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Eleven on the bounce for dominant Celts

Celtic extended their run of wins in the Scottish Premiership to eleven thanks to a stunning free kick from Leigh Griffiths just before the break, and a well executed strike from Nir Bitton just prior to the hour mark.

Scottish Premiership
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Saturday 17th December



Celtic - 2 (Griffiths 45, Bitton 57)
Dundee - 1 (Haber 69)


Celtic continued their dominance of the Scottish Premiership with a 2-1 victory over Dundee thanks to goals from Leigh Griffiths and Nir Bitton. Celtic were without skipper Scott Brown, the influential midfielder suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards. Despite his absence, Brendan Rodgers’ men typically began in the ascendancy and forced Dundee to defend deep in their own half in large numbers. Celtic were perhaps not at their fluid best, particularly in the second half as Dundee found a consolation goal, which seemed to cause an element of anxiety to creep into the Celtic eleven for the closing quarter of an hour or so. However, it is difficult to be too critical of a Celtic side that was missing the likes of Scott Brown, Kieran Tierney and James Forrest while there was only a place on the bench for the likes of Sinclair, Dembélé and Patrick Roberts who have been having fine seasons thus far. The fact that Brendan Rodgers was confident enough that his men could win the game without some of his key performers thus far this season is testament to the strength of the squad currently at Parkhead, highlighted in the fact Celtic were indeed able to extend their run of wins in Scotland to eleven, in what has been a demanding, if not harsh winter fixture list with no signs of easing up in the near future, with the task of overcoming Partick Thistle once more lying ahead on Tuesday night.

Despite the...
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Lindsay (61') Armstrong (39', 49') Griffiths (50') McGregor (82')

Clinical second half sees Hoops continue unbeaten run in Maryhill

Partick Thistle vs Celtic
Friday 9th December 2016
Ladbrokes Premiership
Firhill Stadium


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Celtic barely had to move out of second gear on Friday night as they eased to what was ultimately a very comfortable and deserved win against Partick Thistle. The game allowed Stuart Armstrong to continue his scintillating form with a decisive double, Leigh Griffiths scored on his return to the starting XI, while Callum McGregor also found himself on the score sheet for the second domestic game running.

Despite the slightly emphatic scoreline, Partick Thistle do deserve some credit for their showing within the opening stages of the game. They restricted the champions to very few efforts and appeared to be following up on the example shown by Motherwell last week, with a high press and aggressive style early on. However, unsurprisingly, it wasn't to last and within 15 minutes or so Celtic were firmly in the driving seat and spraying the ball about with ease, as they are now so accustomed to doing. Due to a few key changes within the starting XI, Celtic's early rustiness in certain areas was to be expected. Leigh Griffiths found himself starting for the first time in nearly a month and recent stalwart Jozo Simunovic was also dropped out of the backline, with Lustig moving in one position and Costa Rican Gamboa...
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Partick Thistle vs. Celtic

Friday 9th December

Firhill Stadium

Kickoff: 19:45

BT Sport 1



Following on from their exploits in the Champions League, Celtic once again turn their attention to domestic competition. On this occasion, they don’t have that far to travel as their opponents on Friday are their Glasgow rivals, Partick Thistle.

Celtic

It would be fair to say that last week’s seven goal thriller against Motherwell ended up being a far tighter game than many would have predicted. And considering the fact that they’ve already had to play a match this week, I’m sure the manger and players will be hoping that Friday’s game isn’t quite as dramatic.

The main talking point for Celtic going in to the match, is who Brendan Rodgers will start up front. Moussa Dembele has been our first choice striker in recent months, but given the fact he’s been going through a bit of a rough patch lately, will the manager consider resting him for this game? If so, one would imagine that Leigh Griffiths would be the man to replace him in the starting XI. Griffiths has largely been consigned to the bench in recent times, with a brief cameo appearance in the League cup final and a fifteen minute run out on Tuesday, being his most recent appearances. For someone like Griffiths, this won’t be good enough. So, should he start on Friday, you can be certain that Griffiths will be doing everything he can to convince the manager that he’s deserving of more game time.

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Could Leigh Griffiths be set for a return to the starting XI?

After pulling up with an injury and having to be subbed on Tuesday, James Forrest is unlikely to play a part...
Celts bow out of Europe with brave display

Celtic and Man City shared the spoils on match day 6 of the Champions League, after Patrick Robert's early opener was quickly cancelled out by City's Kelechi Iheanacho's equaliser

UEFA Champions League
Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Tuesday 6th December


Manchester City - 1 (Iheanacho, 8)
Celtic - 1 (Roberts, 4)


Celtic bowed out of Europe on Tuesday night with an impressive display at the Etihad, which earned them a 1-1 draw with English Premier League title chasers Manchester City in the final game of Group C in the Champions League. Celtic performed with style and purpose throughout the game, and at times caused serious issues for the Manchester City back four. The game signalled the end of Celtic’s first European campaign under Brendan Rodgers, but also a bright future under the Irishman. There have been plenty of positives to be taken from Celtic’s European campaign, which began way back on the 12th July in Gibraltar where Celtic suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to minnows Lincoln Red Imps. Since then, the level of progression which has taken place at Celtic has been clear for all to see and this was evident in the following two qualifiers where Celtic were able to see off stiff opposition in Astana and Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva, aided by an exhilarating 5-2 victory at Celtic park, the first real sign that Brendan Rodgers was beginning to forge a team capable of playing aggressive, attacking and most importantly effective football on the European stage.

When Celtic suffered a 7-0 defeat in the opening game of their first Champions League Group Stage campaign in three years, it became evident that the Scottish champions would need to learn some harsh lessons, and time wasn’t exactly on the side of Brendan Rodgers’ men with their next European task...
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Moult (3', 35') Ainsworth (71') McGregor (48') Roberts (70') Armstrong (72') Rogic (90')


Celts stretch lead at the top to 11 points thanks to a resurgent second half in Motherwell


Saturday 3rd December 2016
Fir Park
Ladbrokes Premiership


Mark McGhee's Motherwell side will be left wondering where it all went wrong this afternoon as a whirlwind second half saw Celtic take all 3 points in what could yet turn out to be the game of the season. After taking a well deserved two goal lead into half time, it looked as though Brendan Rodgers was all set to taste defeat for the first time domestically as Celtic manager. However, whatever he said during the interval worked as his players scored an incredible four goals in the second half to show that they not only have the quality but the character to retain their unbeaten run for a while yet.

Following the league cup win last weekend and talk of an 'invincible' season, Celtic's players appeared to have let it go to their heads slightly in the first half. Their performance was flat and filled with slow build up which allowed Motherwell to get up the park and force mistakes from a side supposedly bang in form. The absence of Erik Sviatchenko was spoken about prior to the match and three minutes in, a gaping hole was carved through the exact spot where he would have been. Kolo Toure, returning to the starting XI after a six week absence, was caught napping as a lovely floated ball from Stephen McManus was played into the space behind him for...