What went right for Celtic?


After a performance like that, the most important question is, what went right? The most important aspect of the game, was the clean sheet. Dorus de Vries was only called upon to make one save, on the 14th minute, but it was by far the best chance of the game and the keeper did exactly what was required.

The regularity with which the ball left Dorus’ feet and landed on Moussa Dembele’s chest will also have occurred to you. This was the best we have played out from the back all season.

As the game progressed I was getting anxious about how long is left on Kris Ajer’s contract. He’s still a teenager, but what a player! We waited 40 years for a young tier one defender to emerge and then two come along at the same time.

Brendan changed the format, went with a back three, dropped Sinclair, his top scorer and flooded the middle of the park, which allowed Celtic to control the game. Think how many times you saw Callum McGregor in possession and being huckled by one or more opponents, but having an option of a short and easy pass. Contrast this with the complete lack of options we had on the ball at Rugby Park, or even last weekend against Partick.

Olivier Ntcham had his best game for Celtic and was my Man of the Match. He is unrecognisable from the player who arrived from Manchester City in the summer.

Dropping Scott Sinclair from such an important game was a huge managerial decision. Scott was everyone’s Player of the Year last season and a big money deal for Celtic. So far, so ballsy, from Brendan Rodgers, but he opted to give the spare slot to Eboue Kouassi, who has left his teens since Zenit played their last league game, and who many had written off as recently as Christmas.

The flicker of whatever the scouts saw in the 10 or so career games Eboue played before Celtic parted with £3m for him came into full bloom last night. His tenacity, speed and composure on the ball was arresting.

James Forrest sits in pole position for this season’s Player of the Year. Few defenders can cope with his pace and Zenit’s were no different. Despite his positive influence last night, less of our play goes through him than I would like. Due to the peerless Tierney, we have a left-side bias.

Within two minutes it was clear Moussa was on better form than he has been in months (which gives us another issue to ponder). He did not get on the score sheet, but he was an effective out ball, brought others into the game, and played his part on the goal. His late replacement, Odsonne Edouard, looked every inch the €10m player PSG value him as.

And what about the goal. Charly Musonda’s slight frame has looked a tad fragile since arriving on loan last month, but last night was a lightbulb moment. We got to see what all the fuss is about with this young player.

The chance was created near the halfway line, when he drew three Zenit players towards him before igniting the move with a disguised slip to Ntcham. Seconds later, Charly was inside the box to collect a difficult bouncing ball from Dembele and hung it in the air for Callum McGregor. This run was a lung-buster.

Callum had to leap to catch the ball at the top of his chest. With no time to allow it to settle, he needed to position himself for a snapshot. McGregor took the plaudits for his goal, but this was a worthy accolade for a player who was involved throughout but struggled in recent months to find his early season form.

On another day, we would not have got the win we deserved. On another day, we would have lost a goal to Zenit’s only chance, but last night Celtic had all the answers. It was a fantastic performance from every player. We have a squad and a system which is capable and worthy of winning a second consecutive treble, and reaching deeper into the Europa League. And in case it slipped your mind, Gordon, Compper, Hendry, Boyata, Bitton, Ralston, Miller, Armstrong, Rogic, Sinclair, Roberts, Hayes and Griffiths were all missing last night.

We’ll talk about EBT McLeish another time. I’m not letting missing governance standards at the SFA darken my mood.

And Peter, get Kris tied up.

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  1. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Word of The Day (Has the hiemal break done Zenit?)



    Hiemal. /ˈhaɪəməl/





    1. of or relating to winter; wintry.


    2. a less common word for hibernal




    Word Origin and History for hiemal




    “pertaining to winter,” 1550s, from Latin hiems “winter” (see hibernation ).





  2. Paul67



    Was it’s Du Vries punting ability or Moussa’s stark improvement at winning the punt that produced the missing dimension?



    Are we suggesting Gordon cannot punt a ball up the middle of the park as well as Du Vries can?



    For me the difference was a more on form Moussa.



    On Ajer I saw someone somewhere say the other day they didnt fancy him. Astounded of forehead. The lad is a giant and could become a Giant.



    Look forward to your post on governance and clarification of advice being given on why a JR was not likely to succeed.



    If it was on basis that SFA as a trade association could do as they pleased, would that include enabling or covering up a fraud?



    I told you I suspected such 18 months ago.



    Legal advice on that matter would be worth getting before shareholders going to the police. The SFA Compliance investigation will be interesting not only for what it does say, but what it avoids.



    Time we stood up to who are a bunch of crooks.

  3. Auldheid


    The SFA are once again taking the proverbial – how long does the compliance officer need to review the evidence. I hope Celtic are going to call them out in the next week or so – but I won’t be holding my breath.

  4. So Scott Brown has made his last international appearance because there is not a hope in hell that he will play 1 minute under McLeish.



