CELTIC lost the tactical battle today, they were second best in terms of effort and will to win and many of the aliments that have afflicted the performances in too many games all came back to haunt us today as Steven Gerrard’s side secured a well merited 1-0 win.
Where do we start with that Celtic performance?
Last week we asked if it was time to promote Scott Bain to the role as Celtic’s number 1 keeper, as the former Dundee man is clearly a better footballer i.e. better that Gordon with the ball at his feet.
Today Gordon made two or three decent saves but his distribution was woeful and Rangers capitalised on the resulting chaos all through the game. Remarkably they could only get the one goal, when Jack ‘s weak shot deflected off Scott Brown to beat Gordon – without the deflection the big keeper would have save it.
Talking of Scott Brown, oh dear. That was as poor a performance from the skipper since the last time he was off the pace – against the Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final in 2016. This was a performance to forget as far as the Celtic captain was concerned but remarkably he wasn’t the worst.
Olivier Ntcham had an absolute stinker and has to realise that that kind of effort and performance is nowhere near good enough if he wants to wear our shirt. He looked like he’d rather be anywhere else other than out on the park and in a game like that, that is totally unacceptable.
The Brown, Ntcham midfield combo resulted in numerous dodgy performances in the earlier part of the season and it was only when both were sidelined through injury that Celtic kicked on with guys like Christie and McGregor coming to the fore – these two were just about the only two who earned pass-marks today.
McGregor even scored what looked like a great equaliser only for flag to go up. It was a tight call but probably correct and the benefit of the doubt was only ever going to go one way.
Beaton had a predictable afternoon, giving the Rangers every advantage and ignoring THREE Morelos kick-outs on Celtic players – first Brown, the Christie and also Ralston and not once was he even spoken to.
We called the team correctly this morning, Callum at left back, Brown and Ntcham in the midfield and Mikey Johnston up front for an hour before Edouard replaced him.
It’s over. We are top of the league on goal difference. We have a game in hand. We have funds available at our disposal for January acquisitions – even after Peter Lawwell gets his obscene £2million bonus next week.
We have a run of home games after the break and the likes of Rangers, Aberdeen and Hibs have all to come to Celtic Park before the split – i.e. we don’t have to go to play them away from home.
Man of the Match – Callum McGregor.