Celtic Diary Thursday January 22: Four Goals ! In One Game !

Celtic stormed back to the top of the league with a 4-0 win over a Motherwell side who whilst wearing football strips , did a pretty poor impression of  a football team. Having been forced to abandon their original plan, and park the team bus in the car park along with all the other vehicles, immediately after kick off their players raced over to where their goalkeeper was, in order to keep him company through what was going to be a long, cold , winters night.

As usual, they offered their fair share of meaty tackles ( waiter, could I have a fair share of meaty tackles , please) , which reached a peak in the second half with a blatant headbutt on Stefan Johnasen, which, if you watch carefully, was only a little more than an outright  assault. Note the defender looking at Johansen, who had been poleaxed, before deciding it would probably be a good idea if he went down as well.

In fact, some of the fouls were that bad, and that obvious, that referee Bobby Madden was actually forced to award free kicks for them, something no doubt he’ll never do again.

The Celts persevered though, and Virgil van Dijk and Leigh Griffiths both finished off pin point anthony Stokes crosses to put the Hoops two in front by half time. Although, as usual it could have been more, but the Celts had difficulty in getting past a defence which at times appeared to be more numerous than the away support. Appaently, there were problems with the trains.

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The pattern changed slightly after the break, Motherwell did venture into the other half of the pitch, but that was clearly because they had forgotten that teams change ends at the break, and Celtic contnued to lay siege to the Lanarkshire sides goal.

Adam Matthews, who had had a decent game, was replaced at the break by Mikael Lustig, to give him a bit of game time after a prolonged absence, and he was the eventual difference betweem the sides. Two goals, one a classic diving header, which in these days of health and safety gone mad, are becoming increasingly rare, and one off the bar, made supporters decide instantly that if Europe changed its rules to just one Swede per team, we knew which one we’d keep. and frankly, even Henrik Larsson would have to prove himself.

Lustig was outstanding, and as long as we have him on lasts nights form, then we probably don’t need to worry about anything ever again.

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Someone else who grabbed the limelight last night was Leigh Griffiths, who worked hard, battled for every ball and topped it all off with his goal. John Guidetti, when he realised that the third substitute was Scepovic, and not him, disappeared up the tunnel in disgust. Thats not, by the way, a euphanism for disappearing up his own arse. He did that a few weeks ago.

Griffiths spoke to the media afterwards, and didn’t call any of them names;

…..this is the club for me and I don’t want to go anywhere else. I love playing here, I love everything about the place.

 The good thing is that the manager also made it clear that he wants me to be here.”  

 “The attacking options we’ve got here is great so the manager has a selection dilemma.

“He knows that whoever he plays up front will be doing well so I’m glad I’ve got the jersey now and hopefully I’m doing enough to keep it.”

Leigh Griffiths celebrates after scoring against Motherwell. Picture: SNS

We said in the Diary months ago that Griffiths, if he knuckled down and worked, and lost the rough edges in his off field personality, had the chance to be a legend. It looks like , so far, he’s doing his bit, and thats becoming evident on the park.

There were several other good performances last night, Nir Bitton did his bit when called on to protect the defence, and his distribution was much better, Anthony Stokes linked well with an outstanding Emilio Izaguerre, himself unlucky to score when he hit the bar as well, and Craig Gordon deserves praise for managing to avoid hypothermia.

Ronny Deila, predictably and quite rightly, was delighted;

I’m very pleased with the performance It was very hard to play a team who stayed so deep but we kept them away from our goalkeeper for 90 minutes and it’s another clean sheet. We were very professional and hard-working throughout the match.

“It took a little bit of time to open them up but we had two good deliveries from Stokesy and two good headers in the first-half.

“In the second half they had to go forward more so they got more tired and they opened up. That gave us even more chances and I’m happy for the defenders as well as they scored three goals, but it could have been four if Mikael Lustig had scored his third. 

“It’s good that we get the full-backs so much into the attacks in the last third and also scoring goals.” 

“Mikael has good experience now coming back from injuries and I’m very impressed in what he’s doing and how quickly he adapted after coming back.

