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Labrokes Premiership
Tuesday 30th January, 2018
Round 25
Celtic Park

3-1
Edouard (3'), Boyata (25'), Dembele (36')- Lafferty (67')

AFTER suffering defeat for the first time in 69 games against Hearts back in December, Celtic dished out a comfortable beating to their capital city rivals this evening. Moussa Dembele returned to goalscoring form with strike partner Odsonne Edouard and marauding centre back Boyata also adding to the Champions' goal tally during a 1st half which saw the Hoops produce some of their best football so far this campaign.

The Celtic players emerged from the tunnel tonight with revenge clearly on their mind(s) and from the very outset played at a ferocious tempo, which the Hearts XI could not cope with early doors. Levein's outfit did try to once again get in the faces of the home side, but on the vast open space of Celtic Park, toiled to get anywhere near the sort of performance they had produced on their own turf last month.

The first goal was not long in coming, and it was the old fashioned double strike partnership that produced it as a result of some neat link up. Moussa Dembele - still trying to shake off what seems like constant transfer speculation - held the ball up well for Edouard to then pounce onto, and after doing so, the number 22 surged away from the chasing Hearts defenders, before coolly and clinically smashing the ball high into the net with his left foot. A perfect start, on an evening when a marker simply had to be laid down early on by Celtic against a Hearts side who have not been conceding goals on a regular basis as of late.

The quick start was followed by prolonged and penetrating periods of possession by the home side, with Hearts struggling to trap the ball...

Welcome to Celtic, Charly Musonda

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Celtic have tonight officially announced the much anticipated arrival of Belgian attacking midfielder Charly Musonda on an 18-month loan deal from Chelsea.

The 21 year old had been linked with the club for some time ever since Brendan Rodgers' arrival, with the gaffer finally managing to get his man, in what can only be considered a major coup, with around 24 other clubs also interested in the highly rated attacker.

Musonda has wasted no time in winning over the Celtic fans, with the youngster choosing to sport the number 67 for his new club, a number which is of course iconic to every Hoops fan across the globe. He certainly seems delighted to be in the East End of Glasgow, and with the side looking slightly bereft of creativity in recent weeks, it is a signing which has been unanimously welcomed.

So, what kind of player are we getting? Well, going purely by youtube and comments from both Chelsea fans and English football experts, he seems to be a direct, pacey and skillful attacker, who can play anywhere in behind the central striker. He started out at Anderlecht before moving to the London side at a young age, where he has honed his skills in the highly respected - and burgeoning - Stamford Bridge Academy. He also has experience of La Liga, after carrying out a year and a half's spell with Real Betis. His time in Spain gave the youngster valued experience and despite his slightly underwhelming stats on paper, he returned to his parent club a better player, so much so that he was given a new 5-year contract only last year.

After struggling to break into a talent-filled Chelsea side however, he has taken the correct and highly mature decision to seek first team football elsewhere, with the...
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CELTIC FIGHT BACK TO BEAT JAGS IN SPFL RETURN
Hoops win the hard way in game of two halves at Firhill
Celtic extended their lead at the top of the table to 11 points as they beat Partick Thistle in the Glasgow derby after coming from 1-0 behind at half time. The game was cagey from the open, and both teams gave away cheap chances to one another as Dedryk Boyata and Odsonne Edouard scuppered efforts in front of goal for the champions. At the back, Mikael Lustig and Kristoffer Ajer invited Thistle on with sloppy passing in their own half, creating an air of uncertainty in the Hoops' buildup.

Despite plenty of possession, Celtic struggled to create many clear cut chances and their passing movements were lacking the fluidity the away fans are used to from their team. The Parkhead sides' problems worsened when Miles Storey capitalised on a poor touch from Lustig and the Swede pulled his man back in panic, referee John Beaton pointing to the penalty spot on 33 minutes. Connor Sammon tucked the ball away, sending Craig Gordon the wrong way.

Unable to pull the scoreline back, it was Partick who won the first half, and Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers needed to make changes to a team who failed to find any rhythm in the opening 45. Leigh Griffiths was brought on in place of the booked Lustig, and Celtic switched to a 3-5-2 setup as they chased the 3 points.

The game opened up for both sides in the second half, as the away teams increased attacking incentive left space at the back which Alan Archibald urged his players to exploit on the counter attack. It would be Rodgers' men however, who would benefit from the end-to-end play, as Scott Sinclair picked the ball up and ran at Mustapha Dumbuya, the Jags' defender bringing down Celtic's top scorer. The Englishman went on to convert the spot kick with assurance to level the score.

Volume increased in the...
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Dundee vs. Celtic

Tuesday 26th December

Dens Park

Kick Off: 12:30

BT Sport 1

Following on from their comprehensive victory against Aberdeen on Saturday, Celtic now turn their attention towards their next opponents, Dundee. When the sides last met back in October it was a relatively close affair, although Celtic ultimately won the game, courtesy of a 61st minute goal by Olivier Ntcham.

The biggest challenge facing both sides heading in to this game is the onset of fatigue after a hectic month of games, something both mangers will surely take in to consideration when selecting their team for Tuesday.

Celtic

Looking at the players who featured against Aberdeen perhaps gives us a hint as to what sort of team we can expect to line-up come Boxing Day.

Jozo Simunovic and Nir Bitton were both named as substitutes for Saturday’s game, yet neither managed to get any minutes during that match. That could perhaps suggest that the manager chose to rest them with the intention of having them start on Tuesday. However, some would argue that Kristoffer Ajer has made a very strong claim for a place in our starting elven over the last couple of games. The young Norwegian played the full 90 against both Thistle and Aberdeen, helping the side keep a clean sheet in both games. Whilst resting him for one match probably won’t do him too much harm in the long run, given his fairly impressive performances, Brendan Rodgers may prefer to keep his momentum going and start him on Tuesday.

In regards to other changes in our defence, Cristian Gamboa is another potential candidate for a place against Dundee. Whilst the Costa Rican international has struggled for game time, given our hectic December schedule, the manger may be tempted to give Mikael Lustig a rest. The fact that Lustig has played...
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Celtic 3 - 0 Aberdeen
(Lustig, Hayes, Ntcham)


Scottish Premiership
Round 20
23rd December 2017

Two months on from a dominant Celtic victory at Pittodrie, in what was arguably Celtic’s best performance of the season on the domestic front, and both teams were coming into this one off the back of wins. However, that does not tell the full story. The Bhoys only a week before had seen their incredible 69 game unbeaten run come to an end at Tynecastle, before getting things back on track with a routine 2-0 victory against Partick Thistle midweek. Whereas Aberdeen were looking for their 4th win in a row, having hammered Hibs 4-1 in their last fixture.

The Celtic line-up saw 3 changes from the game against Thistle, with ex-Aberdeen star Jonny Hayes the surprise inclusion, starting in place of Forrest. The remaining changes saw Moussa Dembele replacing Odsonne Edouard and the ever-improving Olivier Ntcham coming in for Callum McGregor.

Aberdeen, meanwhile, looked to be content with making life difficult for Celtic as their line-up included 4 central defenders, with Dominic Ball having to fill in at right back in the absence of Shay Logan. Starting out wide was former Celt Gary Mackay-Steven, fresh off the back of a hat-trick last weekend.

The opening stages of the match were littered with Aberdeen fouls. It was clear that the game plan was to aggressively press the Celtic players, albeit giving away cheap free kicks in dangerous positions was perhaps not exactly what Derek McInnes was wanting. Celtic began to assert their authority on proceedings, without creating too many clear-cut chances. Joe Lewis was in fact only called into action on one occasion in the first quarter of the game. A...​