Celtic certainly didn’t have the fluidity we saw at times last season, but they comfortably got the defence of their title underway against Aberdeen yesterday. The visitors, playing their fifth competitive game of the season, did a decent job of denying Celtic space inside the box, but could scarcely construct an attack worthy of the name at any point during the game.
Earlier in the summer we discussed the need for a central defender to break through the lines, as Kristoffer Ajer did so effectively. On one notably occasion in the second half, Stephen Welsh carried the ball forward 30 yards, causing havoc in the Aberdeen midfield. We are going to face a lot of packed defences this season, overloading with a ball-carrying centre half is an important tool to assist.
Stephen’s more important contribution came when he headed home from a corner in the third minute. He remains our most effective aerial target, as long as Christopher Jullien is not in the line-up.
After that promising start, the expected avalanche did not materialise. Passing was too wayward. Threat levels increased when Giorgios Giakoumakis, David Turnbull and Liel Abada replaced Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda. The departing three had been unable to make a telling contribution to events.
Delighted with the win; the passing will improve. Good luck to Ange having to pick a strongest 11.