Quantcast

What went right for Celtic?

614

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.

Click Here for Comments >
Share.

About Author

614 Comments
  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. ...
  4. 6
  5. 7
  6. 8
  7. 9
  8. 10
  9. 11
  10. 12
  11. ...
  12. 17

  1. Colour Blind Bhoy on

    Just logged in and feel I should apologise to a few posters above including HARRYBOE, !!BADABING!! and Gary67.

     

    I read your posts about the SFA press conference and thought to myself, c’mon lads it can be that bad.

     

    Then I watched it and it was that bad, and worse …

     

    I would not let McRae look after ordering the tea and coffee let alone have him in a senior role. Trying to act as if he wasn’t reading off notes and making a total mess of it including being a century out when talking about big EBT’s testimonial was cringeworthy.

     

    As for EBT himself, if he shows the same tactical nous in the dressing room as he did in that conference then Scotland are doomed to ongoing failure.

     

    Thankfully we have Brendan and Celtic ☘️

  2. Hi Bhoys

     

     

    I see mc fadden being touted for eck’s backroom team.

     

     

    I had wondered why he was on radio scotland last week backing eck for the job, now I know.

     

     

    KEEP THE FAITH

  3. Martin Keown on football focus (whos son plays in Scotland for Partick). “I think its a great place for young players to go and learn their trade, the leagues improving all the time”

  4. My goodness…

     

     

    Ross Wallace is still playing (Sheffield Wednesday)

     

     

    Respect…..has made a very good lengthy career for himself down south.

     

     

    Although he obviously has talents he is a great example of true professionalism which quite a few with more talent could have followed.

     

     

    Nice one Ross!

     

     

    HH

  5. Melbourne Mick and WILLIEFERNIE

     

    Just lurking and your comments on the huddle down under caught my eye. A very good friend of mine Mick Jardine (originally from coatbridge) who emigrated to Oz 2 years ago (central coast somewhere) had a serious accident at work about 10 days ago when whilst welding some kind of explosion caused 35% burns and he spent a few days in a medically induced coma. Thankfully hes out of the coma now but Its the start of a very long road ahead for him to recover to some sort of normality, especially as he is self employed with 2 small kids and a wife not working. There are a few fundraiaing projects just getting going in Oz and here in Ireland but if u keep your eyes open for the Oz based ones it would be appreciated. I am being optimistic here but he would love that huddle down under in June if his recovery allows.

     

    Hail Hail

     

    Navanbhoy

  6. Celticrollercoaster supporting @WalkWithShay on

    NAVANBHOY on 17TH FEBRUARY 2018 1:06 PM

     

    Melbourne Mick and WILLIEFERNIE

     

     

    Just lurking and your comments on the huddle down under caught my eye. A very good friend of mine Mick Jardine (originally from coatbridge) who emigrated to Oz 2 years ago (central coast somewhere) had a serious accident at work about 10 days ago when whilst welding some kind of explosion caused 35% burns and he spent a few days in a medically induced coma. Thankfully hes out of the coma now but Its the start of a very long road ahead for him to recover to some sort of normality, especially as he is self employed with 2 small kids and a wife not working. There are a few fundraiaing projects just getting going in Oz and here in Ireland but if u keep your eyes open for the Oz based ones it would be appreciated. I am being optimistic here but he would love that huddle down under in June if his recovery allows.

     

     

    Hail Hail

     

     

    Navanbhoy

     

     

    ————————

     

     

    Navanbhoy

     

     

    That is terrible news and heartbreaking for the family but at least Mick is alive. Perhaps we can help this young family towards the road to Mick’s recovery. What ages are his kids?

     

     

    I was going to ask if there is a fundraising page, but Clogher Celt has posted a link (thanks CC)

     

     

    HH

     

     

    CRC

  7. When Eck was manager at oldco , he was complaining after a defeat to us that two of our goals came from set piece’s , in other words it would have been a draw, laughable.

     

    For months afterwards anytime we watched a game we only counted goals from open play.

  8. My friends in Celtic,

     

     

    £35 m bid for Morelos and increasing hourly.

     

     

    In the real world : Have any of you drove by Grayskull recently? It’s dark and crumbling, very appropriate for the forces of darkness. A single 25W lightbulb and a 1960’s striplight with no cover to “illuminate “ the whole wretched castle.

     

     

    I’m all for having a giraffe, but ffs. Even the face painter would chuckle.

     

     

    HH.

