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. Not wanting to put a dampner on things, my thoughts and a few others on ticket prices for last night been discussed on here.Just spoke to a Bhoy who paid £40 for himself,£30 for his 8 year old son…. outrageous IMO.The fans have backed the club to the hilt since Brendan came in( and before…), with success comes CL tickets, multiple domestic cup ties, which we wouldn’t change,but £30 for a kid’s ticket is out of order.

  2. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan on

    Good Evening One and All.



    I have not been on here since Christmas Time due to pressure of work which has had me fighting the corrupt in the big city of London.



    Alas, I couldn’t get to the game last night but watched on TV and bhoy were Celtic good, Had Moussa been two matches fitter he would have had two tap ins and wee McGregor was great as was young Kris.



    And In Eboue Kousse we have a player in the making.



    Tierney is a superstar.



    Broony is just Broony!!



    Anyway I come to these pages with BIG NEWS!



    I have secured the Kerrydale Suite for the evening of Friday 25th May 2018 for the purposes of recreating


    the ONE NIGHT IN LISBON DINNER some of us enjoyed last year in the Portuguese Capital.



    This will be an evening to celebrate the fans of Celtic Football Club who travlled across the sea by all manner of means 51 years ago now, and who changed European Football Forever just as much as their heroes did on the turf of the Estradio Nacional.



    The evening will have some presentations, musical entertainment of various kinds, some video entertainment and messages and most of all a huge party atmosphere.



    And of course we will pay homage to the Lisbon Lions.



    If you enjoyed CQN 10 then you will enjoy this.



    As always, there will be a charity aspect to the evening with all proceeds going towards feeding the 80,000 children who will attend the 67 newly opeened Mary’s Meals Kitchen paid for by the Celtic Charity Foundation plus one or two small donations to some local charities close to the hearts of people from this blog.



    Thus the evening will be in keeping with the founding principles of the club — to feed and help those who live in abject poverty and for whom a basic meal is a luxury.



    This will be a sing song night, a smiley night involving more than the odd tear and a night to puff the chest out and say “I am Celtic to the core!”



    I stress, It is not an official club night and is not organised by or with the PLC however with their help I have asked that all available trophies are present in the room.



    This will hopefully take place one week after we have completed an historic double treble for the first time in history and, fingers crossed, who knows where the Europa League Trophy might lie by that time?



    Either way this is a celebration of Celtic in Europe then and Celtic in Europe NOW!



    Three course meal


    Welcome drinks


    All entertainment














    Friends and Family



    All in the one place.



    Tables of Ten – £65/Head



    Dress Code – Casual but smart but must be Green and White.



    Bring your friends, Bring your enemies, Bring your Family but most of all bring your Celtic soul, your smile and your voice.



    Oh and bring a camera!!



    If you want to come e-mail me at the usual address jjoe88@hotmail.co.uk



    I need the names of those attending for the table plan (The wonderful Freisdirfer will make up badges etc) and I need to know if anyone is vegetarian as I need to let the caterers know.



    Sorry for the radio silence but hopefully the crappy work stuff will be over by end of March.



    500 spaces in the Kerrydale but I reckon I can populate about 300 of those automatically so be there or be square.



    Hail Hail



    God Bless




  3. I have been a wee tate busy since watching Reporting Scotland but I just had to come on and ponder hpw they could not even mention last night’s game? You couldn’t make that up. Utterly pathetic.

  4. Bada Bing.



    We have discussed this previously and I totally agree with you. I am surprised that the crowd was so large.. It seems most on here can afford the prices, but we mustn’t forget those fans who cannot .



    I would suggest that this would be a good topic for shareholders meetings.




  5. BRTH,



    I would love to bring my Dad to that “do”. He was in Lisbon on the day (and has never ceased to talk about it , with wonder and joy in his voice) but he will be 95 by then, God spares him. I don’t know if he will be fit for it. The last time he was in Celtic Park was on his 90th Birthday and he was absolutely bowled over by the experience.