“He’s an important player for the team and we have a good squad now. Stokesy is back, James Forrest is back, Lustig is back and also Charlie Mulgrew, who played in the Under 20s game last night.

“We had been a bit unlucky with injuries earlier in the season so hopefully we can keep some consistency in the squad now.

“There are a lot of players back and we know there are a lot of big games coming up. So that’s good now when you look at the period we’re coming into and we have everyone available. 

If we can get to February third and he’s still got “everyone back ” I’ll be happy.

Deila mentioned the Under 20s game last night, and he was referring to Celtics 1-0 win over Villareal in the English Premier League International cup, a result that puts Celtic into the knockout stages.

Five trophies in his first season ? No, surely not…..

Stephen Frail, in charge of the youngsters, but not remotely interested in becoming the third manager of Second Rangers this mointh, was happy as well;

“We’re really pleased  

It was a tough game against a top side. There wasn’t much in it in the first half but they probably edged the opening part of it and then we came into it and started to have a wee bit more confidence.

“We played more, scored a good goal, springing the offside trap from a free-kick. They were complaining it was offside, so we will need to look at it again. But Charlie has the composure to lift his head up and slide it through to Paul McMullan who finished.

“It was a good time to score. We were looking as if we were going in at 0-0 at half-time after they had a couple of decent chances early in the half and then we started coming into it. We had a good effort from Joe Thomson, a shot that narrowly went wide of the post.

“We were in the ascendancy and it was important we got the goal and once we got it, we had something to defend and hang on to. And from Leo, all the way through to the boys who travelled down and weren’t involved, it was a fantastic team effort.

“A lot of the second half was backs-to-the-wall, and there are loads of things for us to work on when we are getting pressed like that by a good team. But the way they worked off the ball, along with their commitment and desire to win the game, was first-class.” 

 An optimist might say that the Deila plan is beginning to work, and its beginning to work at the right time. Last night was the first time a Celtic side didn’t look knackered after  about seventy minutes-the game at Hamilton was too hard to judge for that, as its a smaller pitch, and the players still looked lively at the final whistle, which incidentally came after just one minute of added on time. Despite three substitutions per team, and the break in play while Johansen left the field after his headbutt. That break was quite a long one, as the police took statements from witnesses, and they had to phone ahead to the Infirmary to make sure they had a bed and trauma counsellors ready.

Anyone would think he didn’t want to see us having a good time.

Ronny Deila has a chance to make history, there are trophies up for grabs, and we have a chance of recording a memorable season. You have to take these chances when they present themselves, or you will live to regret them for the rest of your life. Like the time I met Margaret Thatcher when i was just a mere babe;

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 Elsewhere, the Second Rangers saga rumbles on. With Dave King filling out the wrong forms to register his share purchase, it appears the club-or comapny-now have a chance to reject his calls for an EGM.

 Then Turnbull Hutton, who knows a thing or two about business, decided to sell tickets to away fans for the upcoming Raith -Second Rangers games direct to the away support, all hell broke loose-in the papers anyway. Words such as “rage” and ” fury ” were bandied about , and you really can;t blame the big man. If he sent the tickets to Ibrox, how cab he be sure the club-or company- which is struggling for cash will give him his cut when the time comes. They might spend it on their own bills.

 Oh, wait, they don’t pay the bills down Ibrox way.

 Away from football, and spare a thought for former Rangers player-well, he didn’t actually play for them, but you know what i mean-Gordon Ramsay, who has just lost a legal battle with his father in law, and is facing a potentially insolvency event with a bill of £1.6m

 If you want to get an idea of what it feels like to get a potentially crippling financial demand, take someone out to one of his restaurants and after you’ve eaten, ask for the cheque.

 Koln, in Germany was the stadium in yesterdays picture, and heres another ground for you to name. Perhaps a little easier this time;

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 ( Largely because the name is at the bottom-Ed )

With the Second Rangers League Cup game just a week or so away, one of their fans has picked his eleven to face Celtic;

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 Can you do better ?