  9. Art of War

     

    To be honest with you I have not read what Polish media say about the game. Sometimes I check what Russians write.

     

    If I find few minutes I will translate very, very find interview with one of Zenit players.

     

    I probaly can post it here in an hour.

     

    Be polite, kind and wait :-)

  10. Clogher Celt and CRC

     

    Indeed Mick is very lucky and grateful to be alive and his wfe is able to bring his 2 kids aged 6 & 4 to visit him in hospital this weekend for the first time since the accident.

     

    Apart from the go fund me page that has been highlighted we will be promoting other fundraisers soon probably under the moniker of “My Mate Mick” when I have more details I will share them here. There is at present a reporter from the Airdrie and coatbridge advertiser speaking to a family member about running an article. Again I will post more when I hear it.

     

    CRC thanx a million for your help to date, hope to see you tomorrow before the game. I’m just getting on an Aer lingus flight now.

  11. Watching the highlights of Napoli v Leipzig in the Europa league.

     

     

    No one to be seen in the stands 15k in attendance, apparently many of them German fans.

     

     

    We’d be getting the ‘broken crest’ treatment if that happened.

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  12. GENE on 17TH FEBRUARY 2018 1:26 PM

     

    Well done to the sledging skeleton girls Gold and Bronze

     

    ——————————–

     

    C’mon man, they’re not that skinny.

  13. Gene, thought E Christie was very unlucky in the speed skating. Looked like she was taken out by the Chinese girl.

  14. Barney67

     

    didn’t see it live but thought that they said she had made the infringement – anyway hope she’s ok

  15. Hi Bhoys

     

     

    COPIED FROM BBC WEBSITE

     

     

    Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta, 33, could leave the club in the summer. The Spaniard has been being offered a £31m-a-season deal by Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian. (Diario Sport – in Spanish)

     

     

    If Iniesta fails to sign do you think they will offer it to morelos?

     

     

    KEEP THE FAITH

  16. CRC,

     

    Congratulations, and further best wishes to young Miss CRC for the other applications…….Aberdeen Med School has a very good rep. If she ends up here, will do all i can to help with advice, etc about the city.

     

    Very impressed with the youngsters who choose to spend their working lives helping others. Reflects well on the parents, if you ask me ;-)

  17. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Michael Stewart ripping into the Strong Rangers Association.

     

    Wish there were more like him and Willie Miller with backbones.

  18. Cellic’s ch’s are good enough, as I’ve been saying all along.

     

    All it needed was for cutey bhoy Brendan, to realise that the fabled {Celtic Way} disnae work against big teams, and, as a consequence, if ye beef up the midfield, all of a a sudden, as if by magic, the defence and gk, look the part!

     

    Callum McGregor is the invisible man, if, he’s played in front of the back four, making him look like the new Peter Grant ie: invisible!

     

    Brendan has saw the light, or, mibbe he isny in the clique that scrolls past ma posts efter awe!

     

    Brendan, you have “stumbled” across Callum McGregor’s proper position, please be kind to the young man and play him in his proper position, Callum should be the second striker wi two banks of four behind him in a 4-4-1-1 formation aginst the big teams in Europe, oh and, please continue to realise that, we urny well enough equipped to play the dafty {Celtic Way} against big teams, you’ll get away wi it aginst Scoattish pub teams, but, step up a level and youll be fun oot with 7-0 skelpings etc.

     

    Brendan, imho…..your best formation to date, was in the recent midweek game vs Hearts at Celtic Park, when you played big Moussa and big Eddie up front, and you beefed up the midfield wi the hugely impressive Ebouie. Cellic teams should play in Scoattish fitba wi two strikers – always!

     

    The impressive Hearts team set up, was discarded in the next game, and Stevie Clarke deservedly gave you yer erse on a plate!

     

    Brendan, Callum scored the goal of his dreams against Zenit, it was nearly as good as Murdo’s vs Juventus, back in the day, there will be more to come, if, you deploy him properly, and yes, he is an Invisible man, when you, Brendan, try awe yer idealistic well intentioned {Celtic Way} pallaver, it’ll work aginst some Scottish pub teams, but, when you step it up a level to the big teams, you’ll deservedly get yer erse on a plate!

     

    Brendan, I’m grateful for all that you have brought to our club, your club, I’m hoping that you have now twigged how to set up your team aginst the bigger teams, who know’s what could be waiting for you, thank you.

