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Don conned as County steal point

Scottish Premiership
Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall
Sunday 16th April 2017


Ross County - 2 (Gardyne, 50 Boyce, PEN 90)
Celtic - 2 (Tierney, 34 Roberts, 78)


Celtic’s afternoon clash away to Ross County today resulted in a share of the spoils after a late Liam Boyce penalty made it 2-2 but it will be the referee Don Robertson who will be stealing the headlines for his part in awarding the penalty, along with the sending off of Celtic captain Scott Brown in the aftermath of the penalty decision.

The penalty was awarded in the final minute of the game when the referee was conned by Ross County substitute Alex Schalk. Despite absolutely no contact from Erik Sviatchenko, the County striker threw himself to the floor in a theatrical fashion and somehow managed to fool the officials. In his interview with Sky Sports after the game, Brendan Rodgers claimed that it was the worst decision he had witnessed in Scotland during his time as Celtic manager and few could argue with the statement from the Irishman.

If the nature in which the three points were lost wasn’t enough to anger the travelling support, then what occurred in the following moments surely was. In what can only be described as a moment of red mist, Scott Brown was sent off for a foul on Liam Boyce. Clearly agitated by the penalty decision and some previous challenges in the game, the industrious midfielder made a poorly timed challenge that sparked an inevitable reaction – no sooner was he back to his feet than he was surrounded by County players, which no doubt aided the referee in his choice of card.

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Players from both teams...
Rodgers Signs New Four-Year Deal

This season has just been brilliant, hasn't it? We've seen Celtic make their return to the Champions League group stages, collect their 100th trophy and, last weekend, seal a 6th consecutive League title with a 5-0 thumping of Hearts last weekend.


Moreover, we've done it in style and are STILL unbeaten as we chase the elusive treble. The man behind the success, Brendan Rodgers, has transformed the side and breathed new life into a club that appeared to lack any real direction over the last couple of years.

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He has rejuvenated the career of Scott Sinclair after the winger had lost his way, and has provided a platform for Moussa Dembele to showcase his talents at home and abroad. Scott Brown, James Forrest and Stuart Armstrong have been absolutely key components in the teams success this year, after being thoroughly underwhelming last season.
He has debunked the myth that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, as evidenced by the way Craig Gordon has changed the way he plays the game in his 30's, and has overseen the continued development of the impressive teenage full-back, Kieran Tierney.

And yet, the questions posed by the media have not been "How good is this Celtic team?" or "How far can they go?". The general tone has been one of disappointment, and the media consensus appears to be that the improvement of Celtic is somehow bad for the Scottish game.

Whenever a Celtic player starts to hit form, stories start to appear in the paper about a 'big money move' accompanied by the insightful and thoughtful question - "Could he play in England?".
Rodgers himself, at several points during the campaign, has been questioned about his own future, with him having to say numerous times that he wants to be at Celtic for the next couple of years.
There will come a point where Rodgers wants to leave for a...
Fresh from clinching a sixth successive title, it seemed that three points from the first game after that historic victory would be assured. The big Glasgow derby fixture threw up an alternative ending though - causing us to drop points for only the third time this year.

Brendan Rodgers rang in the changes to his starting line up and gave a well deserved rest to first team stalwarts like Kieran Tierney and Scott Brown. In came Emilio Izaguirre, Cristian Gamboa and a first start for £3m starlet Kouassi Eboue.

The young midfielder looked slightly nervous in the early exchanges, but after the first few minutes seemed to settle comfortably into his role. He strolled through the first half in what looked like a training game. Celtic probed a packed Thistle backline whilst the visitors sat in and soaked up the pressure.

The best chance of the first half fell to Bitton from around 20 yards, but his powerful, yet guided shot was well saved by Cerny in the Thistle goal. Celtic looked neat, yet uninspiring in possession whilst the visitors seemed content to soak up the pressure.

Nothing each at half time was a fair scoreline and a bit of Rodgers magical team talking was required during the interval.

The second half opened with a decent effort from Calum Booth which Gordon easily saved. A minute later the managers team talk seemed to have borne fruit as a neat pass from Patrick Roberts put Scott Sinclair through on goal and he despatched his effort with typical aplomb to put the freshly crowned champions in front.

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The expectation that this first goal would open the floodgates failed to materialise and Thistle actually galvanised themselves and moved from an ultra-defensive formation into a far more offensive one. The introduction of Erskine and former Auchinleck Talbot star, Doolan gave them far more impetus in the forward third.

Celtic made changes around the hour mark. Eboue and...
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Hearts vs. Celtic

Sunday 2nd April

Tynecastle Stadium

Kick Off: 12:30

Sky Sports 2 & Sky Sports Mix


The international break is over and normal service has resumed. After two weeks without them, Celtic are back in action against Hearts. A win on Sunday would not only see us continue our unbeaten run but, perhaps more importantly, would see us clinch the league title.

When the sides last met back in January, Celtic won the game 4-0. So should we expect a similar result tomorrow, or will Hearts put up more of a fight in the hope that they can postpone Celtic’s title celebrations for another week?

Celtic

Brendan Rodgers will surely have been impressed by the performances of those who featured for Scotland during their international fixtures, particularly Stuart Armstrong, who was awarded Man of the Match in his debut against Slovenia. Whilst most of the players who featured in those matches are likely to start for us on Sunday, who else can we expect to see come kick off?

Prior to the international break, one of the main talking points within the Celtic support was the question of who should be starting up front for us as our lone striker. Whilst Moussa Dembele has understandably had the position locked down for most of the season, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that he hasn’t been at his best in the last couple of matches. The last time Dembele went through such a rough patch, back in December, Leigh Griffiths was re-introduced to the starting eleven, with fairly impressive results. As such, many within the support are calling for Brendan Rodgers to do so again. Whilst Griffiths hasn’t racked up much playing time recently, having played a grand total of 86 minutes of domestic football so far this year, he’s still a player that you would fancy to score a...
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....