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Damp Squib Derby fails to dampen Hoop spirits

Despite Celtic’s twenty one winning streak coming to an end in the Scottish Premiership to their Glasgow rivals at the weekend, Brendan Rodgers’ men still remain on course for a domestic treble with the possibility of an unbeaten season in domestic football, an incredible feat which thus far is yet to be achieved in the Scottish game. The nature in which Celtic’s run was ended will have left Celtic fans, players and staff bitterly disappointed, as the hoops should have been awarded a penalty right at the death when Clint Hill, scorer of the Rangers equaliser clumsily brought Leigh Griffiths down inside the penalty area. Incredibly, a penalty wasn’t given and Pedro Caixinha was able to see his new team hold on for a share of the points. If truth be told, the game was a poor enough spectacle and Brendan Rodgers will be disappointed that his team lacked the fluency and tempo that has been on show at Parkhead all season, particularly after being in the ascendancy thanks to a rifling effort from Stuart Armstrong in the first half.

A semi final date with Pedro Caixinha’s men on the 23rd April at Hampden awaits, and the players will surely be looking to make amends for what was a minor blip in a pretty spectacular season to date. Taking into consideration the fact that the Scottish Premiership has long been a formality, the Scottish Cup is presently the main target as the final piece in the treble jigsaw. The draw was made a week prior the derby showdown at Parkhead, after Celtic had overcome St.Mirren in a 4-1 quarter final victory, despite a nervy first half in which the Buddies had taken a 1-0 lead into the interval. If the Hoops play anywhere near to the level they are capable of in the semi final, then it would be difficult to foresee their third-placed rivals matching their result at Parkhead. Winners will play either Aberdeen or Neil Lennon’s Hibernian in the Scottish Cup final in May....
Celts survive 1st half scare to reach Scottish Cup Semi-Finals

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Celtic: Lustig (59') Sinclair (60') St Mirren: Davis (12')
Dembele (67') Griffiths (70')

Brendan Rodgers has today described St Mirren as the "best side we have faced domestically this season" and his side certainly needed all their powers of recovery this afternoon, as a stubborn Buddies team led by Jack Ross gave them a 45 minute scare in front of an expectant home crowd. In the end though, the quality of the champions elect was there for all to see in the second period as substitutes Patrick Roberts and Leigh Griffiths inspired the home side to 4 goals in a blistering 20 minutes.

Due to Celtic's form this season, you would have had to have been a very brave man to bet against them not coasting through this afternoon prior to the match. St Mirren, currently bottom of the Scottish Championship, would have been ecstatic to have even come away from Parkhead with a narrow defeat beforehand. In the end however, the game did not prove as straightforward for Rodgers' men. The Saints are currently on a good run and earlier this week even managed to defeat Neil Lennon's Hibernian, currently top of the second tier. So it is perhaps not hugely surprising that gaffer Jack Ross arrived in the East End of Glasgow with a clear, well structured game plan. A plan, which, for 56 minutes, was working terrifically.

Celtic started the game reasonably well. Their quick passing and incisive pressing was not as evident as usual but they were still on top of...
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Celtic vs. Hamilton Academical

Saturday 25th February

Celtic Park

Kickoff: 15:00

Celtic TV

They silenced the Steelmen last weekend, and now it’s Hamilton turn to face the seemingly unstoppable Celtic. This is the third time the sides have met so far this season, with the last meeting on Christmas Eve ending in a comfortable 3-0 victory for the Hoops. However, that was the past and this is now.

Could Accies be the team to finally topple Celtic, or will they simply be the next victim in their unbeaten run?

