt we can do anything.

  2. The referee was Spanish. Spain is a country that borders on France. This has long been a bugbear of mine. Matches should not be refereed by someone from a neigbouring country of one of the teams. Celtic have suffered from this quite often in the past.

  3. Celtic turned a proverbial corner when we thrashed almost unnoticed Swedish champions home and away, and the NFL EL era got firmly underway with a merited draw against emerging Ligue 1 side complete with our Celtic songs, in Rennes.

     

     

    El Hamed, Jullien, and Boli Bolingoli settling into form NFL’s much improved back five with Forster a solid rock behind the new guys, in midfield Brown, McGregor, and Christie were fitter and faster than their French counterparts. Elyounoussi adds a potential goal threat, missing since Sinclair was bizarrely jettisoned from the squad, and NFL can rotate players from his impressive bench, with others in the squad bursting to get in.

     

     

    The £72 EL package,, became a bargain overnight and Celtic fans are surely better served when we’re more evenly matched over the winter, in the lesser elite not so financially doped UEFA circus, and should Celtic progress, Manchester Utd and Arsenal await on our level.

     

     

    Rotation for Sunday, Tom Rogic, Moritz Bauer? team sheet latest ………………..James Forrest

  4. As I said last night Kris Ajer’s decision making for the penalty was shocking, not the first time either, needs to wise up, even continued his shirt pulling antics in the second half.

  5. ROBINBHOY on 20TH SEPTEMBER 2019 12:26 PM

     

    Cant agree that Bayo’s first booking should have been a red, eyes on the ball, jumping using his arms for leverage, no intent at all, booking was the correct decision, the second one was a joke, there should be some way to overcome that one, but I doubt we can do anything.

     

     

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    It can be a red without intent to harm. All it has to be is reckless & excessive force.

  6. While unimpressed by the ref, the fact is the game is reffed differently everywhere else in the world and we are disadvantaged by the Scottish way – designed primarily so that we can be kicked without punishment – as our players are not properly schooled in how the rules will be applied. It does no favours to the national team either, though there are other problems there. Proper reffing in Scotland would mean better results in Europe as Scottish teams might manage to keep 11 on the park for a start and would give away far fewer fouls.

  7. Bang on Paul.A severe word needed for Ajer.Especially,to tackle with your left foot when that is the correct thing to do.Tackling with your right from that position,a recipe for disaster.

     

    I kept making the point last night about our woeful set pieces.How hard can it be to place the ball somwhere in the vicinity of 2 ,6 foot 4 players in the box?.Ryan is abysmal at free kicks,unless going for goal,and corners.To watch it game after game,beggars belief.Never a variation.So many times ridiculously overhit.Has to be someone better.Would like to see Bauer and Taylor start the next two games.Rogic,30 mins on Sunday,full game on Wednesday.Possibly both games for Griff.

  8. TURKEYBHOY on 20TH SEPTEMBER 2019 12:39 PM

     

     

    Neil Lennon has said that Boli will miss the weekend and likely the Partick Thistle game.

     

     

    If Greg Taylor is fit he will get his chance. If not, it has to be Johnny Hayes.

     

     

    Rogic will get game time against Killie off the bench.

  9. Big Kris Ajer is a great young player with all the attributes to go right to the top but he does that a LOT

     

     

    He really needs to cut it out

  10. TIMALOY29

     

     

    I don’t think it was reckless either, it was a coming together and one party came off worst. Happens every week.

  11. Blantyretim.

     

     

    I’m coming into the Blane Valley around 1.00pm tomorrow,I need to get some practice in before we head to McCuills for the hootinanny,I hope they have upraded the Lighting system in McCuills,always on the darkside when in that pub.

  12. Paul 67,

     

     

    Ah talking about our old friend Kenny Miller; has he landed yet?

     

     

    We are retrieving our pride back in Europe. I will never talk BR down, however I wonder if we would have received another heavy defeat under his leadership.

     

    Hypothetical comparisons are hard to avoid.

     

     

    HH.

  13. The referee went from telling the GK to get up,to issuing a 2nd yellow, a joke, the far side linesman was at it as well, friends of Dallas no doubt, Broonie was outstanding last night

  14. ‘Christie’s corners’ s strange one seeing as he is so good from a dead ball.

     

     

    I think we should always play the ball short at corners and just keep possession

  15. I’ve got to the point of going to the bar or putting on the kettle when we get a corner.

     

     

    I don’t believe we will do anything with it. Do we even practice?

  16. glendalystonsils on

    I hate to admit it , but having watched a good chunk of the Sevco game last night (with my Feyenoord scarf on of course) Taverneirs delivery of crosses is streets ahead of Ryan’s . The technique must surely be learnable?

  17. Cosy Corner Bhoy on

    BMCUWP,late of this parish,has organised a Hootenanny in McChuill’s from 2.30ish then laters ‘Up The Gallowgate ‘ hopefully music supplied by WBGFC and friends as per Auld Tim’s 80th getogether in Blane Valley!

     

    For those of a stronger disposition a pre-Hoot is from 1.30 in said Blane Valley.

     

    Hope to meet new friends and old.

     

    As BMCUWP is not of this blog anymore(Red card,red card,red card!) the usual email was not utilised.

