Last night’s performance was at the upper end of my expectations. We were sharper than I remember from a year ago, although not Nadir Ciftci, who is a couple of weeks behind, and looked a couple of pounds over, his team mates.
You could see how Stjarnan did so well against Lech and Motherwell last season. They defended with six along the back and have a good keeper. Celtic’s passing looked off, but I think that had as much to do with Stjarnan’s denial of space in advanced areas. The chances came when we broke forward having allowed space to open up 50 yards out, and from a set-piece for the opening goal.
Stefan Johansen was my man of the match, he was the creative fulcrum behind all that worked. And yes, Stefan, in a public spat with you, Leigh Griffiths, a man who eats Tea Cakes on the bench and cultivates a rascal persona, walked away looking the grown up. You think about that for a while.
Emilio Izaguirre had a horrible World Cup and started all over the place last season. It was months into the campaign before people started to notice his consistency was back, but the head seemed as though it was still on the beach last night. He would have been punished severely by a mainland European team.
Ronny started with his traditional 4-2-3-1 but for a while after Leigh replaced James Forrest, he played a 4-4-2, which coincided with our best period of the game. Nadir had someone to link with, instead of being isolated in a sea of blue shirts, resplendent with the old World of Sport logo.
It was great having Mikael Lustig back and although Dedryck Boyata was not challenged defensively, he was clearly on a par with Lustig as being a defender who is comfortable on the ball. No mistakes and a goal is pretty much all that could be asked of him.