3 Celtic Goals, 3 Celtic Stands and 3 Vital Points

Wow. Where do you start with Celtic’s 3-0 win last night?

BA Baracus on the 80’s TV show The A-Team was a big bruiser of a man. Someone you wouldn’t want to come across in a moment of road rage. He had an Achilles heal. To get BA on an aeroplane he needed a crafty knock out injection from team leader Hannibal. ‘I ain’t getting on no plane fool’ used to be the cry.

Well Neil Lennon appears to have found a sedation equivalent for Olivier Ntcham. ‘I ain’t going to no Perth’ may have been the body language in training or any time the Celts played away from Celtic Park, outside a match being shown live on Canal Plus.

It seems Lenny just has to link our French malcontent with West Ham and Olivier is happy to get on that plane.

Not sure on the way forward with this. Either he actually has a fear of playing under Davie Moyes, which may run thin after a while-as understandable as that is – or he actually fancied the move to the big boy’s leagues.

If it’s the latter I’m happy to run a story every Saturday and midweek from now until the end of May linking our lackadaisical Frenchman with every club from AC Milan to Manchester United if it gets the same sort of tune from Celtic’s man of the match tonight and get his backside on that plane.

Ntcham’s opening goal set Celtic on the way but from start to finish in that opening first half Olivier pulled the strings. He was simply imperious tonight.

Ntcham’s first half header was added to by James Forrest. Squeezed into a 3-5-2 formation he scored a goal and had us all asking if Lenny has now found a formation that gets all our best players on the park. Then you remember a certain Mr Frimpong is missing and you’re kinda glad Lenny has to make those sort of decisions. Tough call.

Celtic’s third goal was struck by the left foot of Leigh Griffiths as he went from missing a headed opportunity that looked like he had a thruppeny bit for a head, to a sublime finish that Thierry Henry would have had on repeat.

Tonight could well be the moment Leigh Griffiths really returned. No more false dawns, this is the moment Griffiths can look back and say ‘that is when I came back’.

And then there was the second half. A little more placid and a little bit more experimental. Like the Beatles when they met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Scott Brown was tried at sweeper but like a bad trip it was soon ridden out. Mainly though the foot was taken off the accelerator.

The take-away points for the Hoops in the second half were that Brown appears not to be a defender in a back three and that substitute Patryk Klimala appears to have pace, energy and strength. He may need time to settle in but Polish Paddy from tonight’s glimpses is no project. Add to that you wouldn’t want to miss a deadline if Neil lennon was your boss (all is forgiven Ed).

Lenny’s **** off reaction mouthed in the direction of Mikey Johnston as our injured winger (again) left the field of play and made a move to sit beside his gaffer on the bench was enough to make you quake. It didn’t help Mikey had been given the opportunity to come off when he originally got injured. Lessons learned I think.

Lenny had intended to change his substitution from Klimala to Christie at the time but appeared satisfied Mikey could continue only for him to go down moments after Klimala had entered the field of play. You have to wonder if either Mikey or physio Tim Williamson will get a good night’s sleep ahead of returning to Lennoxtown tomorrow. I’m not sure I will and I only witnessed it.

All in all though it was a brilliant win. The first 45 minutes at McDiarmid Park were a joy to watch and send out a message loud and clear that Celtic want this title. The hunger clearly remains.

Three goals scored in front of three stands of Celtic supporters and a vital three points bagged again. Relentless Celtic keep on producing.

It must be great just to be involved at Celtic right now, This was very much an A-Team performance. Unless you’re Mikey Johnston. He may need to sleep on it. Back to sedation again.

Niall J


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About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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