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. It is often the case that we feel we are watching a different game from fellow supporters but Jobo`s figures suggest , in the main, we are closer in our respective views than we sometaimes think.


    Cheerio for now.




    No such luck. I ‘m told I’m getting a band from Siracusa..Maudlin Sicilian choons /romantic ballads and aint life a bitch laments.My luck usually sees me sharing a table with somebody’s relations from New Jersey and a Rube supporter who lives in Frankfurt.

  3. Corkcelt………was hoping the Blacks would have big win in this game but we cannot deny England were deserving victors. Scoreline could have been even greater for the Whites.

  4. TBB and others –


    Quite a few folk, when sending their email explain their reasoning or sometimes mention another couple that they could easily have chosen. It’s one of my regrets that I don’t really have enough time to reply in any detail.


    So I suppose one of the drawbacks of just being able to pick 3 is that when there are 3 clear favourites (as there were the other night) then there can be a few other players who also played well but just not quite as well as those 3.


    Another factor is when you get players that may be otherwise quiet but then play a very important part. For example, Jullien’s winner or Fraser’s save might just have tipped the balance in some folks’ minds.


    Anyway, when I started this idea it was in the hope that there might be more debate on the blog following each game and thankfully there’s some evidence that that is happening.


    I’ll leave ou just now with a couple of other interesting stats. In terms of ‘average votes per appearance’ the 2 clear leaders are acually Frimpong – 2 appearances, 73 votes, 8 points and Bauer – 4 appearances, 63 votes, 11 points.


    Hail Hail

  5. Gossip suggests ol’ snake Rodgers will be in for Kris Ajer in January, 20 million plus Benkovic will do me!

  6. Hey SOT………………….






    Don’t you knock dem folks from Noo Joyzeeee!







    TheBridgeAndTunnel CSC

  7. An Tearmann


    Thank you I thoroughly enjoyed the game or more specific the result.


    On the chanting of F Lazio during the game – as you know I’m a Port Vale season ticket holder and sometimes take my 7 year old grandson – a typical chant down here is one section of supporters start up ‘ you’re F…..g shit’ repeat for several minutes. This makes me very uncomfortable and embarrassed.


    Maybe I’m just old school

  8. May I say a massive thanks to all on here for wishing me well. I have a lot going wrong with my health right now, and the heart attack is only part of it. I fear my Fag smoking, hard drinking, womanising Days are over ? May I also wish BIGYINMILAN and PADDYMACOZ the best of luck and full recovery. Any Celtic win tomorrow against Aberdeen will be warmly welcomed ….Dons 1 v Celtic – 3. I will need to rely on updates from CQN as I am still in hospital . HH

  9. Excellent initiative from Jobo re top 3 per match.



    Must admit, few things give me greater pleasure than heated debate over who was our MOTM. It’s a real first world problem.



    Long may we have more candidates than places.




  10. Evidence of masons at Celtic park? Colluding with masons in their hour of need,,,keeping silent when one word could so



    Put them in dock.. All to detriment of the club and business..

  11. TT




    We lost 10 s of millions of pounds. Celtic never once tried get rid of the top of saga. Who planned the tax frauds.



  12. I said the moment they put red 12 on hold that they just wanted I and fans to go . Y


    They strung them along. Fro first minute..utter scum

  13. I said the moment they put red 12 on hold that they just wanted I and fans to go . Y


    They strung them along. Fro first minute..utter scum have you seen board at agm? Not a celtic man amongst them

  14. The block vote at the AGM will go with the board this Res 12 will be voted down, rejected, anyone who thinks otherwise is living in cloud cuckoo land, this board has facilitated this, and, its now up to the support to decide what they want to do.

  15. Disgraceful from the Club on Res 12. I agree with Canamalar, it’s looking like the club don’t want us to find out about their own part in all of this.



    Keep the faith requisitioners. It’s a long game.

  16. Big Wavy


    There is nowhere else to go, the City of London Police may or may not investigate this, the support now need to tell the board in large numbers that their support is on hold until they proceed with this.It is the only language that matters to them , money and plenty of it, so withdraw it.

  17. Melbourne Mick on

    Hello again all you young rebels.



    A wee update on Paddymac, apparently the bold fenian was in a really


    bad way and the family thought they would lose him, but Paddy’s a


    fighter, hope to give him a visit tomorrow.


    Can’t believe the club are not taking Res12 seriously, can someone


    explain to me why they are prepared to alienate the shareholders? a slam


    dunk if you ask me when a full investigation is concluded…oh wait.. oh yes


    now i see.


    H.H . Mick

  18. PLC trying to sneak out their shameful response to res12 amid the euphoria of a big European result.


    Masons in the SFA, Masons on the board here I am – stuck in the middle with you.


    I’m sure this was not quite what Fergus had in mind.



  19. BRTH


    How do you defeat the block vote of the major shareholders who will vote against this?

  20. Teuchter


    If it wasnt his intention is has come to pass , the majority shares are in the hands of businessmen and investement houses

  21. First thing Dessybhoy, that if you count all the Celtic Blogs the entire army of Internet Bampots is only a few hundred at most, quite a few are oversea Supporters who don’t go regularly to Celtic Park and from the Ranks of Regular match goers there will be many who won’t support any type of Boycott.


    The vast majority of the Support are oblivious to the issues that cause major angst on here.


    The Requisitioners will probably know whether we have a realistic chance of success if we take the Legal Route.


    I imagine it will be costly and there will be a need to raise a fair amount of dosh.


    If there is crowd funding needed I’m in but in my opinion it’s just stump up a few quid each and see how it goes . no point in leaving it affect your mental well being.

  22. Melbourne Mick on

    So as i see it the board are relying on the fact that we are in a titanic


    struggle with the ragers and no one will consider a bhoycot or any


    other action until the 10 is achieved.


    Or as usual i’m havering.


    Feel free to edumacate me.8-))


    H.H . Mick

  23. Dessybhoy


    The wee man put their money where their hearts were – unconditionally.


    We were needed then but unfortunately, not now.


    We should have faith in those who represent the club.


    A massive breach of trust IMO.


    C’mon the Resolutioners.



  24. Melbourne Mick on




    Really nice touch Michael, thought i’d answer your email to me on here


    regarding PADDYMACOZ.


    There’s been a wee divide between the two communities, SENTINEL/CQN


    but when the chips are down thats when the Celtic family become one.


    Our detractors or even those who are supposed to defend our interests


    should be very careful.


    H.H . Mick

  25. Melbourne Mick on 26th October 2019 2:18 pm



    So as i see it the board are relying on the fact that we are in a titanic


    struggle with the ragers and no one will consider a bhoycot or any


    other action until the 10 is achieved.


    Or as usual i’m havering.


    Feel free to edumacate me.8-))



    H.H . Mick






    Spot on Mick.



    These people don’t get to were they are for their honesty, or suffer from emotional ties.



    Money is their god they should check the first commandment.



    On the day I got the Celtic christmas email telling me the shop is open for christmas shopping.



    It has now been promptly deleted.



    Best wishes to PADDYMACOZ and BIGYINMILAN.




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