The greatest save, fighting the urge, goodness – a masterstroke


Space inside the box when you have the ball at your feet is at premium and whatever you have, closes quickly.  The ancient part of our brains kicks in at this point.  We become alert to the dangers of the shrinking space.

This reaction is biologically evidenced.  The associated rush of adrenaline flushes the muscles with energy but it also obscures peripheral vision.  You will know this yourself if you’ve been in possession of a football for as much as a second with defenders closing a loop around you.  This is why, from the stands, we can often see a pass, but the player in possession fires off a shot that is easily blocked.

Watch Odsonne Edouard before he passes to Ryan Christie for the equaliser.  Running towards goal with the ball, he has to fight against all of these biological factors to suppress the urge to panic into a premature shot.

His presence in the box induces the same adrenaline rush in the Lazio defenders’ brains and limbs: they focus on Odsonne, but the Celtic striker is winning the fight against nature.  He maintains enough peripheral vision to spot the slenderest gap at 90 degrees to his right.  Ryan Christie is in space and while all others panic, Odsonne pings a pass into Ryan’s path.

You can give players all the benefits sports science allows, train them until they are built like supermen, but the game is played in the mind.  That ability to defy the natural instinct and control your body is where greatness lives.

I was troubled at halftime.  Celtic did not deserve to be behind but Lazio scored an excellent goal and were clearly a very good team, while Cluj were ahead in Rennes, the result we did not want.  The opening 15 minutes of the second half were controlled by the visitors, with Celtic unable to hold possession.

We needed energy from somewhere and Ryan Christie stepped forward.  He covers 20 yards with great speed and regularity.  His run to the corner around the hour, which created our first chance of the second half, looked like he was propelled forward in a pinball machine.  His sprint forward, drop back, then repeat action, change the flow of the game.

It is not just Celtic who seldom score from corner kicks, such goals are the Hen’s Teeth of the modern game.  Defenders mark the main threats, while others attack the space most likely to produce a goal.  With the inevitable numerical defensive overload and set plays video analysed to within an inch of indecency, corners are the football equivalent of a Brexit deadlock.

But still, when Scott Brown’s shot from outside the box was deflected wide with two minutes remaining, we could dream. Christopher Jullien is as commanding in the air as any Celtic player since Bobo Balde.  His sheer upper body bulk make a challenge from lesser mortals futile.  His leap and glancing header inside the far post were like a great cruise liner gracefully launching down the slip.  We were going to win this, or so we thought.

Fraser Forster had already made an incredible block with the score at 1-1, but in the final minute of added time, his leap to stop the unstoppable volley from Cataldi was the best save I have ever seen.

Crowds react to great save with cheers, or applause on lesser occasions.  This save was met with an audible gasp.  Shock from the ancient part of our brains was articulated an instant before the subsequent joy, not to mention respect.  We were not to be denied.

When Hatem Elhamed went down injured inside the last 10 minutes, Moritz Bauer, a straight replacement at right back, was told to get stripped, but Neil Lennon quickly changed his mind.  Instead, there was an Israeli shuffle, with Nir Bitton replacing Elhamed.  Celtic went to a back three and two minutes later, Neil replaced Boli Bolingoli with Jonny Hayes.  Coming so late in the game, Lazio had no time to react; Celtic were setup to control the middle of the park.

Goodness.  In the dying minutes of a game against the top seed with the score at 1-1, we change tactical formation, going three at the back against two strikers.  You have to hand it to Neil Lennon.  Without this change, Scott Brown is nowhere near the Lazio box to be able to latch onto a loose ball and shoot to secure the corner that produced the winning goal.

It was an absolute masterstroke.  Well done, boss.

For most of us, our days are full of small joys and trials.  Spontaneous, shared, exhilaration is in rare supply.  But, here we are.


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  1. Goooood Morning CQN



    Thoughts and Prayers with PaddyMac in Oz, hope it wasn’t celebrating the result on Thurs which has set you back a wee bit


    Will light a wee candle for you tomorrow in ‘Sacred Heart – Cowie ”



    Now new season ticket collected yesterday, after Thurs 👍



    Just a personal wee gripe – I see that poppy fascism has already started on the tele, even O’Driscoll wearing one on rugby commentary in Japan 😡

  2. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Or as many have suggested were the Plc involved in the sons piracy to defraud Celtic shareholders?


    It’s looking more likely

  3. Time to go to City of London Police then ?


    Sickened to read that the Board have decided that they’re happy for the fans and the club to be cheated, but not surprised.


    Fuck them.

  4. Big Jimmy,



    Just reading back and see your health issues. As WEEMAN said treating the old ticker is very successful these days (says he from personal experience) so you can look forward with confidence to many, many more great nights like Thursday’s. Maybe it was a good job you weren’t actually there on Thursday mind you as those last few minutes might have done for you!



    And best wishes to MELBOURNE MICK’s mates who are facing their own trials and tribulations with their health.



    Hail Hail to ALL Tims.

  5. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Need to wait for the vote at the AGM, then submit evidence to the serious fraud squad in the CoP.



    This might just be the distraction they need from the investigations into CoL banking scandals they refuse to prosecute, especially since they got a bad rap on the previous case relating to the new club formation, this might just be perfect to restore a wee bit credibility, no too big to get slapped down by the Govt and institutions and no too small that it won’t make the news.


    The evidence is compelling so there will at least be an investigation. Long haul rolls on.

