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3 points in the bag as Celts now focus on Europe

Celtic defeat Motherwell with a goal in each half.
Scottish Premiership
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Saturday, October 15, 2016


CELTIC
- 2
(Sinclair 18, Dembele 87pen.)


MOTHERWELL
- 0

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An easy victory for Celtic in a match they dominated. Were it not for the woodwork and Samson, the Motherwell goalkeeper, Celtic would have scored more. The victory kept the Hoops at the top of the table by a margin of 4 points, to continue the march to 6 in a row and Brendan Rodgers' first league title.

Celtic academy player, Liam Henderson was awarded his first start of the season, in the middle of the pitch with fellow Edinburgh boy, club captain Scott Brown. This was one of three changes made by the Hoops boss as Cristian Gamboa replaced the injured Lustig at right back and Stuart Armstrong started ahead of the jet lagged Tom Rogic.

Celtic were passing the ball around crisply at the beginning of the match, with their first chance coming from Liam Henderson, putting the ball wide into the side netting. Shortly after this, Armstrong
had a shot deflected narrowly wide.

Around the 15 minute mark, Moussa Dembele had his first shot on goal when Tierney played in a ball to him, before Dembele opened up his body and fired a curved shot towards the top right corner of the goal, with the Well goalie parrying it wide.

It wasn't long after this that Celtic got the breakthrough. Scott Sinclair received a low driving ball into the box from James Forrest and Sinclair swept the ball into the net to put the...
Celtic vs Manchester City: Match Preview

Hoops all set to face Aguero and co in another classic 'Battle of Britain' tie

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Wednesday 28th September, 2016
Celtic Park
UEFA Champions League Group stage matchday 2
KO 19:45
BT Sports


With a fortnight having now passed since Celtic's rude awakening in the Nou Camp, Rodgers' side are preparing for another stern test on matchday 2 of the Champions League, against Pep Guardiola's red hot Manchester City side. Wednesday night will see the first competitive clash between the two sides, with Celtic never having previously came up against the light blues in their long and illustrious European history. This of course is largely due to the fact that City have only recently stepped onto the European scene, almost entirely thanks to the Billions put on offer by Sheikh Mansour, the club's stupidly rich Middle Eastern owner.

Although the Celtic defence will still be recovering from their encounter against the World's best front 3, the task here will only get slightly easier. Sergio Aguero is City's star man amongst a team full of seasoned pro's. The little Argentine is arguably in the same bracket as Luis Suarez when fully fit and firing and will head into this game in exactly that sort of form. Those around him may not be on the same level as Neymar or Messi, however they are still several classes above the type of opposition this Celtic squad are used to facing week in week out in Scotland.

David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito and Leroy Sane are a few of the added dangers Celtic players will have to be wary of. It is not...
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Saturday 24th September

Kick Off: 15:00

Celtic Park

Celtic TV



Following on from their 2-0 victory against Alloa in the Betfred Cup, Celtic once again turn their attention to the league with a match against Kilmarnock.


Celtic:

For Brendan Rodgers, the build up to this match has largely been defined by a series of selection dilemmas.

Leigh Griffiths returns from injury, but whether or not he'll start the match is subject to much speculation. Moussa Dembele has impressed in his last few matches and it would be unfair to boot him from his starting place immediately. In all likelihood, Griffiths will either be a substitute, or the manager will find a way to accommodate both him and Dembele in the starting lineup.

Next he'll have to decide between James Forrest and Patrick Roberts. With Scott Sinclair having nailed down the left wing role, Forrest and Roberts will have to battle it out for a starting spot on the right side. Going in to the match, Forrest is the man on form, with Patrick Roberts having struggled since returning from injury. However, we all know that Roberts is capable of pulling off something special, so Forrest's place isn't completely guaranteed.


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Who will be between the sticks on Saturday?


However, the question of which goalkeeper to should play has been the main talking point going in to this match. Whilst Craig Gordon has been consigned to the bench in recent times, Brendan Rodgers gave him the nod on Wednesday night. Although he managed to keep a clean sheet, something Dorus de Vries has so far failed to do, a reckless tackle on Alloa forward Greig Spence, that arguably should have seen him sent off, will leave...
Celts swat swarm of wasps

Celtic through to League Cup semi-final after defeating Alloa Athletic 2-0

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Betfred League Cup quarter-final
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

CELTIC - 2
(Forrest 83, Dembele 90)

ALLOA - 0

Sheer determination from a well disciplined Alloa side, made for a frustrating night for the Scottish champions. Playing 2 divisions below Celtic, many bets would have been placed on a large Celtic victory, especially considering how impressive Brendan Rodgers' side have been domestically.

Celtic dominated possession all match, but were wasteful with their opportunities. 71% possession, 14 corners, 34 shots but only 11 on target for the Hoops showed that Celtic struggled to break through a resolute defence, while also being wasteful in the final third.

Much like the weekend game in Inverness, Alloa's goalkeeper, aptly named Parry, deserved his man of the match award despite conceding two late goals.

At the other end of the field, Craig Gordon was involved in a moment of controversy, with Ex-Celt turned pundit, Chris Sutton stating that Gordon was guilty of 'a kung fu kick' on Greig Spence. The pundits on TV stated that Gordon was lucky not to see a red card, with the referee deeming a yellow acceptable.

With Gordon being dropped in favour of new signing De Vries recently, this was an opportunity to reclaim his number 1 spot, but mistakes like that won't help his cause.

When the goals eventually came, Celtic's 1st came from a counter attack, beginning with a lovely cross field pass from Ryan Christie. James Forrest found the ball on the right flank, before cutting in, dribbling across the 18 yard box, dodging player after player, before shooting back on himself with his left foot,...​
Barcelona 7-0 Celtic


Celts taught a footballing lesson in tough return to the big time

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Tuesday 13th September 2016
Nou Camp
Barcelona, Spain
Champions League Group Stage matchday 1



Celtic were subjected to a crushing defeat on the opening night of the Champions League as an inspired Barcelona side simply carved them open time and time again at the Nou Camp. By the end of the night, Celtic players were left out on their feet as a total of 7 goals were smashed past Dorus De Vries in nets to give the Hoops their heaviest ever European defeat. It was a rude awakening for a side who were flying after a brilliant derby win against Rangers at the weekend.

The task of going to the Nou Camp and coming away with a result is never an easy one, though. This is in my opinion anyway, the greatest club side the world has ever seen, mainly due to the devastating 'MSN' trio up top. All three of Messi, Suarez and Neymar got themselves on the scoresheet as the back 5 of Celtic were left bewildered at their movement and intelligence with and without the ball.

As mentioned there, Rodgers set his men up in a 5-4-1 formation from the outset for the first time this season, after only previously deploying it during the final 20 minutes away to Be'er Sheva in Israel. It was a move which did not really surprise many beforehand as playing against a side such as Barca with all the attacking threats they pose, you will have to concede the ball and defend deep in your own territory for large periods. In theory, it was a good plan and on another night it might have worked. However,...