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Celts swat swarm of wasps

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


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

(Forrest 83, Dembele 90)


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

[​IMG] VS [​IMG]

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,...
Celtic smash the league's newest club

Newly promoted The Rangers are blown off the park by the Scottish champions, in the first ever league meeting between the two sides.

SPFL Premiership
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Saturday September 10, 2016

(Dembele 33, 42, 83, Sinclair 61, Armstrong 89)

(Garner 45)


It was a joyous day for Celtic as the team completely dominated the SPFL new boys, with new signing Moussa Dembele grabbing a 'perfect' hattrick, scoring goals with his head and both of his feet.

The Rangers, clearly inferior in quality, sat deep, hoping to absorb the Celtic pressure before trying to catch the champions on the counter attack. The Bhoys were looking for an early goal, but the visitors managed to stand firm.

That was until the 33rd minute, when an corner came in, Dembele's movement left him unmarked and he powered a header in off the post.


Parkhead erupted as Celtic got a deserved goal from their domination of the game. It only took another 9 minutes for Celtic to double their lead. The Rangers' slack passing was pounced upon and a through ball to Dembele saw him dribble with the ball into the box, before cutting the ball back past Senderos, chipping a ball into the corner of the net with his right foot.

Dembele, starting because of an injury to the free scoring Leigh Griffiths, was giving Brendan Rodgers a selection headache that every manager wants. Which of his superb strikers does he play?

Two minutes after Celtic's second, Sevco pulled a goal back, briefly lifting their hopes. A...
Hapoel Be'er Sheva F.C vs Celtic: Match Preview

[​IMG] VS [​IMG]

Tuesday 23rd August, 2016
Turner Stadium, Beersheba
Champions League Play-off round, 2nd leg
KO 19:45
BT Sport 2

Brendan Rodgers and his Celtic side are just 90 minutes away from making a triumphant return to the Champions League group stages. After 3 years away, all Hoops fans are desperate to once again have the chance to face up against Europe's premier clubs and following a convincing 5-2 win last Wednesday, it would take a huge collapse in Israel for it not to happen now.

Ironically, the Celtic side who flew out from Glasgow today are having to travel closer to the Middle East than Europe in order to earn their right to sit at the top table once more. The city of Beersheba sits just 26 miles from the Gaza strip in the Southern part of Israel, an area well known throughout the years as being politically unstable. Hapoel's Turner Stadium has only recently been opened and looks very similar to Tynecastle, funnily enough. It sits deep within the baron looking Negev desert so any Celtic fans travelling over are likely to feel a long way from home.

Look familiar? Be'er Sheva's Turner Stadium

As previously mentioned, the Israeli's have an almighty job on their hands in this 2nd leg. Celtic were relentless for the vast majority of the 1st leg in Glasgow and barring two severe lapses in concentration from the home side in the space of only 5 minutes, Hapoel rarely threatened. In truth, they are lucky to still only be 3 down heading into this, with Scott Sinclair missing a glorious chance on the 86th minute to truly finish the tie. Most expect Celtic to go over to Israel and see...
A rollercoaster ride!​

Celtic smash 5 goals past Hapoel Be'er Sheva in the Champions League playoff, 1st leg.

UEFA Champions League
Play-off first-leg
Wednesday August 17, 2016
Celtic Park

(Rogic 9, Griffiths 39, 45, Dembele 73, Brown 86)

(Maranhao 55, Mellikson 57)


What a result! Celtic blitz Hapoel Be'er Sheva in the first half, then recover from two sloppy goals to restore a comfortable lead. The game finished 5-2 and in truth Celtic could have scored more.

The game began at a fast pace, with Celtic looking to make full use of the home advantage in the first leg. Little was known about Hapoel Be'er Sheva before the match, but having eliminated Greek side Olympiakos in the previous round, they were given the respect they deserved.

Some of the pre-match build up was side tracked with many focusing on the issue of flying Palestinian flags inside and outside the stadium. The support of solidarity with the Palestinian people was fantastic but once the game got underway, it was all about the football.


The playoff sees the return of the Champions League music to Paradise, and every Celt inside the stadium is desperate to hear more of it this season, especially the players. The attitude and determination on display from the Hoops squad was fantastic. There's a belief and level of commitment, instilled by Brendan Rodgers that is evident for all to see.

Careful signings since arriving at the start of the summer have taken a squad that was bereft of confidence, to a team capable of blasting in 10 goals in the previous two competitive matches. The impact of Rodgers' management has been utterly delightful.

Celtic's earliest chance in the match came from...