How many times do you wish players would just practice crossing the ball? Set aside the low balls across the face of goal. A good aerial cross needs enough pace to make it difficult for the keeper to pluck it out of the air, but not too much, it also needs to drop to allow an attacker to make contact.
Most of the poor crosses you see fail the test of pace, more often than not, they are blasted beyond control. Notwithstanding Josip Juranovic’s waywardness last night, a failure to direct the ball carefully enough is less common.
When Tom Rogic crossed the ball as the clock hit 96 minutes last night, including the keeper, there were nine Ross County players in the box. They had to contend with only three Celtic players: Liel Abada, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Anthony Ralston.
For the first time since our first away win of the campaign, at Aberdeen on 3 October, I watched those closing moments thinking the season was about to pivot. Devastated by injuries and with a cup final to plan for, the manager rested Rogic, his remaining creative force, as well as left back, Greg Taylor.
If Ange Postecoglou wins his first trophy in Scotland on Sunday, his gamble will have paid off brilliantly, but goodness, what a gamble.
I doubt Tom practices crossing any more than the rest of them, his talent appears God given. If so, a Divine Hand lifted the ball into an area for Anthony Ralston to attack. Heavily outnumbered, it should have been a no contest.
What happened next is the stuff of legend. Anthony’s leap was astonishing. His head met the ball 8’ off the ground. Up early, he used his shoulders and neck to keep his head where it needed to be, for an instant, giving the impression he could levitate. No Hindu divinity here, just athleticism.
Add your own adjective to this team: winners, fighters, determined, indefatigable. On nights like this, they are all true. Enjoy your Celtic.