How did we do at the San Siro?


Craig Gordon
I think we all have a desire to be generous to Craig for a couple of reasons: as Ronny said, without him, we would not have gotten through the group stage, and we are due him some support after he spoiled his copy in the first leg.  He returned to form last night, made several fine saves, but we would expect him to make all of them.

He also contributed a truly exceptional save from an offside attempt.

Adam Matthews and Emilio Izaguirre
Neither full back was as productive in the final third as they were a week ago, but that would have been a consequence of a different game plan, and the numerical disadvantage.  There is a tendency to criticise our full backs, especially Izzie, for bombing forward and leaving gaps at the back, but this is their role in the team.  It’s up to someone else to provide cover.  We’re as strong at full back as I’ve known us.

Virgil van Dijk, Jason Denayer and Efe Ambrose
For two want-away players, this tie was a big stage.  Virgil didn’t give a good account of himself.  The first booking last night was incorrect.  He stopped the player but played the ball and his challenge was never dangerous.  Scouts watching his second yellow will have recorded that he made a very bad decision which ultimately cost his team.  The referee had a nightmare, but the second yellow was a correct decision.

Jason and Efe played well.  There was one moment Efe failed to follow a player in the box but Craig Gordon saved.  Jason was comfortable throughout.  If he wants a morality tale on what could happen if he returns to Manchester City, he should look no further than his team-mate up front.

Nir Bitton
The scouts who were there to watch Virgil would have left with a notebook full of comments about Nir Bitton.  At Murrayfield against Legia, Nir was part of a midfield which included Mulgrew, McGregor and Johansen.  It was an abject team performance and the Israeli bore much of the brunt of criticism.

Here’s the thing: I’m beginning to think he’s our best player.  He could have played in any of the Champions League games I’ve watched this week, Sign him up, Peter.

Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong, Stefan Johansen
A major reason last season’s European campaign was such a write-off was the absence of Scott Brown following his rush-of-blood red card and three game suspension.  We need players with the ability and engine of Scott and Stefan, both must be a nightmare to play against.

Stuart Armstrong looks like he has been playing in this Celtic team for years.  He’s fitted in very well and already looks like an automatic choice.  Wait to see what he’s like after 6 months.

Gary Mackay-Stevens
I couldn’t believe the innate criticism of Ronny after the game on BT Sport for subbing Gary, who was our best player until that point, after the red card.  When you are early in the game, away from home in the San Siro, it is a perfectly acceptable tactic to sacrifice a wide player (Gary was our only out-and-out wide player) for a defender or covering midfielder.

We didn’t win the game, but anyone who asserts that we would have won the game by leaving a wide player on in place of a covering midfielder or defender, is stretching credulity.  The tactics chosen kept the game alive until the 88th minute, albeit the break required didn’t materialise.

When he was on the field, Gary won the ball in a central position, ripped 60 yards through Inter, before finding a team-mate.  He looked to be revelling in the space and opportunity given to him.

John Guidetti, James Forrest, Chris Commons
This was a hard shift for all three.  John could have had a penalty but thereafter found himself on his bum too often.  He is a player who has not progressed as hoped under Ronny, yet, and has a lot of work to do between now and the end of the season.

James has not returned to his blistering performances from a couple of years ago, when he was clearly our M.V.P.  As his limbs mature his speed and injury record could go either way.  He’ll be with us for another few years, so Celtic have time to build resilience into those leg muscles and nerves.

Kris came on with 13 minutes left and used his unerring goal-sonar to squeeze an attempt out of the meagre provisions he had.  He also appears to have updated the referee on what an incompetent clown he is at the end of the game.

This was the first of seven European away games we failed to score in this season, but the reasons we’re out of Europe all lie in what happened last week.  You cannot make goalkeeping and defensive mistakes like that and remain in Europe, nor can you pass up so many clear-cut chances.

Don’t know where to start on the flare last night. I fear the next decision from Uefa will be more than a fine.

Thanks to everyone who donated to our Mary’s Meals school kitchen appeal yesterday while entering the ticket competition.  The winner was informed by email a few moments ago, so check your inbox.

If you need tickets for the CQN St Patrick’s Dinner, with a Q&A with Packy Bonner, Joe Miller, Tommy Coyne and Tom Boyd, Archie Macpherson speaking about Jock Stein, and music from Patricia Ferns, let me know, celticquicknews@gmail.com

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  1. traditionalist88 on

    Did one flare go off last night in our end?



    Surely in this age of advanced technology, CCTV and the pre-existing knowledge of the likelihood of this happening, someone somewhere has footage of the individual in question? I mean they’re standing there holding the thing in the air for about 5 mins presumably or at least placing it on the ground, never mind the time taken to start the thing, get it going and watch everyone in the vicinity shuffle off.



    Celtic should fight any sanction given that ample warnings have been given and stadium security at the San Siro is not something we can influence?




  2. Mistertaxi..,


    The future does not look bright, the future looks pathetic, and semblance of talent will be sold at the first opportunity, it’s been made clear over the last few years there is not intention of building a team.

  3. As long as you have appolligists in here for the flare brigade and putting spin on it that it’s the boards fault, you will have flares at the games, CQN has had some Lisbon lions on here and others, for a Q&A how about he try’s to get one of the leaders of the GB or the Ultras, or who ever it is in here one night, worth a shot no? Yes?

  4. prestonpans bhoys on



    Don’t use that word in front of any Huns, god knows what they will think it means…….

  5. Canamalar



    Whoever these folk are who keep on doing these things they are hurting Celtic and the reputation of our fans.



