CELTIC maintained their perfect start to the domestic season after coming back from a goal down against Kilmarnock to win 3-1 with a double from Odsonne Edouard and a tenth goal of the campaign from Ryan Christie. The win makes it six wins from six for the Treble Treble winners.
Before the game kicked off Celtic Park stood for an emotional and heartfelt minute of applause for former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen who passed away during the week after a brave battle against the dreadful MND.
This was an absorbing game and Kilmarnock contributed to that with the occasional threat on the Celtic goal. After a half hour of solid Celtic pressure, including James Forrest smashing a shot off the post, it was the visitors who opened the scoring through their impressive, pacy striker Brophy who got in behind Jullien and caught Forster by surprise by smashing his effort high into the Celtic net.
The big Englishman looked shocked and so did the huge Celtic support.
Killie tried to hang on to their lead until the interval but were undone by direct play from Forrest, playing down the left as we told you before the game, and his perfect cross found Edouard who headed down powerfully to level the scores.
There was a lovely surprise at the interval when Fergus McCann emerged from the tunnel to do the Paradise windfall draw and although the £10k winner didn’t come forward the support saw the funny side by making jokes about ‘protracted negotiations set to take place’ before the wee man hands over the cheque and the winner being ‘a pensioner from Kilsyth, an F McCann.’
The Celtic legend was given not one but two huge standing ovations and took the mic to say that it was a privilege to be back in Paradise and like every other supporter was looking forward to Celtic winning Nine in a Row.
The support put right an old mistake today, unexpectedly perhaps, and it certainly felt good. Thank you once again Fergus.
As if inspired by Fergus the team upped the gears in the second half and a lovely reverse ball from Bauer, making an impressive home debut, opened up the Kilmarnock defence and found Edouard who netted from a tight angle.
Olivier Ntcham had just before this forced a brilliant save from the Killie keeper, who twice in this game had teammates tie his laces. Every trick in the book was not enough to stop this irresistible Celtic team.
Forrest hit the woodwork for the second time when his selected shot came off the bar and he must have thought it was third time lucky when his thunderous header from close range was brilliantly stopped. But Ryan Christie was quickest to react for his easiest goal of the season as he tapped in.
Christie had been harshly booked for diving in the first half – it looked an incorrect call from a referee who had just denied Celtic a penalty for handball with plenty of Celtic players claiming. He’d get round to awarding a spot kick later in the game.
Bauer and Jullien were both replaced after picking up knocks and Ntcham was also withdrawn after a decent performance to earn a well deserved standing ovation.
Hayes, Elhamed and Rogic were all introduced and with the injuries Hayes started on the right wing before finishing at left back with Scott Brown playing right back.
Killie got an unlikely opportunity late in the game when they were awarded a soft, soft penalty. Fraser Forster dived to his left to save brilliantly from Power – he had earlier made a wonderful save from the Killie goal scorer who tried the same trick earlier in the second half.
Neil Lennon was booked for complaining to fourth official Bobby Madden about the penalty decision. These referees, what are they like?
After a tough European match Celtic were perhaps a little leggy but there were no poor performances. The two wing backs Bauer and Bolingoli had good games but the man of the match correctly was given to our talisman Odsonne Edouard.