As a commentator Ian Crocker has been covering Scottish Football for something close to a quarter of a century, having first picked up the mic in this part of the world in 1998.
He’s of course most famous for exclaiming, “That. Is. Sensational!” as Henrik Larsson casually lifted the ball over Stefan Klos to complete his double in a 6-2 victory in August 2000 – a game which later became known as the Demolition Derby.
This picture is all kinds of sexy 🍀🍀 pic.twitter.com/nF8ZwPclzj
— JP (@jpizzzzzzle) September 6, 2022
Fast forward some twenty two years or so and you can now add a new Demolition Derby to the collection as Ange Postecoglou’s side exerted their total dominance on Saturday with a crushing 4-0 win that left Giovanni Van Bronckhort’s side wondering what had hit them at a packed Celtic Park.
Liel Abada picked up the Man of the Match award on the day, and rightly so for his two goal return and excellent all round performance, however it was his Portuguese team mate Jota who raised things to a different level on the day with an outstanding second goal for Celtic – a goal which will be remembered by fans far and wide for many years to come.
At some time around 1.01pm on Saturday Celtic’s No.17 – alert as always – spots his skipper Callum McGregor’s intention to take a quick free kick from just inside his own half after the inefficient John Lundstrum had been flagged offside.
Inexplicably Lundstrum, Ryan Kent AND Glen Kamara all switch off at this very moment, and McGregor doesn’t need an invite to take action!
At a pace which has become synonymous with this Celtic side under Postecoglou, McGregor has the ball placed and back in play in an instant, and feeds it between the static Rangers midfielders to team-mate Matt O’Riley, who has found himself in space close to the right hand touchline.
By this point Jota has long since made his mind up to vacate his position on the left hand side of the pitch – leaving his direct opponent James Tavernier dreaming of his next penalty – and powers himself across the turf to provide the perfect option for O’Riley.
The young Dane still has plenty of work to do at this stage but has the quality to thread a perfect pass between some more blue mannequins, one of which is Connor Goldson – a man blissfully unaware of the Portuguese winger who is by now roaring past him.
Jota’s athleticism allows him to take possession of the pass with an outstretched left foot on the very edge of the box, and in a flash finds himself advancing on goal.
Has his touch taken him too wide though? Is the angle too narrow to finish? Has the chance gone?
For some players perhaps.
But this is Jota.
With a deft flick of his bold yellow boot he lifts the ball over the onrushing Jon McLaughlin and before its even crossed the line he’s headed in the direction of the Lisbon Lions Stand to begin his iconic celebration.
Head bowed, eyes close and right fist raised to the East End sky, Jota had firmly engraved his name into the Celtic history books.
Get used to the following words from Crocker, as you’ll be hearing them intermittently for the rest of your Celtic supporting life – and you’ll enjoy them that little bit more each and every time.
“O’Riley. How about that for a pass?
Jota!!! How about that, for a finish!!
That is Jota for you!! And that, is Celtic two, Rangers nil!”
Listen to the latest episode of The Celtic Exchange Weekly now as we cover the new Demolition Derby, our best transfer window since the last one, and take a look ahead to a visit from European Champions Real Madrid.