  6. Good morning CQN from a dry, bright but very cold Garngad



    Hunbeileivable regarding our board and res12



    How can they preach to… Say the Green brigade regarding banners etc that the GB are not doing right by our club???


    Ffs the board are doing more harm by not standing up for us.



    Hypocritical cnuts.






    D. :)

  7. A wonder what the odds were for the All Blacks not to score a point in the first half…🏉

  8. Great half of egg chasing. Only problem most of the best stuff coming from England. 10 nil ahead at half time and in truth it could be more.


    The All Blacks look shell shocked at the moment, hopefully they can turn it around second half or we’ll never hear the end of it.

  9. South Of Tunis on




    Much speculation in the Italian media re Inzaghi being bagged soon.Some pundits are claiming that a bad result away to Fiorentina on Sunday night will be the final straw for the ego maniac owner -Lotito..



    Standard line is that the team is a disjointed mess /the defence is a shambles and the players are lacking motivation..



    Much comment re a centre half who turned his back on a shot – named and shamed -and another centre half who totally neglected to mark his man at a corner.He ,too,named and shamed..Goalie also berated re his role in Celtic’s first.goal.-“like his defence -a flat footed spectator ”



    To quote one journo- ” Inzaghi has no defence ,his team can’t defend “

  10. The Battered Bunnet on







    Log On


    Scroll back to 10pm-ish


    Scratches head



    Thanks again to Jobo for the terrific MoTM initiative. My puzzlement is caused by Hatem Elhamed receiving just 6 votes in what was one of the best performances from a right back that we’ve seen at Celtic in some considerable time.



    Now, there were a number of top performers against Lazio this week, Christie being the stand out, and yes, big Fra had two great saves – one of which startling – and yes, Jullien played very well, and Broonie was tireless in the skirmish role, and wee McGregor kept the metronome ticking, but come on ghuys! 6 votes from a total of 384, just 1.5% of the electorate, for big Up’n Hatem?

  11. Oops -forgot to add-



    Much ridicule also directed at Immobile -eg-



    ” a horrible miss-yes he scores goals but that was pathetic “

  12. The Battered Bunnet on




    I thought Lazio’s defending was terrific until… the winner. Sure, Christie’s goal could have been blocked, and he oughtn’t have been allowed the space in the first place, but by and large, Celtic couldn’t puncture Lazio and their keeper had a quiet shift on the whole thanks to the guys in front of him. But what do I know?



    Folk use the score as a lens to view a match, and if you didn’t like the score that tends to colour the opinion, but bigger teams than Lazio have lost at Celtic Park, and few have played as well (for 89 minutes…)

  13. All Blacks looked 17 nil but try disallowed so they are still in with a chance but bloody hell, 46 minutes gone & England pummeling them.

  14. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Big Jimmy and Paddymacoz thoughts and prayers with you both for a speedy recovery

  15. One dopey sideline throw & All Blacks get the softest try they will ever get. Could this be the turning point.




    The Italian media berated the defending ,the profligacy and the number of mispasses in midfield.The latter was put down to being something which inevitably happens when you play a willing but stricly limited big lump like Caceido who doesnt have the game intelligence to know where Milinkovic Savic wants him to be.


    I usually only see Lazio on the highlights but after the EL draw I started watching their games.Defensively poor and disjointed.They were mince away to Cluj -2 howlers in defence.Not much better v Rennes – at 2-1 up they gifted a limited Rennes team several chances to equalise.


    Off oot to Marzamemi -a wedding to go to.

  17. The Battered Bunnet on

    Marzamemi, what a lovely wee town, and presumably the wedding will take over much of the old tonnara. Perfect. Enjoy yourselves.

  18. Big Jimmy and the OZ bhoys get well soon ! Have to say i’m gutted about the RES 12 news but not surprised,the board are an absolute disgrace , time to get the police involved !




    Will do -Thanks.


    Bit worried re the weather.Not a typical autumn.Unusually hot -high 20s and some seriously dangerous electrical storms which cause floods and serious structural damage.Unusually localised.It can be 25 and sunny where you are and in the town 5 km away floods are necessitating that people abandon their homes..I blame Trump and Brexit.

  20. England win 19-7 but in truth it could have been more. Hard to see either Wales or South Africa stopping them.

  21. The Battered Bunnet on

    Can’t believe the weather dares rain on the woman from Padova. Do the gods have no idea how much hair like that costs?

  22. Quick shooftie at the “League table”…….*cough*…………


    ……….. shows currant hun team within touching distance of the The Bhoys!!



    Regardless of the fact we are top….the huns have been facilitated through the usual fraudulent means to be be there – allowing the skouse ned to escape proper scrutiny.



    Fix Fitba’ Empty Hampden.





  23. SOT………………



    Nice to see in this Dear Green Place.



    If you are in charge of the playlist I’m sure them “hep cats” will will have a swingin’ time………….











  24. TBB



    ` Christie being the stand out, and yes, big Fra had two great saves – one of which startling – and yes, Jullien played very well, and Broonie was tireless in the skirmish role, and wee McGregor kept the metronome ticking,`



    ….and Boligoli made a fine contribution whilst jamesie put in a shift and Edouard kept four of their defenders on high alert.



    I would say well done to Up `n Hatem for receiving six votes and my napper would remain unscratched :-)

  25. TBB



    Hah !


    The red hair has been expensively “re reddened ” for the occasion but that’s nothing in comparison to the cost of the essential new shoes and the necessary tights Yes !-those tights and only those tights!.She went to Palermo to get them.



    Forecast says storm / heavy rain.Should be over before the wedding kicks off.

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