    There are limited options here –



    Get them to behave properly



    Ban them if their identities are known



    Let UEFA ban us from Europe once one of these folk steps over the line one time too many.



    I am sick of these folk saying to hell with the rules, we’ll do what we like.

  6. “Yep, cos if Berezynski hadn’t played, we would have marched on in Europe through the ‘losing 6-1 on aggregate’ rule.”





    Up over goal,




    Are you saying we would have been eliminated from Europe if Legia had their paperwork in order?

  7. Winning Captains



    If you are around.


    Maybe you can bang up a poll on flares for the CQN Mag page. Going round in circles today on here.




  8. Up_over…,


    Obviously a Celtic supporter, covered in Celtic scarves and the lions shirt… Hmmm


    And we have the usual gobshite lock tuggers demanding satisfaction from their favourite whipping bhoys.

  9. 15:50 on 27 February, 2015





    This sitting back and accepting the blame for everything has to stop , if the club / players /supporters do something wrong then accept the punishment and move on BUT if we are wrongly accused or being treated differently to others then we need to speak out.

  10. traditionalist88 on




    Exactly, I don’t know what else Celtic can do and therefore I don’t know why a further punishment can be justified? Different if we’d just ignored the issue but there have been no such incidents at Parkhead and we have issued numerous warnings ahead of away ties,




  11. Ok, Hugh Dallas wasn’t to blame for last night but, I must say, in the past we have been well fecked over by the referring system in our own domain.



    The referee last night had an agenda…plain as the nose on your face.



    BT’S after match analysts’s swept away anything untoward.why?

  12. Geordie Munro



    Are you saying we would have been eliminated from Europe if Legia had their paperwork in order?



    It would seem I am saying that.

  13. JohnnyClash



    I know him. One of the Ramone brothers.



    What’s more annoying, flares at football or Surfin’ Bird?

  14. “It would seem I am saying that.”



    Up over goal.



    Braw. So I stand by my original ‘utter pish’ comment then.

  15. A bit of revisionism earlier re Neil Lennon’s team whilst manager.



    He managed a side that beat Barcelona at a time when it was widely claimed that the Spanish side were one of the best ever club sides.



    It was an incredible achievement.

  16. mike in toronto on

    just back in, and catching up.



    See many on here want something done about the guy with the flare. If it tarnishes Celtic’s name, and causes loss to the club, ban him, sue him for damages…. fair enough. I’m all for that …



    but, a few questions…



    Does the conduct of the Celtic players (which has caused UEFA to also intervene) also cause problems for Celtic? There doesn’t seem to be the same (over) reaction to that on CQN.



    With the flare guy, the stock answer seems to be ‘whether we like them or not, the rules are the rules, and his actions cause harm to Celtic’…. fair enough. But, as for bookings, etc., isn’t it the same thing? KC must have known that he would get hell for going after the ref yesterday. I’m struggling to see how this is any different. Yet, the players do not seem to be subject to the same degree of scrutiny. Unless someone can show clear cheating by the ref (and there is not a chance of that), then, the rules are the rules, the players transgressed …



    Further, so many on here seem to be wilfully blind to (or at least unwilling to even question, let alone condemn) the bigger problems with football in Scotland, and Celtic’s role in same.



    In the grand scheme of things, which one has caused more loss and harm to Celtic? Sitting at the back of the bus for years, and letting the cheating go unchallenged (at best), or some fanny with a flare?



    There does seem to be a clear double standard for many on here.



    This is not to say we or the club should not speak up about the flares, but rather that we and the club can not and should not be so selective in our opprobrium. …

  17. Hamiltontim





    Think we need to stop comparing our teams and managers. Different era’s etc.


    Lenny was a great Celtic manager and hopefully Ronny will be too.




  18. Tony…,


    To be honest, your that far off the mark with that so called example I have lost the will to continue with discussing it. A wee bit of studenting wouldn’t go amiss, simple interpretation I suggest.

  19. So both Celtic and Inter up on firework charges …






    Plus charges for Dynamo Moscow and Dynamo Kiev for same and Bayer Leverkusen for illicit banner



    The Feyenoord v Roma match report still to be addressed. Game suspended and players taken off, inflatable banana thrown, handfuls of lighters and other objects removed from pitch etc. Charges for that should be a doosie !

  20. Geordie Munro



    It would seem we are at an impasse in our mutually constructive dialogue.






    Wait a minute. the Ramones. More like the Ra-mones, am I right ?!?!?!???!



    Other hits include



    Blitzkrieg Flare



    Hey ho, Let’s Go (light a flare)



    My Flare is Hanging Upside Down



    The KKK took my flare away

  21. embramike



    How you doing mate?



    What you make of the yellows for VVD last night? Justified?




  22. Canamalar,



    What was all that about our board doing nothing? Was that not criticism? The morons who light flares and bring us nothing but trouble need to be named and shamed. If they feel they are being encouraged, we need to let them know in no uncertain terms that they are not wanted at Celtic Park.





    Someone was exhonerating Dallas because we had 7 yellow cards. How many were justified? Our goalkeeper was booked for time wasting. Now, that takes a bit of believing. The ref was a cheat, plain and simple.

  23. Looks like that flare holder is also trying to hide his identity by wearing shades. They know it’s wrong and illegal but they don’t care. What is their motive?

  24. traditionalist88 on

    mike in toronto



    spot on.



    Usual loonies want to blame entire sections of fans for one idiot with a flare, yet the players falling foul of disciplinary regulations… in no way shape or form shall they blame the players!



    Ah well if they’re going to be inconsistent at least they’re going very public with it and can be easily shot down,




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