Celtic:

The big news going in to this match, as announced by Brendan Rodgers during his press conference on Thursday, is that Leigh Griffiths is set to return to the squad for Saturday’s game. Griffiths, who has found his chances limited in recent times, has apparently responded well to the manager’s comments regarding his attitude and as such, is being rewarded with a spot in Saturday’s squad. Hamilton are probably the ideal opponent for Griffiths to make his return against, as he managed to score two goals in as many games against them back in December. Given the fact that Griffiths will see this as an opportunity to not only silence his critics, but also as a chance to stake a claim for a regular spot in the starting eleven, you would fancy his chances of scoring at some point on Saturday.

With the news of Griffiths’ return to the squad, what does this mean for the man of the moment, Moussa Dembele? Dembele has been in a rich vein of form since returning from injury, having scored four goals in the last two games – making the decision to potentially bench him a tough one. Although, from the perspective of the manager, having to choose between two capable strikers is a good headache to have....
Steelmen put to the sword
Celtic put 2 past Motherwell in a comfortable victory at Celtic Park


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Goals from Moussa Dembele and James Forrest secured Celtic's 20th successive league victory, this afternoon, as the supporters cheer the bhoys on in the hope of remaining unbeaten domestically, for the entire season.

This match also saw the return of Croatian defender Jozo Simunovic, who hadn't featured since the 1-0 defeat of Aberdeen. There were no other changes to the team that beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle 6-0 in the Scottish Cup last Saturday.

This victory restores a mammoth 27 point advantage at the top of the league, as Brendan Rodgers' side have all but mathematically secured 6 in a row.

Things didn't look good for Motherwell early on as Hammel injured himself pre match and former Celtic captain McManus was taken off early in the game. Celtic weren't able to create any great chances as the Well kept them at bay, with Mark McGhee looking on from the dugout. Having been sent to the stand against Aberdeen midweek, McGhee was a much more reserved character during this match.

After 30 minutes, Dembele was brought down in the box and the referee awarded Celtic a penalty. Dembele cooly sent the goalie the wrong way as he scored his 13th league goal of the season.

Less than 10 minutes after this, James Forrest received the ball on the right wing, dribbling past a defender before shooting across goal and into the far side of the net, doubling the Champions' lead.

Stuart Armstrong replaced Liam Henderson for the second half, with Rodgers looking to get the midfielder match sharpness after a month on the sidelines. Celtic had more chances to score through Dembele, but his shots were blocked or went wide. Sinclair managed to bring some...​
Unstoppable Celtic Cruise into Quarter-Final

Scottish Cup Fifth Round
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Saturday 11th February

Celtic - 6 (Lustig 20, Dembélé 45, 50, 59, Tierney 86, Brown 90)
Dundee - 0

A Moussa Dembélé hattrick and goals from Mikael Lustig, Kieran Tierney and Scott Brown fired Celtic into the quarter final of the Scottish Cup on Saturday afternoon. Inverness Caledonian Thistle had fended off Elgin City of League two in the previous round but arrived to Parkhead rooted to the bottom of the Scottish Premiership table and without a win in thirteen league games, while Brendan Rodgers has recently steered the hoops to their best ever start to a domestic season. Such a gulf was evident throughout, with Celtic dominating possession and penetrating the Inverness back four with wave after wave of attack. Caley Thistle’s attempts to thwart the flow of the home team were in vain and each of the eleven in green and white stepped up to the plate to ensure that there would be little trouble navigating into the last eight of the competition, and in the end there could be little argument over the 6-0 score-line.

Brendan Rodgers has reiterated time and again this season that in order to be considered a top side in football you need to be able to do two things; begin the match strongly and finish it strongly and once again that was what Celtic did. With only a minute played, Liam Henderson came close to putting the Bhoys in front when he received the ball on the right hand side before making a purposeful run inside, his effort lacking the required curl to trouble Williams however. James Forrest appeared to be in the mood in the opening exchanges and it was his good work on the right hand side that began the move for the opening goal on the twenty minute mark. The Scottish winger controlled a poor Caley Thistle clearance before composing himself to find Nir Bitton in space at the edge of the eighteen yard box. The Israeli had the time and presence...