Kilmarnock 0-4 Celtic: Full Time Reaction

After a steady first half performance, Celtic began the second 45 on the front foot. Albian Ajeti was brought down by the goalkeeper in the 53rd minute, it was soft, but the referee pointed to the spot – perhaps making amends for not awarding the Hoops a clear penalty in the first half. Odsonne Edouard stepped up and side footed the spot kick to the left of the keeper, who got a strong connection on the ball but allowed it to slip through his hands.

MORE: Kilmarnock 0-1 Celtic: Half Time Analysis

Kilmarnock thought they had pegged a goal back two minutes later, when Burke’s header at the back post was was saved by the foot of Scott Bain. Replays showed that the ball wasn’t over the line despite the home side’s protestations.

That missed opportunity was rued by Kilmarnock as Edouard bagged his second of the game in the 62nd minute, latching onto David Turnbull’s ball over the top and coolly volleying beyond the onrushing goalkeeper. Subsequent footage revealed that Edouard was marginally offside, but the linesman didn’t spot the infringement.

Again, Kilmarnock quickly looked to hit back. Zeno Ibsen Rossi, on loan from Bournemouth, had a header from two yards, but Scott Bain did well to save. That chance came from a corner and Rossi was unmarked. Again, it’s cause for concern on the defensive front for Celtic.

Ryan Christie was substituted due to an ankle injury in the 70th minute. It’s hard to recall a moment when Christie touched the ball throughout the match as he had a very quiet evening. He was replaced by Moi Elyounoussi. Patryk Klimala and Mikey Johnston were the next subs to be introduced, replacing Edouard and Turnbull, two minutes later. The latter was excellent once again, providing a brace of assists.

Shortly after those changes, Kenny cut the ball back to McGregor who couldn’t get his shot off as his first touch left the ball stuck under his feet. Klimala then burst down the right and delivered a tantalising cross but Elyounoussi couldn’t quite stretch far enough to connect.

There was no chance of the game drifting to the full time whistle without further action, as Scott Brown clipped a lovely pass over the top for Albian Ajeti, who took the ball down well and slotted into the far corner. That strike marked Ajeti’s first goal since September and came as a great boost for the player, on a night when he was otherwise very quiet.

Despite a great second half and an emphatic scoreline, there was still time for Celtic to have their defensive problems exploited as once again Rossi missed a free header from a corner. This time he was in the centre of the goal, totally unmarked on the six yard line. There needs to be some change in our defensive set up, as Kilmarnock could easily have netted two or three goals from set pieces, with better finishing.

Mitchell Pinnock had a golden chance to score a consolation goal in the dying embers of the match, but he stroked his effort wide of Bain’s right hand post, after good work from Power had carved Celtic open.

With that chance going begging, the full time whistle soon sounded and Celtic could be pleased with their exploits. A return to winning ways is most welcome and the second half in particular was very impressive.

Scott Brown and David Turnbull were the stand out performers, whilst Odsonne Edouard contributed two goals, despite a Jekyll and Hyde performance. Jonjoe Kenny impressed on his debut and Albian Ajeti got himself a much needed inscription on the scoresheet. Defensive deficiencies remain and there’s plenty of room for improvement, but it was a good result and a step in the right direction.


About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

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