    Big Eck likes the bevy that much he had to his interview by email.



    I couldn’t give a flying fek about Scotland but the day Strachan was sacked I posted here that it would be Big Eck and wee Barry…..looking at it now it wouldn’t surprise me if they were paying lip service to Michael O Neill while telling mcleish to wait a few months.



    Since the old Huns lost their final tax case appeal it’s been jobs for the ebt criminals….( Eck bazza doddsy raey and so on).



    A guy at my work reckons that when Jimmy Calderwood took unwell lately his family were trying to raise some cash and they had decided to confirm to newspapers that Calderwood and Nicol were incentivised to lose their final league match in 2003 so RFC would win the league…….a couple of weeks later one has a job at Ibrox ( Nicol )with the other getting half his wages ( Calderwood ).



    Lastly if you can get a bet on it….Robertson of Liverpool will be Scotlands left back for the next couple of years.



    It must make the press and SFA absolutely pig-sick that Celtic are unstoppable.



    Hail Hail

  5. Hi Bhoys/Ghals,



    Long time not posted.



    My Engagement party in a couple of weeks and am looking for some music which could wind up a few blue pals without causing a riot… Would appreciate songs.



    Opening the night with Zadok the priest – Champions League Theme ?


    Depeche Mode – Just Can’t Get Enough


    Discoland – Flip & Fill


    Scooter – The Logical Song


    The Drifters – Come on over to my place


    Oasis – Roll With It


    Zombie Nation – Kernkraft


    Tinie Tempah + Kelly Rowland – Invincible


    Daniel Boone – Beautiful Sunday


    Rod Stewart – Your in my heart



    What would you add?



    Have a great weekend

  6. Breaking


    Sepp Blatter to replace Stewart Regan…..


    Despite being banned by FIFA the SFA are set to appoint Blather on an Imperfectly registered contract….



    Shower of crooks.

  7. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    Paul67………………..big Ollie was indeed the main man last night,sadly he


    won’t be of this parish for much longer.

  8. McLeish is just next in line to have his EBT NIC and PAYE paid by a new employer, however this employer needs punters through the gates,unlike the BBC employees,I hope the Tartan Army are aware of what McLeish did and do not go to games , time to oust the lot of them.





    That is very straight to the point about governance here, no person or association is or can be allowed to act in a fraudulent way , pull the whole house down and I think this would suit them, the Press are starting to shout for SFA reform but not for the right reasons.

  9. Big day for Celtic as they announce the signing of Musonda.



    Next day – Sevco reject £7m for Morelos



    Big result for Scottish Football last night in the Europa League.



    Next day – Sevco reject £9m for Morelos



    The more we win the quicker they’ll die.

  10. RYAN\o/D



    Has to be this one





    Gotye – Somebody that I used to know.


    Much too subtle for most of rhe knuckledraggers, but fun to watch the penny drop with some of those with IQ in double figures

  11. Clicked on this Link and next up came Paradise _Coldplay







    BATEEN BHOY on 16TH FEBRUARY 2018 5:38 PM




    Has to be this one







    Gotye – Somebody that I used to know.



    Much too subtle for most of rhe knuckledraggers, but fun to watch the penny drop with some of those with IQ in double figures

  12. Last night’s was so similar to the traditional Celtic European performance of the ’60s. It brought back memories of the likes of the Red Star or Dukla games.

  13. Sky repotting Peter Grant and James McFadden are possible backroom staff for EBT Mcleish then again they’re also reporting sevco have knocked back £7 million for the columbian world beater,seems like the Chinese are a bit confused about how to barter as apparently it £9 million knocked back last week:)))

  14. Thank Guys,



    Is it still a Friday night song night?



    The Fureys – Seasons in the Sun


    Baha Men – Who Let the dogs out



    Has to withdraw Saw Doctors I Useta Love her & U2 still haven’t found what I’m looking for



    Last night’s was so similar to the traditional Celtic European performance of the ’60s




    Was it 3/- to get in and was Kevj there ?

  16. RYAN\O/D on 16TH FEBRUARY 2018 5:57 PM



    Is it still a Friday night song night?



    The Fureys – Seasons in the Sun





    Was Seasons in the sun not sung by Terry Jack’s?



    Pedanticcsc :))))))

  17. JC2


    I think that’s what you call ‘synchronicity’ ( nae the song by The Police ) ;-)))




  18. Fritzsong, dunno about the Red Star or Dukla games but I did think in the moment that Musonda was surrounded by three defenders, with another two in reserve, none of whom would tackle him, and took them all out the game with a drop of the shoulder and a gallus wee disguised pass, that it reminded me of a certain J Johnstone of this parish.



    Although Jinky would have gone back and beaten them again….

  19. What is the Stars on

    Lady Rosebud 7.00


    Zaofu 8.00


    Song of the Sky 9.00


    Dundalk tonight


    All worth a bet….supposedly

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