CRAIG GORDON was given the CQN Man of the Match award yesterday, just shading James Forrest and Scott Brown, both of whom would have been worthy contenders for such an accolade. Paddy Roberts too performed well and had probably his best wee spell since arriving back at Celtic.
If Motherwell thing about his cameo role from the bench too much they might have a few sleepless nights ahead of our visit to Fir Park on Wednesday and the third meeting of the sides in six days at Parkhead on Saturday.
Gordon’s save from Louis Moult just after Forrest had made the breakthrough gets better every time you view it. It was breathtaking.
And when the keeper, whose personal life was splashed across the papers on the morning of the Final, spoke today to he was rightly proud of his contribution to another trophy as Celtic eye as double treble.
“That save will be right up there for the importance of it being a cup final and coming at a point in the match that turned the tide our way,” Craig said. “A few minutes later we were 2-0 up and the game was pretty much done from there.
“It’s a close comparison to the one I made for Sunderland against Bolton in 2010. That may well have been three vital points on the way to avoiding relegation, but to pull off a save like that in a cup final is special.”
“The save came at an important stage because if it went to 1-1, then it would have been a big lift for Motherwell and you never know what can happen from there on in. It was a good moment in the match and a good time to do that.”
Gordon also sprung to the defence of Scotty Sinclair who has been accused of diving for the penalty that doubled Celtic’s advantage. From the commentary positions and the fat cat seats in the South stand it may have looked like the former Aston Villa winger bought the award, however from the North Stand it was a clear pen every day of the week.
The rule sending the player of in these circumstances is harsh, Celtic suffered a similar misfortune when Efe Ambrose was dismissed against Ross County in the semi-final of this tournament a few years ago. It was a daft rule then and remained so yesterday but it is hardly Scotty Sinclair’s fault.
Cedric Kepre had used up his luck in the first half when somehow he managed to escape punishment for a horrendous challenge on Moussa Dembele and Motherwell themselves had more that their fair share of the rub of the green in that decision and in several decisions, including one assault, in their semi-final.
Craig Gordon was right to defend Scotty Sinclair and more should do the same. When you read so-called Celtic fans getting quoted on click bait sites saying they are “embarrassed” by Sinclair’s actions, the blood boils.
“Scotty doesn’t go down that easy at all,” Gordon said.
“Against Hibs, Efe Ambrose pulled him and he never went down when he should. He’s a type of player who does try and score goals. If he had the chance to put it in the back of the net then I’m sure he’d take it.
“The manager has now won four trophies in a year which is pretty special. We’re still hungry for more and we want to continue doing that. He’s always striving to get more out of the players and improve us so we’re always trying to give him that bit more.
“In terms of the managers I’ve played under, he would be right at the very top. You don’t get records like we have if you’re not a good manager and don’t have good players. It’s been a great time to be involved at Celtic.
“The management team and all the backroom staff have been brilliant and have contributed to this great run we’re on.
“We’re very proud of our unbeaten run and we want to keep extending it for as long as we can. The nature of football is that we will be beat. It’s a good run and we want to extend it as far as we can.
“We’ll have another difficult game on Wednesday. Fir Park is a different pitch and we know that Motherwell are a difficult team to break down.”
Back in safe hands at Paradise. pic.twitter.com/DGRqnjaugx
— Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) November 27, 2017
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