‘It was an annoying night but lessons have been learned, one hopes,’ David Potter

Celtic 0 – 0 Dundee  Match Review by David Potter, at Celtic Park.

Watch Highlights HERE.

This must go down as a disappointment, I’m afraid, with our weaknesses in goal scoring very apparent. Last night we were up against a solid defence who were quite happy to go home with a draw, and we quite simply were not able to break them down. We could even have lost this game – although that would certainly have been a travesty – but the fact is that we failed to win, and our projected celebrations will now have to be delayed. Indeed, if we do not remedy this fault…worse, unmentionable things must happen.

The failures of our attacking play were apparent in two respects. One was the amount of times that we allowed ourselves, naively, to be caught in the Dundee offside trap (at which they were expert), and the other more noticeable thing was our shooting which was, frankly, appalling. Far too often we hit the ball over the bar, and once or twice we shot tamely at the goalkeeper when we really should have scored.

Scott Sinclair has, frankly, lost all confidence. He had a slightly better game than normal against Ross County on Saturday, but last night he was back to what we have seen rather too much of this season – shot-shy, or getting into the box and making the wrong decision. Moussa Dembele did not do enough. He failed to put himself about as much as a centre forward should, and there remains that frustrating, languid, lackadaisical air about him that is annoying to see in a young man.

It is not often than Brendan Rodgers gets his substitutes wrong, but he certainly did last night. In the first place, it is surely a mistake to put on all three at the same time, and surely last night cried out for Patrick Roberts or Charly Musonda whose trickery and sheer footballing ability might just have broken down the stubborn Dundee defence.

It was an annoying night, and yes, I know that one goal would have made all the difference to our happiness, but it didn’t come. Sometimes life is like that, and we can but hope that this will teach us all a few lessons about not counting chickens etc. We have work to do, as Brendan himself acknowledged, and it is possible that some good may yet come out of this. But the forward play must improve. We must be sharper.

That was the bad news. The good news was that the midfield and the defence were generally very good (give or take the odd lapse like Boyata’s attempt at an own goal on the half time whistle!) and that chances were created. Brown, Armstrong, McGregor and Forrest can hold their heads up high, and it was nice to see Craig Gordon back with his experience so valuable on more than one occasion when a lesser goalkeeper might have done something stupid and conceded a goal.

All credit to Dundee whose best result of the season this was. Referee Muir missed one bad foul on a Celtic defender late in the second half which might have led to a Dundee goal, but otherwise he had a good enough game, and the Green Brigade roared on their team vociferously and constantly – but they too were disappointed.

Lessons have been learned, one hopes. Brendan must now ponder long and hard about team selection, and one or two players must take the proverbial long hard look at themselves. It is not yet a disaster or a crisis…but the danger signal is up! A disappointment becomes a success… if we learn from it!

Hamilton on Sunday. Let’s get three of the nine points required there… and then we can think about what is to come a week come Sunday.

David Potter

It was like The Alamo without the shooting

“We threw everything at it, but it didn’t work out,” Brendan

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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