What do you think will be their line up for Sunday the first ?

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6 years ago

Hawdit,
Pawnit, Sellit, Grabbit, Nabbit
Puntit, Pappit, Haddit
Luzit, Blewit
Miller

6 years ago
Reply to  desimond

STill laughing bud.

Bawsman
6 years ago
Reply to  desimond

Belter 🙂

Gerry
6 years ago

I don’t like qualifying a victory by discussing opponents, as its not our fault who we play, but that was the worst Motherwell team I’ve seen in ages. Offered nothing!
Agree on Bitton although he got sloppy in the second half along with most of the team faced with little or no opposition. Stokes finally remembered to cross a ball after his first few bites were awful, but enjoyed the quality of some of the goals last night. Izzy was anything but unlucky, how he missed that I don’t know. Scepovic could have had a tap in had Griffiths squared it as well, so lots of chances as Charlie Saiz often points out and we scored a few of them this time. Four clean sheets in a row so not to be sniffed at either.
Good stuff Ronnie, keep it going and February could be a good month; all the better if a couple of fresh faces come in but I for one don’t know how much of that ball is in your court.

Green Lantern
6 years ago

If as you say it really was a premeditated assault, surely it should be referred to the Compliance Officer?

I haven’t seen it so cannot comment. It certainly hasn’t been shown on any TV highlights.

Big nutz
6 years ago

Anyone seen any of the Asian cup? Trent Sainsbury of ozzieland is a centre half I’d be going for.

Morto
6 years ago
Reply to  Big nutz

Along with Ness Tesco and Clyde Asda, sorry, couldn’t resist!

6 years ago
Reply to  Morto

James Morrisons could us do a turn but he’s a big hun fan!

Brian murray
6 years ago

Don’t know any player names, but if they played that attacking line up we’d take 10 goals off them!

Bawsman
6 years ago

Clark and Gallacher? Who they?

holy sea
6 years ago
Reply to  Bawsman

Are they not Jim Murphy’s nephew’s ?
Sorry,Bawsman.I couldn’t resist.

Bawsman
6 years ago
Reply to  holy sea

Still hurtin ’cause we said no mate? let it go 🙂 think of the price of petrol, you’ll feel a lot better about the bullet we dodged.

holy sea
6 years ago
Reply to  Bawsman

At least we are all Tims,that comes before
politics for me,m8.Cheers.

Bawsman
6 years ago
Reply to  holy sea

Agreed 100% 🙂

holy sea
6 years ago
Reply to  andybhoy

Andybhoy,
Gorgeous! Has she got a body double that does her stunts ? lol

andybhoy
6 years ago
Reply to  holy sea

Her sister’s available, but you said you weren’t going.

http://www.airsoft4all.nl/wp-content/gallery/babes/hot_girls_big_guns.png

holy sea
6 years ago
Reply to  andybhoy

I’m not.But,I’ll take her to my local Celtic boozer.Guns are common place in Paisley.Moreover,think of the brownie(no innuendo)points I would get in the pub,if I walked in the door with her.

Phaco
6 years ago
Reply to  andybhoy

Where the f-ck did you get that picture of my weapon?. And the wife. Hh

holy sea
6 years ago

Well,Ralph,we nearly got your 7-0,last night.
2 off the bar,and 1 off the post,Without mentioning a stonewall penalty.I left at 3,thinking my bet was safe,then I heard the roar for 4,as I went to my car.Deserves me right,for leaving.I would have left 5 minutes earlier,but my balls were frozen to my seat,at least my cup of bovril came in handy.
Great crowd of 42k,okay half of our ST holders didn’t go,but it still pays the bills,unlike some new club who struggle to make ends meet.
Talking of the dark side,maybe we are keeping your 7-0,for them,Ralph ? (only joking Tom Campbell,we don’t want to get too presumptuous)
I will be happy,just to get a win against them.
And that we get out with our lives,literally.
The Zombies are revolting and are bloodthirsty.
Every Celtic fan should take care !

holy sea
6 years ago

Post lost for rambling…please help ?

