A highly poignant memorial in the history of our vast immigrant support

Celtic’s Vital Sparks Prove Crucial In Setting The Hoops Atop Once Again…

There are certain elements which set Celtic apart from the rest in football – our supporters and our extra-dimensional players. Both were in vogue away at Livingston on Sunday, our indomitable fan power demonstrating once again that, whilst others self-promote as ‘The People’, we would have more claim to that title should we be so self-superior.

As we don’t feel the need to volunteer baseless boasts in a bid to big ourselves up, we simply demonstrate it week in, week out as we did with the marvellous full-length tifo to celebrate the Irish freedom fighters of whom our diaspora is so proud.

Of course, Easter Sunday is a landmark day in the lives of the majority of the Celtic support, celebrating the resurrection of Christ. The wearing of the Easter Lily by many is also a signific memorial of the purity of Christ, and adopted as a celebration of the Irish martyrs who gave their lives during and after the 1916 Easter Rising.

This is a highly poignant memorial in the history of the vast immigrant support with the obvious correlation being the inception and rich history of Celtic Football Club.

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As the players emerged from the tunnel onto an appalling plastic pitch to be greeted by such a momentous reminder of what it means to stand up for what you believe despite overwhelming opposition, they could not be anything other than galvanised by a raucous support, and thus, putting themselves on the line in return.

That they did, and with almost a full-strength side out for the first time in months this season, Celtic went about their business with ambition, and then some.

The return of Reo Hatate and the stability brought to the defence by Cameron Carter-Vickers had the crowd in good heart with two-thirds of the away venue bedecked in green and white. There was a sense of security and a glow about us which we have often lacked this term.

The first half was not memorable despite a domination which belied the 0-0 scoreline in the first 45. The second, much, much better. With the crowd playing their part, our other vital spark, Reo Hatate was peerless on his comeback and his passing and movement gave the masses a glimpse of what we have been missing for months.

Should his audacious swerving drive gone under and not over the bar, we would have been in dreamland. However, the Japanese maestro was instrumental in opening the scoring and his drive amidst an almighty scramble in the box was deflected into the back of the net by a gold shirt. Fortunate yes, deserved, for sure.

Celtic were carving the Livvi boys up at every opportunity with Nicolas Kuhn showing exceptional flair, but, to be fair, the west Lothian outfit was as bad as anything I’ve witnessed this season. Martindale’s post-match venture that he will ‘continue to set them up to win’ was a serious head-scratcher.

Celtic’s second crucial goal was anything but; it was a thing of absolute beauty. In a devastating attack, our substitute and man of mystery, Paolo Bernardo played a cute one-two before setting himself and driving a supreme strike low and hard into the corner of the net from outside the box.

Hopefully the Portuguese is setting himself up for a long-term stint at Parkhead, and if he continues this form, I’d take it. Paolo has the skill, but, does he have the minerals to perform week-in, week-out? Time will tell.

During our horror injury crisis Tomoki Iwata has stepped into Callum McGregor’s shoes as if they were made for him and that can only be good news for our date with destiny at Ibrox next Sunday.

Should the skipper be deemed unfit to start in Govan there will be no fears over his commanding, hardworking deputy. Tomoki is proving to be a gem of a find and with his countryman Reo Hatate looking back to his best, the fears will be all blue.

With Matt O’Riley looking interested once more, adventurous, and finding the net for Celtic’s third goal, Ibrox no longer feels as intimidating as we’ve built it up in recent weeks.

The only cog in the wheel may be in the form of the officialdom which craves injustice week-on-week as they set out to disrupt Celtic’s progress and chance of the Title through sheer corruption.

As theRangers were gifted a more than debatable penalty on Saturday against Hibernian, Celtic were denied a stonewaller when Kyogo was downed in the box by a heel trip and a knee to his hamstring. Krys Boyd said ‘no penalty’ as there was no gun used.

VAR didn’t even give that one the benefit of a second look and the flute band played on. Should Celtic win this darned Flag, then, despite our lack of form at times, we will have overcome ridiculous judicial odds, just as our club forefathers have for generations.

Now, onto Ibrox and the hope of glory. We’re on top of the league looking down on theRangers and should we pull a rabbit out of a hat this weekend, there we will stay.

Eddie Murray

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About Author

Eddie Murray – I Grew up with the Lions, coming from a Celtic-daft family. Played against Jinky once! Paradise was my second home and Dalglish was my hero. A long term Brisbane Bhoy for many years and have been blogging here for many years. Written a book on Ange/ Brisbane Roar/ Celtic which awaits publication. Writing on other genres as I speak. Top moments? Interviewing Cesar, Wispy, Cairney, The Maestro, Alan Thompson.

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