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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    No lie,just off the phone to ONEMALLOY discussing that very thing!



    Clearly you are a man of wisdom(!)

  2. So this afternoon it’ll (probably) be round to the K-Park to support my other team, EKFC at home to Vale of Leithen. Currently the most competitive of all the Scottish Leagues with the games played and points achieved by the top four being –



    1st EKFC – 56 points (24 played)


    2nd BSC – 49 Points (22 played)


    3rd East Stirlingshire – 49 points (23 played)


    4th Spartans – 47 points (but only 20 played)



    So if games in hand are all won the respective points would then be 56 – 55 – 52 – 59.



    ‘mon Billy Stark’s Kilby!

  3. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    Have you conidered basing yourselves in Letterkenny.


    It’s just half an hour over the road, with plenty of buses, coasters, taxis available.





    Again,it comes down to accommodating the troops. Bucket list for many but where to stay?



    The road to hell is littered with good intentions but I think if we want a hoot in Norn Iron there is only one place to set it up in.

  5. BSR



    ” If THE TAXPAYER didn’t pay the money Celtic were paying on wages we’d have been behind them ”




    Alex McLeish

  6. Through A Green Glass Brightly on





    Agree re the goal it is a thing of great beauty


    ‘Callum you’re immortal’




    Indeed, if it doesn’t win the Turner Prize for art this year I’m a Dutchman (on an EBT of course)



    And Callum should be awarded the Golden Coconut (Nut de Coco d’Or) for services to beauty above and beyond the ethereal. :o)



    Please be aware that the Huddle Down Under will take place in Sydney on the June weekend of

  8. thomthethim for Oscar OK on










    Again,it comes down to accommodating the troops. Bucket list for many but where to stay?





    Check out the hotels in L K.


    There are four or five of them.





    There’s 45 apparently in Derry. Almost fully booked.



    I’d be very surprised if only enough people turned up to cause a mad scramble for 4 or 5 places.



    Seriously,no point in issuing an invitation-however well meant-if people have nowhere to sleep it off!!!

  10. MELBOURNE MICK Please be aware the Huddle Down Under has been organised in Sydney for the June weekend of Friday 8th,Saturday 9 and Sunday 10.Harbour Cruise always special!Mrs WF and I will be part of a healthy contingent from PerthCSC.Hope to meet you there. HH.

  11. All this talk of Zenit not being match-fit is a load of bollox imo.



    During their winter break they played something like 7/8 games in Dubai, Turkey and elsewhere iirc.



    Ok, they may have been non-competitive matches but were played against mainly decent opponents.



    Also interesting to hear that the Zenit party flew to Rome after the match on Thursday where they will spend a few days before returning to Russia a couple of days before the second leg.








    Don’t make that offer,cos it’s high on a list.



    Btw,I asked about the Lisbon photos and BRTH will get back.



    I hadn’t forgotten,just hadn’t seen you posting and didn’t want you to miss it.




  13. GENE



    Indeed, a thoroughly depressing appointment for a modern Scotland, not just football.



    Voting for change won’t happen because it would be turkeys voting for Christmas, and they


    love their positions of power, salaries, blazers and brogues.



    Peter Lawwell is pulling his hair out, and Celtic remain Champions like any other prison eleven.



    The SFA are circling the wagons.

  14. Brendan’s first European win at Celtic Park????



    I must have been in a parallel universe for all the other victories I witnessed, under Brendan, at Paradise.







  15. I don’t want to wish my life away, but I can’t wait for 3pm tomorrow.



    Meanwhile…is Morelos a £10m player yet?




    Has Paddymac been on the phone to you trying to set a date up for


    the huddle down under? maybe we could try and coincide with BMCUW’s


    party in Derry, and other CSC’s everywhere on the globe join in for one


    massive worldwide hootenanny, maybe we should just take over the world


    after all we’ve just gubbed the Russians and the yanks are crap at kickball.


    O.k maybe a bit too far there, the Guinness does that to me, i’m not long in


    and the princess said “oh yir back then?


    ” yes darling and i’m pleased to report i never found any huns so i thought


    i would try the epl fuds for a bit of banter but all they said was great result


    Mick ” Oz is a strange place.


    H.H Mick

  17. Bobbio



    Perhaps calling venues and asking for accommodation ‘for the troops’ isn’t the best move!!!!



    And another thing…..



    Would the young you even recognise the man who even thinks about where he’ll spend the night after a sesh???






    HH jamesgang

  18. BMCUW- ‘re: Derry



    When the general is weak and without authority; when his orders are not clear and distinct; when there are no fixed duties assigned to officers and men, and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner, the result is utter disorganization.


    Sun Tzu, The Art of War



    Lol only joking, however, as the great general Thomthetim says;



    If you find yourself with no camp to base your troops then relocate them via the Strabane Road. You will soon come to Letterkenny where your troops will find all the modern comforts of home and victory is certain.

  19. Ah! so it’s all organised , what a fast worker PADDYMAC is,


    must be free drink shirley?


    H.H Mick

  20. The Kat In The Hat’s presser………………









    The hunned-up homunculus an’ his rousin’ peroration was but a taster to the insightful, well-defined, strategic nouse wot The Kat tellt us awe……….



    Shameless and Shameful.

  21. Hi Bhoys



    Not caught up reading back just a quick post.



    I’m fed up reading this crap about morelos so here are some facts



    Beijing Renhe currently have 4 foreigners on their books



    Jaime Ayovi – Equador


    Ayub Timbe Masika – Kenya


    Ivo – Brazil


    Augusto Fernandez – Argentina is their most expensive signing at £3.6 million.



    Their squad’s total market value is currently £10.28 million




    Doesn’t look like a club with £11 million to wasteto me.



    Click the link to see this info.



    I hope it works if it doesn’t TRUST ME








  22. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Art of War,



    Thanks for the endorsement.



    I thought at first that you called me General Thomthethumb! ;>)

  23. Neganon2



    I’ve just watched the McLeish interview. I agree with you, it’s totally embarrassing. Shambolic and amateurish.



    Says it all about that mob. I hope PL is up for the fight.

  24. NEGANON2 on 17TH FEBRUARY 2018 11:27 AM


    I just watched the mcleish press conference. What an embarrassment it was. Cringe worthy.



    It was like a Chewin The Fat sketch.

  25. The Gullibillies are in full flow today on FF. Some reckon they should hold out for £18 million for Morelos while there’s a new thread valuing Windass towards £10 million.



    ‘Delusional’ no longer covers it. It’s now a collective mad-bastard-asking-trees-for-directions, cat-worshipping, full-on Overlook Hotel mental. Somebody must have fed a Mogwai after midnight.

  26. Lawwell sends clear message to SFA – 12/2/18



    And the reply ?



    Alex McLeish has ‘right credentials’ to succeed as manager – Gordon Smith

  27. good to see the bears doing another charity match and the very needy Rangers Youth Development Company


    getting half cut of the monies raised

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