Well there you go!
What was all the fuss about?
Somehow we managed to find our football feet despite constantly shooting ourselves in the brightly coloured boots for at least a few weeks.
Rangers and Super Stevie, came, sat in, and got slapped down. Pure and simple.
I had a strange inkling that Stevie isn’t quite the Messiah painted by Media when before the game, I saw his 2 centre halves practising defending high straight balls . When have we ever played the high ball game under Brendan?
After a longer than normal Huddle, the Celtic side lined up and immediately went for the win.
Celtic were clearly up from the very beginning to the end and this was reflected the fans who were clearly pumped up with The Celtic Way full of excited supporters from 11am and fair play to the Celtic DJ/Media team who timed a perfect and emotive Walk On and cheers for the side and especially a massive cheer for Brendan Rodgers just before kick off.
Every Celtic player turned up and then some and the standouts would be Brown, Boyata, Tierney and Ntcham.
I would also cite special praise for Mikel Lustig and Calum McGregor. The two of them play just in front of my seat and I always keep a special eye on them each game. Lustig was facing the key Rangers attack in Kyle Lafferty and never hid or shirked getting stuck in. Lafferty was hardly in the game and Lustig actually went closer to scoring than the Northern Irish international did for the opponents.
McGregor meanwhile was charged with being the Duracell bunny up and down the pitch and covering so much space when needed. Calum constantly listened to Brendans guidance from the touchlines and he chased and harried when needed. He might not seem as glamourous as Ntcham but every McStay needs a Grant and all that.
The big winner though was clearly Rodgers. He picked a side, motivated them to perfection and his side obliged. Its clear the bond is restored between players, management and the fans.
We just need to close the circle with The Board members and all will be back to normal within Paradise. The issue regards the crush event is one where Peter Lawwell can step forward and restore some faith in him by the Celtic family.
And so to the Ratings/Reviews:
One very good save from Morelos after he gave Boyata the slip. Gordon achieved another clean sheet and the only disappointment was the fact he didn’t run 90 yards to celebrate the goal..unlike last weeks goal by Boyata…but I can forgive that as he may have fallen asleep by that point.
Really up for the challenge and some brilliant runs, turns, cut backs and crosses into the box. KT caused Rangers midfield and backline on their right hand side so many problems even when they tried hacking him down. Not much to do defence wise but cleared his lines where needed.
In truth, Ajer is liable to be the man who drops out for the new guy Filip Benkovic from Leicester. Ajer had a decent game, stayed on his feet and made no mistakes. Sadly his participation in this one will mostly be remembered for being on the end of MacGregors boot after contesting a set piece.
The Prodigal Son returneth. 3 games since the strop. 3 wins and 3 clean sheets.
Boyata won almost every ball, with Morelos only getting passed him once. Headed danger away when needed and also almost set up Lustig for a goal. The guys a class act.
Often berated but sometimes the guys experience and courage is vital to our defence. Happy to take the ball from centre halves and centre mid and also happy to deal with the physical challenge from Lafferty, even when fouled and stamped on. Almost scored a few times including a good flashing header from a Griffiths corner. Will have come out of that game rejuvenated after a touch start following a busy summer.
Hit the bar from 25 yards out. No I am not kidding. Cracking shot and a very good game after a slow start which saw James hogging the touchline but not really involved. Came right into it and was soon running at and across the rangers back line. Ran brilliantly and played a peach of a pass for the goal. A proper first team pick and no mistake.
As I said on Twitter yesterday. Football is simple. Until Rangers have someone who can outplay Broony then they will always be behind us. Crazily booked when Lafferty dived over him but didn’t let that subdue his game, if anything he used that to spur him on and make the boys in blue look even more slow and stupid. A wonderful leader for the Hoops.
Got all the headlines yesterday and easy to see why. Sometimes a player can look lazy when in fact they just see everything quicker than the rest of the guys on the pitch so they don’t act until the exact point necessary. Like a pigeon seeing a car in slow-mo and casually lifting off just as the car gets close. Ntcham can see any danger and also any space quicker than most. Olivier repeatedly found a colleague with the ball ( one pass to Edourd cut through 4 Rangers men) or droped an easy shoulder to leave an opponent standing. Mr Arfield for Rangers will still be wondering where he went during one hopeful tackle attempt. A wonderful run for the goal and almost a great 2nd with a run and shot that was pushed onto the bar by a prostrate McGregor.
Up and down and all around. Chased, harried and gave his all. A players player and a manager and fans delight. Not getting in as many scoring positions at present but that’s nowt to worry about, plenty of time for goals.
Struggled to dance when on the ball for at least an hour and just when you think “Get him aff”..up steps Tam. He picked up the ball 70 yards out from goal and duly sprinted forward with the ball apparently glued to his boot. A perfect pass to Odsonne, a pass to Jamesy and a pass to Ntcham, and goal. All started by Rogic. Will find his scoring feet again soon enough.
Was given the start and got involved where possible but will rue heading the ball straight towards McGregor after brilliant play down the left for Celtic. Still finding fitness and was never gonna last the full game and again another for whom the goals will come in time.
First touch was perfect corner kick onto Lustigs head for a near miss. Made space and hit a lovely shot that hit the post and also a powerful free-kick that was saved by McGregor. Great shift and really enjoyed the celebrations. Sharing the front position with Edouard might not be so bad after all.
Told he wasn’t getting a new contract next year but been used a good bit recently as a dynamic front running sub. Ran about well and almost stole the ball a ffew times as well as “winning” ( ahem diving!!) the free kick from which Griff nearly scored.
On to kill time as clock neared the very end
A wonderful day for Oor Brendan. Took everything that has been shite for our club upon his shoulders and kept his calm to produce a winning plan and his team executed it perfectly. Will have loved that result and will now have a few weeks to plan ahead and re-engage with his squad and prepare them for Europa League and the dour Autumn and Winter months ahead.
Special shout to fans who really showed their love for their club, players and manager. A really wonderful output and true hairs on back of your neck atmosphere.
Each and everyone delivered and Bravo to one and all.
Lets finish with a gag:
Who gives a f*ck!