Celtic powered their way through to the semi-finals of the League Cup after a thoroughly convincing 5-0 victory over St Johnstone this evening.
Star of the show was Kris Commons who scored a hat trick (ach we’ll give him the first) but was also quite majestic at times with his link up play and general performance.
Neil Lennon put out a very strong team after Saturday’s disappointing performance with all our Barcelona heroes on show with young Tony Watt coming in for the injured Samaras. Lennon had made it clear prior to the game that lacklustre performances were not acceptable and players had to earn the right to wear the Celtic jersey. After tonight’s excellent performance there will be a few non-starters watching now fully clear of the standard required.
Celtic started strongly and were zipping the ball around at pace and providing great support play all over the field. Despite the strong start it took two goals either side of the half hour mark to put the Bhoys on easy street thanks to efforts from Kris Commons. The pick of the match though was saved for Celtic’s third. Smart possession play led to the ball landing at Ambrose’s feet. The big defender hit a beautiful diagonal pass to Izzy. The full back touched it first time to the onrushing Commons who looked up and played a lovely ball into the path of Hooper who side-footed the ball into the net. What a goal – see link below.
Celtic continued to play some lovely football during the second half and Commons was rewarded with his hat-trick from the penalty spot after Watt was hauled to the ground. Kris ran up and leathered his effort past the helpless Saints keeper.
Number five was on its way when Charlie Mulgrew showed nifty footwork to twist and turn like Tommy Burns before firing a low strike into the corner of the net.
The scoring was over but what impressed me most this evening was the pleasing manner of Celtic performance. Crisp passing, excellent movement, top support play and quality use of the ball was the order of the day as Celtic turned in a first class performance. I’m sure more of the same is on its way…
Next stop Tannadice on Sunday.
ETims POTM – Kris Commons. Quality in motion.