Collum has a shocker but Celtic stand up to be counted


CELTIC got off to the perfect start when Scotty Sinclair smashed the ball high into the Aberdeen net after only 6 minutes. It was the Englishman’s 50th goal in what has been an excellent Celtic career to date and there would be a few more from him to add to that tally before the day was done.

Brendan Rodgers started the match with no striker in the side but it didn’t; seem to bother the players in the early stages. Christie sent McGregor away down the left and his cross confused the Aberdeen defence and the ball broke to Sinclair who accepted the Boxing Day present.

Celtic seemed to be in control but an annoying slackness at the back raised the home side’s spirits. Craig Gordon had re-gained his starting slot after Scott Bain kept a clean sheet at the weekend and with it now the case that a Celtic keeper is more involved that ever before with the ball at his feet, the time is certainly approaching when Bain takes over as the first pick keeper.

Willie Callum then took centre stage with three big calls in the first – all of them going against Celtic. That £6k fine that the SFA dished out to the Rangers seemed like money wisely invested as far as the Ibrox club are concerned.

First Callum McGregor is pulled back on the 18 year line with his back to the centre of the goal. The ball breaks but Christie is unable to connect under so much pressure and Lewis gathered. Collum was happy to let the play go on despite zero advantage emerging.

Then McGinn got to the bye-line and got his cross away. Izaguirre tried to block and well after McGinn executed his cross the two players fell over. Foul? No, it wasn’t? There weren’t any shouts from Aberdeen players for a penalty after Boyata cut out the cross but unbelievably the referee who was the subject to a complaint from the Ibrox club over a second booking offence for one of their players in a game they won, pointed to the spot.

Craig Gordon got nowhere near the kick and the Celtic lead was gone.

Collum wasn’t done there though in that first half. A two footed, out of control lunge from McGinn connected with Ryan Christie’s leg right under Collum’s nose. It was a straight red card every day of the week but as usual Collum got it badly wrong when he produced a yellow.

Edouard came on to turn the game back in Celtic’s favour. The French striker sent Forrest away down the right and while the wide-man had a quiet game his major contribution was here with a fine cross finding Scotty Sinclair who got ahead of the defender to slide the Champions back into the lead.

Celtic looked comfortable but Collum bought a Shinnie dive to award a second spot kick of the afternoon. If there was a debate to be had over the first one, this penalty was a stonewall DIVE. Shinnie is a cheat and should be facing punishment when the SFA offices open next week.

Craig Gordon was unable to stop the spot kick and the lead was gone. At that stage, with the Rangers winning at Ibrox, Willie Collum’s calls had resulted in them being inn top spot.

The game wasn’t over though and Edouard gathered a through ball, controlled and chipped the ball into the net to restore The Celtic lead. The action wasn’t over though, and Edouard showed great strength and skill find Sinclair to finish off his hat-trick. 4-2 game over? No Collum wasn’t finished yet.

An Aberdeen corner saw Gordon being pushed and barged, Ajer never followed his man and Ferguson connected to make it 4-3 but it was clear that Gordon was fouled.

Man of the Match – Scotty Sinclair

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

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