Mark Gallagher
6 years ago

Wonder what you would get for 10 -0 at the Bookies even with Madden refereeing !

Bawsman
6 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gallagher

Laughed at 🙂

andybhoy
6 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gallagher

Craig Thomson is the ref for the semi.

Charlie Saiz
6 years ago

Good team performance and a real feel good factor about the now it would seem?
Amazing what winning a few on the bounce can do for some within our ranks.
Would it suprise any of you we actually created more in the first game we played Motherwell at Home this Season?
Tale of the tape:

Celtic 1 Motherwell 1
Possession 63% – 37%
Chances created 27 – 4
On Target 10 – 1
Corners 8 – 0

Celtic 4 Motherwell 0
Possession 62% – 38%
Chances created 17 – 2
On Target 7 – 0
Corners 5 – 2

Charlie Saiz
6 years ago
Reply to  Charlie Saiz

All down to the finishing.

Fact.

Bawsman
6 years ago
Reply to  Charlie Saiz

Football is a game of fine margins, how many times in the past (over many years) have we absolutely battered teams only to draw/lose to a breakaway/honest mistake?

The thing that REALLY rips my knitting is when we do the above and pundits/press say the opposition deserved the point/win……ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH

Us against Barca was completely different though 🙂

Charlie Saiz
6 years ago
Reply to  Bawsman

Totally agree Bawsman the one result this Season that stuck in my craw the most in that repsect was the Hamilton one..
Celtic 0 Hamilton 1
Possession 60% – 40%
Chances created 16 – 5
On Target 7 – 2
Corners 11 – 4

Did they really “deserve” their win?

Like fuck they did.

1888fc
6 years ago
Reply to  Charlie Saiz

Motherwell’s finishing is top class, scored with every attempt on target in both games!

Charlie Saiz
6 years ago
Reply to  1888fc

I concur 😉

Ayrshire John
6 years ago

I thought we played some pretty good football last night, as we have in our two previous league games, although I do concede that Motherwell are probably the worst team I have seen this season.
Perhaps we are seeing the benefit of the Gran Canaria break. Its good to see the goals being shared among the team, but I am a bit worried about how few are being scored by those whose job it is to score them.
I’m a bit concerned, misplaced I hope, about all of the over optimistic predictions for the league cup semi. I fear a blood bath both on and off the pitch and after watching Bobby Midden’s performance last night, and for the short duration of Friday’s game, am certain there will be little or no protection from the referee. And should our players retaliate to the anticipated “overly robust” challenges from the sevco lot, I think I know who will be seeing red. I can see at least one penalty coming their way as a result of elbows McCulloch’s dying swan act at any corners, free kicks etc. they are awarded.
Not surprisingly the silence by the MSM regarding the near riots and attack on away fans on Friday has been deafening. A complete contrast to the reporting when some of our lunatic fringe set off flares and break seats. You may be interested in today’s blog by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain on the subject.
When I started writing this I had thought Bobby Midden was going to be the ref for the semi, but I see it has now been awarded to Craig Thomson and that Midden is the 4th official in the other semi, but that doesn’t really change my perception of how sevco will approach this game or how the above scenario will unfold.

Monti
6 years ago

O’HARA
HUGHES
MCREESH
SANDS
DOHERTY
LYNCH
MCDONNELL
HURSON
MCELWEE
DEVINE……. This line up was never defeated!

Monti
6 years ago

SSN reporting a story about second Rangers goalkeeper Steve Simonsen being issued with a notice of complaint, for breaching betting rules!
Oh dear.

🙂

holy sea
6 years ago
Reply to  Monti

Monti,
That’s right,it was Black who gave him the tip.

Bawsman
6 years ago
Reply to  holy sea

Black’s lack of punishment for gambling was a shocking disgrace………….but I cease to be surprised anymore after so many miscarriages of justce in Scotland, especially since the Huns died.

elcormaco
6 years ago

Here is the Daily Rangers guide to the super duper glorious Glasgow Rangers, the queens 11, we arra peepil squad to face Timmy, sorry, Celtic at Hampden.

