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ODSONNE ON THE SPOT

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ODSONNE EDOUARD missed his first-ever penalty-kick for Celtic when he muffed his effort against St Mirren in Paisley in midweek.

It was a replica run-up to the one against Ross County in the previous game when he bamboozled Ross County keeper Ross Laidlaw with the opening strike in the 5-0 win in Dingwall.

In midweek, though, his effort from 12 yards lacked power or precision and on-loan Hearts shotstopper Bobby Zlamal managed to dive to his right to push the ball to safety.

With only 15 minutes to go and the nine-in-a-row champions winning 2-1 through first-half headers from Shane Duffy and James Forrest, a third goal would have almost certainly killed the game as a contest.

Five minutes later, the striker got the hook by boss Neil Lennon and was replaced by fellow-Frenchman Olivier Ntcham as the visitors saw out the match.

It was his fifith penalty-kick after scoring his first in the 3-0 Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen in 2019 when he slotted beyond Joe Lewis.

Coincidentally, his second was against Zamal in the Scottish Cup Final last season when he knocked in the winner – once again hitting the ball to the netminder’s right as the Hoops completed the treble treble with a 2-1 success over the Tynecastle outfit.

READY…Odsonne Edouard looks nonchalant as he prepares for his penalty-kick against St Mirren’s Bobby Zlamal.

STEADY…Edouard is poised as he pulls his foot back with the keeper ready to spring.

GO…Edouard can only look on in dismay as Zlamal sprawls to his right to push the ball away.

Edouard chipped in a cheeky effort past Karl-Johan Johnsson, the FC Copenhagen No.1, in last term’s Europa League encounter at Parkhead in February to make it 1-1 with the game heading for extra-time. Amazingly, awful defending allowed the Danes to score twice in the closing stages and the European dream was obliterated once again.

He followed his success against Ross County last weekend with his badly-struck attempt against St Mirren and there have been suggestions he should hand over the spot-kick responsibilities to either Ryan Christie or Callum McGregor.

Scotland playmaker Christie has scored two successive penalty-kicks for his country in their recent UEFA Nations League outings against Israel (1-1) and the Czech Republic (2-1).

However, he missed a crucial kick in the 2-1 loss to Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit before the turn of the year when his low strike was beaten away by Allan McGregor at his left-hand post.

McGregor was successful with a well-placed penalty-kick in the last day of the previous campaign when he slotted the fifth goal away from St Mirren keeper Vaclav Hldaky in the Hoops’ 5-0 win on March 7 before the coronavirus pandemic forced a premature shutdown to the season.

There could be a queue of contenders if the champions are awarded a spot-kick against Gary Holt’s side today.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Livingston this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

 
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