  6. Bedtime,we’ve got the three wee rugrat grandweans staying tomorrow night.my wife thinks it’s not right to be able to wake up on a Sunday just ourselves:-))))

  7. prestonpans bhoys on




    Think my ticket cost £35, on HTS, gave it away to a Hertz fan since I was away on holiday. Did warn him he’s in amongst the Green Brigade which made me laugh……..

  8. Ryan



    For your party



    The Cranberries – Zombie



    The Beatles – Taxman



    Terrorvision – Perseverence



    Biffy Clyro – The Captain (even they would know who that ones for)



    Joe Cocker – There’s A Storm Coming



    The Love Affair – Bringing On Back The Good Times



    The Jam – Every little Bit Hurts



    Beck – Loser



    Guns n Roses – Live And Let Die



    Chris Farlowe – Out Of Time



    Oasis – Don’t Look Back In Anger



    Fontella Bass – Rescue Me



    Moody Blues – Go Now



    Dave Clark 5 – Catch Us If You Can



    Rod Stewart – Sailing



    Green Day – Know Your Enemy



    Nina Simone – Feeling Good (or the cover version by Muse)



    Aztec Camera – The Crying Scene



    The Bay City Rollers – Bye Bye Baby



    Mansun – Taxloss



    and to finish them off




  9. DANSO_1888 on 16TH FEBRUARY 2018 3:36 PM


    are scottish people really gullible? mcleish ffs or maybe the bigotry makes them blind



    *There are none so blind as those who will not see, and that includes any Scotsman or woman who continues to support a team and/or organisation that is run by a bunch of 33 degree dinosaurs.



    The current sfa president in wating was the managing director at Easter Road when mcurine jumped ship at For Park to join them.



    After an initial bit of success with the steelmen he then spent the next 2 seasons fighting relegation before packing his bags and doing a monnlight flit tae Leith, his name at Motherwell is as well thought of as winston churchill’s in Fife, i.e. a spit at the mention of it.



    Much to the glee of the family club supporters he was unable to save the Hibbees from relegation; however, he did take them up at their first attempt. They did relatively well on their return and good times loomed ahead for them until he once again capitulated, this time answering bader’s call and leaving Hibs like Motherwell in the lurch, and like the ‘well supporters there is no love lost between him and the Hibbees fans..



    So here we have a Machiavellian character who has walked out on 2 clubs and his country, 2 of which petrie has held senior management positions being allowed to urinate all over our game. If the game was not already broken well it is now.

  10. Hello again all you young rebels.



    Just like everyone else i’m still floating in the clouds after that game.


    I’ve watched Young Callum’s goal about a zillion times the build up and


    completion was sublime, the confidence this will give the team is




    Even the weemhan is acting strange, he even ironed his own hoops top


    as him and his other Celtic posers are heading to the shopping centre


    this morn. no doubt to woo the lassies and wind up any epl fuds 8-))


    Aaaand it’s our big Celtic weekend in Mornington, oh i’m getting dizzy,


    all this euphoria and rebel music blasting out, might need to nail auld


    Paddy’s feet to the floor, i’ll just make sure it’s at the bar 8-))


    H.H Mick

  11. glendalystonsils on

    Eck McLeish has been appointed Scotland manager and Scotland have just failed to qualify for the Euro /world cup finals in 2020/22 or whenever the feck they are, I couldnae care.


    You heard it here first.

  12. BRTH: Sounds like it will be a great night. Best of luck with it. Can’t promise I will be over but will put it on my wish list for May. Depends on what games I can get over for after the split.

  13. eddieinkirkmichael on

    MELBOURNE MICK, Emma will be there on Sunday and you’ll never believe this but she said she’s not drinking.


    BTW is Paddy taking his meds?

  14. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    For anyone who feels conflicted, the Scottish football team do not represent Scotland,



    They represent the SFA.



    Make your own choice. I made mine in 1967.

  15. Ha ha Eddie, pull the other one, anyway she doesn’t need a drink


    to sing and dance to anything Celtic.


    Are you still saving up for your next visit?


    H.H Mick

  16. Superb Celtic last night.



    The Young ones.



    It’s our Future.



    Dembele Owned their defence.



    Oddsone was tremendous when he came on as well.