     

    GFTB…. hope to see you there,not seen you since World Cup in the upmarket establishment 😁

  18. My post on the previous leader has disappeared. Will try again.

     

    Christie was head butted by ball received multiple facial fractures, requiring surgery and drew the comment from his surgeon that he had seen less damage to the face from a person assaulted with a baseball bat, ball was given a yellow card but sent off as it was his second.

     

    Tierney was smashed by an elbow by another Aberdeen player who looked to see where Tierney was before swinging his elbow, no booking.

     

    Last night was not intentional or excessive or reckless, it was an accident, not so those above, mendy cheated simple, and traore likewise, cos he didn’t like a hard tackle.

  19. ROBINBHOY on 20TH SEPTEMBER 2019 12:46 PM

     

     

    I don’t think it was reckless either, it was a coming together and one party came off worst. Happens every week.

     

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    People get knocked unconscious and end up in hospital every week?

  20. CELTIC have confirmed they’ll hold a minute’s applause for Fernando Ricksen before Sunday’s clash with Kilmarnock.

  21. DESSYBHOY on 20TH SEPTEMBER 2019 1:31 PM

     

     

    Christie was head butted by ball received multiple facial fractures, requiring surgery and drew the comment from his surgeon that he had seen less damage to the face from a person assaulted with a baseball bat, ball was given a yellow card but sent off as it was his second.

     

     

    Tierney was smashed by an elbow by another Aberdeen player who looked to see where Tierney was before swinging his elbow, no booking.

     

     

    Last night was not intentional or excessive or reckless, it was an accident, not so those above, mendy cheated simple, and traore likewise, cos he didn’t like a hard tackle.

     

     

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    1) Mendy & Traore cheating isn’t relevant as neither were involved in the Bayo/Da Costa incident.

     

    2) You are right to point out that Celtic have been let down by Scottish officials in those games. The incompetence of Scottish officials isn’t the benchmark. They fail to properly protect Celtic players on a regular basis. Daniel Cousin of Rangers (RIP) was a particular danger to Celtic players in aerial challenges.

     

    3) Something can be an accident & reckless.

     

    4) I don’t think you can argue that it wasn’t “excessive force” when it was enough to force Da Silva out of the game.

     

     

    I don’t believe Bayo tried to hurt anybody. But he was clumsy enough to send a Rennes player off for the remainder of the match.

     

     

    The second booking is an absolute farce but a separate incident.

  22. I agree that Ajer has his hands on opponents too often, but to say he should be on the bench tomorrow is ridiculous.

     

    We should be complaining about the referee, as the Bayo second yellow was a joke.

     

    Most enjoyable away game for years.

     

     

    We really need to deliver better corner kicks and free kicks near the box. As for our throw-ins, why doesn’t someone actually look for the ball (about 80% end up going to the opposition). Apart from the Cluj game, we have made a brilliant start to the season.

  23. Who determines what is excessive force. A good clean tackle is a good tackle irrespective of the force. Bobo hitting you at 50% is harder than someone else at full pelt, so this excessive force statement is nonsense. One man’s meat…

  24. ZIGGYDOC1 on 20TH SEPTEMBER 2019 3:00 PM

     

    Who determines what is excessive force. A good clean tackle is a good tackle irrespective of the force. Bobo hitting you at 50% is harder than someone else at full pelt, so this excessive force statement is nonsense. One man’s meat…

     

     

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    The referee.

     

     

    If you strike an opposition player with your arm while challenging an aerial ball that is a foul.

     

     

    It can be no card, yellow card or red card.

     

     

    The referee decides based off:

     

     

    Was it reckless or careless?

     

    Was it done with excessive force?

     

    Did it deny an obvious goalscoring opportunity?

     

     

    It doesn’t have to be all three.

     

     

    If knocking somebody unconscious and sending them off on a stretcher isn’t excessive force I don’t know what is…

  25. I don’t agree with the sentiment that Ajer should be dropped.

     

    Not a chance.

     

     

    Elhamed was brought to Celtic as our Right back… with capability to cover in at centre half. Therefore as it stands Jullien and Ajer are our number 1 and number 2 centre halfs. If Jozo was fully fit, and could stay fit, undoubtably it would be a different story, and I believe Jozo would put Ajer under pressure.

     

     

    But as it stands, John Kennedy and Lenny need to sit with Ajer, and get him to watch a re-run of the situation. Give him guidance, instruction on positioning, anticipation, and then hope he can take things on board and put it in to practice.

  26. I can see it now…

     

     

    Celtic 1 Rennes 1 at Parkhead

     

     

    Celtic are down to 10 men after Ajer is knocked unconscious from an elbow by a Rennes and stretchered off. Spends the night in Ross Hall getting tested.

     

     

    Celtic fans:

     

    “I don’t think it was intentional. A yellow is about right”

     

    “It was an accident”

     

    “I don’t believe it was reckless”

     

    “Excessive force? Who can say…”

     

     

    Aye right.

  27. cant unerstand fans who criticize jh as he gives 100% every time he is on tha pitch.

     

     

    i thought he had a very good game yesterday and yes he is good enough for celtic( maybe of the bench)

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