     

    In ither news, ah wonder if awe the £49 Old Firm same club lie merchats, will be pouring £££££millions into the SFA’s swally stash sash up kitty, by attending SFA competitions, to help wi big Eck’s ebt bills ?

     

    Or, is awe the nicker twisting bluster rebellion oot the same book as, the £49 Old Firm same club lie who are the real gullibilly’s pallaver ?

     

    They Saw Yeez Comin CSC

     

    Anywye,…..HH.

     

    WEEBAWBABBITY hope yer grand ma mhan ;

     

    Its Only “Real” Jungle Rebels who empty the park, and dae whit needs tae be done.

     

    Sadly, those days are gone :-(

     

    ……oot.

  19. BOURNESOUPRECIPE on17TH FEBRUARY 2018 10:49 AM

     

     

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

     

    Alex McLeish

     

     

    ===%===

     

    To be fair to McLeish he does aknowledge a principle that UEFA have articulated in Article 50 of Financial FAIR Play iro unpaid tax.

     

     

    The clue of intent is the use of the word “FAIR” in the regulations title.

     

     

    What UEFA Art50 means is that if a club has tax owed to HMRC at 31st Dec and has not paid it or met the other conditions in Art50 by 31 March, then that means a club with unpaid tax was operating to an unfair standard as UEFA deem it, compared to other clubs who were paying their tax.

     

     

    That non payment may or may not have given a wage advantage (although in McLeish’s words that was the intent of Rangers use of ebts.) but hat unpaid tax could give a club a wage advantage if tax was being used directly or indirectly on the playing budget.

     

     

    However UEFA did not add any other stipulations, asking clubs where else the unpaid tax was spent, it took the overall view that unpaid tax by 31 March conferred an advantage over other clubs paying their way, so an errant club was simply refused a licence because not to do so would be unfair on other clubs.

     

     

    The SFA to their eternal shame have ignored this fair play principle when addressing what Rangers had done and until such times as what Rangers did on a massive scale is recognised as it is – cheating- the game? under those rubbing our noses in it, cannot move on.

  20. GLASSTWOTHIRDSFULL

     

    unfortunately Neil Francis sees ‘Eck’ as the outstanding candidate —–oh dear

     

     

    Willie Miller dissing the SRA

  21. Kevjungle

     

     

    If BR goes you’ll be ready to step in. :)

     

     

    Did you tip him the wink or did he realise himself where the problems lay?

     

     

    I was impressed when I saw the line up v Hearts. Worried about Musonda starting v Killie because he is no heavy weight but I thought there might be a bit of PR pressure in that selection. Watch for a Hearts type line up when we play Killie on grass.

     

     

    It has been obvious for a while we need options in our play to passing it around the back. Drives me nuts.

     

     

    But until Thursday the alternative of a longer ball wasn’t available or working.

     

     

    The big difference was the ball sticking in midfield from a punt and Dembele had a lot to do with that. Did BR not pull Dembele aside to tell him to concentrate on a hold up play a few weeks back?

     

     

    It’s one thing knowing what’s wrong and another being able to magically fix it

  22. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Navanbhoy 1.06pm

     

     

    It was scary stuff when the news broke about Michael (I know him through his big sister so she would batter me if I called him Mick :-) the news has been much more positive last few days as we all feared the worst when it first happened, first game I watched with Michael was Henrik 3-0 cup final he was working delivering to pubs and me & his brother in law chipped in with him kegs of beer with pump fixed to breakfast bar (kitchen sink)

     

     

    Michael definitely one of the good ghuys

  23. Just got in to Parc Des Princes you should see the pitch. Immaculate to say the least! Beautiful day for a football game and the nephew is well chuffed ☘️??. Mon the Strasbourg ?

  24. GENE on 17TH FEBRUARY 2018 2:35 PM

     

    GLASSTWOTHIRDSFULL

     

     

    unfortunately Neil Francis sees ‘Eck’ as the outstanding candidate —–oh dear

     

     

    *don’t bite the hand that feeds you, putrid and dumpster.

  25. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Gene

     

    Yeah – I heard that. Maybe a bit of a manager’s union thing.

     

    Nobody seems to speak about all the failures he has had.

  26. NL in a TV interview also said that there is not much wrong with the game , just needs tweeking, of course he works for a move on club, but I cannot think he condones the tax cheating and the trophies and trips our fans did not get to enjoy due to the cheating of RFC 1872-2012.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. ...
  4. 6
  5. 7
  6. 8
  7. 9
  8. 10
  9. 11
  10. 12
  11. ...
  12. 17