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CELTIC 1 REAL SOCIEDAD 0

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NEW Bhoy Nadir Ciftci obviously believes in the old adage that you only get one chance to make a first impression.
And Celtic’s £1.3million signing from Dundee United didn’t disappoint as he set up Gary Mackay-Steven for the only goal of the game against Davie Moyes’ Spanish outfit in the 69th minute at St Mirren Park.
Ronny Deila started with what looks like his side to face Stjarnan. Charlie Mulgrew was in central defence with Virgil van Dijk suspended for the first leg of the Champions League qualifier at Parkhead on Wednesday.

The Hoops got an early scare when an effort from just outside the box cannoned off Craig Gordon’s left hand post.

Real Sociedad were a well-drilled outfit and Celtic, in their all-green change strip, struggled to make headway.

However, on the positive side, Deila’s men looked a lot better organised than the team that was too easily taken apart in Dukla Prague’s 5-3 win at the same venue last weekend. Israeli international midfield Nir Biton’s presence certainly helped bring some composure to the line-up.

Just after the half-hour mark, another new Bhoy, Dedryck Boyata, almost broke the deadlock when he flashed a header over the bar after a fine corner-kick from Stefan Johansen.

Darnell Fisher came on for Mikael Lustig at right-back for the start of the second-half.

Five minutes later, the SPFL champions were out of luck when Leigh Griffiths robbed a Spanish defender on the edge of the box and drilled a shot against the woodwork.

On the hour mark, Van Dijk replaced Bitton with Mulgrew stepping into midfield before Ciftci was given a great reception as he replaced Griffiths at the centre of the attack.

The Turk didn’t take long to make his mark as he earned a free-kick then pushed a pass into the path of former Tannadice team-mate Mackay-Steven who fired a low drive into the net from 20 yards..

Ciftci was put through one-on-one a few minutes later, but the Sociedad keeper made an excellent stop from his shot.

Celtic pushed for a second and Swiss defender Saidy Janko also made his debut when he replaced Mackay-Steven with 15 minutes to play.

Overall, Deila will know his side still have some way to go, but, on this performance against a La Liga side, they showed they should have too much for their Icelandic challengers in Glasgow in midweek.

And Celtic’s new signing can sleep well known that he’s now a full fledged Bhoy, having had his photo taken with Paul the Tim!

PS Nice little stadium, pity we don’t have one like that of our own as a second home for the Bhoys, young Bhoys & the Celtic Ghirls…

Starting line-up: Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, Mulgrew, Izaguirre; Brown, Bitton; Armstrong, Johansen, Mackay-Steven; Griffiths. Subs: Fasan, Fisher, Forrest, Rogic, Henderson, Ciftci, Van Dijk, Ambrose, Tierney, Stokes, Scepovic, Janko.

 
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