The day after the opening Champions League qualifier of the season can get a bit tasty on the blog but business has been pedestrian since last night’s professional performance by the men in hoops. If you wanted to be pushy, you could point to a couple of glimpses of goal which fell Cliftonville’s way as a result of Celtic defenders being dragged out of position, but that’s about the measure of an unfamiliar defence at any time.
Congratulations to Georgios Samaras, who scored in Celtic’s first five European away games last season and obliged again yesterday. A remarkable record for a player who is never employed as a penalty box striker.
It would also be tardy not to congratulate Celtic and Cliftonville supporters on their exemplary behaviour throughout the day. After recent disturbances in Belfast there were fears that a group of travelling Celtic supporters could find trouble in the city but the casual observer could be forgiven if he thought we were in Seville again.
Maybe Belfast council should invite us over every July to spread a bit of cheer. We do football very well, in all respects.
Neil Lennon can now kick back and relax with a formality of a second and the next round not for another…. 12 days!! Maybe not. 12 days is not a lot of time to do anything in football, so every day, including match day against Cliftonville, will need to be meticulously planned to ensure we are ready to face an opponent who could well be midseason. Relax, and you’re finished in this business.
[calameo code=0003901713852289beccb lang=en page=10 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]