Goal keeper:

Big Chuckles Green – nothing gets through his big Yorkshire hands

Defence:

John Brown – been defending Ibrox for a fair few years now
Big Mike Ashley – you try getting anything past him
The SMSM – been staunchly defending Rangers since before I was born

Midfield:

Fat Salary Mc Costly – coming in from the cold (garden) can use his big presence to shore up the centre, like he did in 2012 season ticket panic
Walter, the Loyal Cardigan – another one who can hold the middle – see what he did for the 2013 season ticket push
Craig Whyte – elusive, had to pin down, confuses opponents and often frustrates his own fans, but a fans favourite (Celtic fans obviously)
Dave King – disciplinary problems behind him – he hopes- can his feet do the talking and give his mouth a rest?

Attack:

The Rangers fans – always relentlessly attacking someone, something or someplace, often working in the wrong areas but no one looks forward to facing them
Chris Graham – a Rangers fan above Rangers fans, his enemies of Rangers list making marks him out as a particularly energetic attacker

Manager:

The SFA, hugely determined as ever to do whatever they can to see the result go their team’s way

Referee:

Whit – we don’t list the referee as part of the Rangers squad? Since when? Get Chris Graham on the phone, pronto

Monti
6 years ago
Reply to  elcormaco

Chris Graham’s list?
I better be on that list, because I did hate them!

Brian Glover
6 years ago

Any bets on goalkeeper?

Doc
6 years ago

Thats the worst Motherwell team i’ve seen since they were in administration. (Stan got a hat-trick that game if I remember right).

Good to see Lustig getting a few, he’s one of our best players.

Not going to slate Ronny as you can only beat the team your playing, but I’m a greedy git and I wanted more goals.

6 years ago
Reply to  Doc

This is one of the clichés that I hate most about football. I’ve got a good few zombie mates – whenever we used to beat them, it was always because they never turned up.
Were Motherwell so bad that they made Celtic look good or were Celtic that good that they made Motherwell look bad?
I thought last night was one of the best performances from Celtic this season – and it should have been at least 8 = RD never missed any chances though, you need to blame the players for that.

Doc
6 years ago
Reply to  andy docherty

Is isn’t an excuse or a cliche, if a team plays that badly against us, I want to see them destroyed. I want to see todays Celtic teams trying to break records. No idea what our record win is against Motherwell but last night Ralph’s very long overdue 7-0 could have been exceeded.

6 years ago
Reply to  Doc

I agree, however, the players got lazy / complacent.
Could easily have been double figures.

Doc
6 years ago
Reply to  andy docherty

Im not going to slate them as they might not want to bust a gut when there are a lot of games coming up with some big ones included and when January is the first time our squad is injury free. It can be easy to take the foot of the gas. The weather didn’t help either.

Got some good memories of beating Motherwell, when we stopped 10 in a row, Larsson got 4 against them and I remember Tommy Burns team utterly destroying them.

Charlie Saiz
6 years ago
Reply to  Doc

They were destroyed Doc.
No shots on target in 91 minutes (Madden ya prick) and soundly beaten 4-0 going on 8-0.
Been saying it all Season we have created enough chances in every single game to win them comfortably.
Commons has wasted at least 10 in the last 3 games on his own.

Not the Managers fault as Andy rightly say’s that’s down to the players lack of composure in front of goals.

Doc
6 years ago
Reply to  Charlie Saiz

The team were excellant but I felt much more was within our grasp. I want other teams humiliated. 4-0 suggests the game was closer than it was. I want teams to fear coming to Celtic Park because they know we are capable of destroying them. I want the return of Fortress Parkhead.

basqueceltic
6 years ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5LW07FTJbI 90 minutes of this at Hampden,just to rub it in…..zombie nation ,imagine the craic if the fans kept that up for the 90.

Monti
6 years ago
Reply to  basqueceltic

Having watched that vid,I think I’d keep it up for 90 mins!

My girlfriend would disagree tho

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