    The starting 11 remained the 11 for as long as possible because they all played so well. Magical.



    The Celtic goal was Top Drawer.



    Gonnae be hard over there, it will be interesting to see the Referees picked. The dudes last night were well iffy – Nothing like here in Scotland though.



    Ntcham – WOW

  17. eddieinkirkmichael on

    MELBOURNE MICK, yes we’ve already started saving for our next visit. Loved every min of our time and met some great ppl, you and Paddy were great company. Can’t wait to do my next road trip in Oz, thinking I need to come out for longer next time.

  18. I have always wanted Scotland to do well, even when I knew that they weren’t picking the likes of Big Billy, Bobby Murdoch and wee Jinky. I think the shenanagins going on now to have anybody with a Govan connection, no matter how poor, in place have me sick to the back teeth. Is this the bigoted blazers last throw of the dice? How I hope so.

  19. THOMTHETHIM FOR OSCAR OK, jeez 67 ive given them until now, though it pains me to say it, been born in lanarkshire. the sfa can go and feck themselves. who do i support now ive got a good idea.hh.




    Paddy and the committee have suggested a massive Oz tims huddle


    with a meet up of all Oz CSC’s in Sydney, it’s just at the talking about


    stage for the moment but if anybody can pull it of then it’s Paddymac


    I’ll let you know of any developments and maybe you could fit it in.


    H.H Mick

  21. prestonpans bhoys on

    Parkhead @9:46



    Celtic should be telling them that none of our players are available , as simple as that……

  22. It’s Friday


    I’m in Love.



    Kouassi is not to be messed with. Brendan will need Every skill to make sure he is Primed, he will get red cards – they won’t be 2nd yellows, IMO.



    Wonderful player already.



    Superb Celtic.

  23. PETEC


    It’s Saturday here and were all in love with the Celtic.


    Agree about Kouassi he will be massive for us but he will


    be targeted by the mibs.


    H.H Mick

  24. Still on a high after last night’s performance. Good to feel CP literally moving. As for the national team only in Scotland can appointing a manager who was previously appointed 11 years ago and walked out on the job after just 10 months in the middle of a qualifying campaign to move to a lower league English club be considered a progressive move. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. Hh

  25. Melbourne Mick,



    Every Celt is targeted by Mibs.



    The Coward players that are attacking Kieran especially, will think twice when they might get it back a lot harder.

  26. Celtic were wonderful last night. Was a bit fearful before the game. Don’t know why. Ntcham was unbelieveable. Tierney back 2 his best. My old da used to tell me not to support Scotland. Never listened. Will now. Celtic Celtic that’s the team for me. Ftsfa. Laughing stock of world football.

  27. PETEC


    Agree, o.k ghuy’s it’s hunt a hun time but i’ll just have another


    wee swatch at Callum’s goal just in case i bump into one and i


    can describe it in every sublime detail 8-))


    H.H Mick

  28. Hi Bhoys



    Like him or loathe him this is a fine sumation of eck’s appointment by John James.



    A tax-evading cheat who led a team of tax-evading cheats to seven trophies, when caught bang to rights, will have his tax bill paid by the Tartan Army and the supporters that he shafted in the first place.




  29. Bad a Bing- ticket price level is fair comment.


    Some posters want the £30M in the bank to be spent on New players but should be targeting ticket prices instead.



    As a thank you these Europa games should be heavily subsidised for the fans. Every season.



    No excuses.



    Most already paid for UCL package and then have a further ask placed upon them.



    Not right imo to use ‘demand’ to justify it.



    Just do it Celtic.

  30. We would be better of with Bob Doolally as our national manager. At least we would get a laugh. And btw Bob does bare an uncanny likeness to that other football comedian Alan McRae. Hh

  31. It was such an incredible Celtic Park Goal.



    It was also Awesome, with hindsight, to hear Irish voices beside me due to the ticket prices being too steep for a few of the regulars.



    It gave an opportunity for dudes to get to a cracking Celtic Night. Fantastic.

  32. Ps. Every time I see the moniker Melbourne Mick I know it will be a post full of Celticness.



    You sir, have my admiration and respect.

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