Dundee 0-5 Celtic
Halloween night was a screamer all round for the Bhoys in Hoops and a bit of a Nightmare for the Dundee faithful. Five goals by five different scorers on what was Brendan Rodgers 100th win as boss of Celtic. The manager made four changes from Sunday’s semi with Sinclair keeping his place, Gordon back in goals, Boyata in defence and the inform Dynamic midfield high flyer Ryan Christie (Cricky) being rewarded with a start after his brilliant second half performance against Hearts. With confidence high at the minute dare I say we could have a new ‘Maestro’ on our hands and his auld bhoy Charlie will be as happy as the fans with what feels like a new signing.
We have turned a corner and it seems like we only need 45 minutes to put our domestic opponents to the sword. We are slowly getting back to full strength with the exception of a few as this squad build up a good understanding of each other and it’s no coincidence that this coincides with the introduction of Benkovic to settle our defensive nerves. The team are starting to hit the heights and you can only feel there is more to come. With a couple of additions in January to help us freshen up and to bed them in for Champions League qualifiers in July.
Last nights game started brightly enough with Celtic showing their intent to dominate Dundee from the off. We had them pinned back for much of the opening period as we kept the ball and moved about nicely to dictate play. Christie watched his shot just clear the bar after 15 minutes but it wasn’t long before the floodgates opened. McGregor played a nice ball to Tom Rogic who showed his class by curling the ball into the far right of the net. Game over. Number 2 came after Swedish defender Lustig was pulled down in the box to concede a penalty. Up stepped Sinclair for number two of two penalties scored in two games. Hopefully that is the real Scott Sinclair standing up once more. Three was yer man, Wee Jimbo. He got onto a Tierney cross from 12 yards out. Just a case of how many now. Into 45+2 added and up stepped Edouard to make it four. Celtic came out for the second half and retained the tempo that had us running away with the game. So it was in 48 minutes that the man of the moment, Ryan Christie made it five after being set up nicely by French Eddy.
The Hoops took their foot of the gas slightly whilst remaining dominant. Two substitutions made in the second half with Morgan on for Rogic and Arzani for Edouard. The young Australian looked very lively in his first start and was well received by the travelling support. Unfortunately it wasn’t to last with Arzani being stretchered off almost comically. As I watched I saw him applaud the support constantly from his stretcher all the way up the sideline. For me it was a scene reminiscent of the huns game where the Celtic fan fell from the upper tier and was pumping the air with his fist when he was being carried out. (Dallas coin game). All three subs had been used and so Celtic had to see out the rest of the game with 10 men. I haven’t mentioned Dundee because there is nothing to say on a Halloween night when the men in green and white absolutely terrified them and left them looking like a skeleton team.
We have started to create a nice habit of emptying the home supports end of the ground with a good 20 minutes to play and long may it continue. Our support were in fine voice before a ball was kicked and that helped set the tone for a great night with an important three league points in a ground that has caused us problems in the past. We are getting the goals we need from around the squad and this has to be pleasing to Brendan. We are back on form and not too long before we are back on top. The diets are up for a visit on Saturday to Paradise and you can honestly see nothing more than another three points. At this minute in time it is a joy to watch Celtic again at their domestic dominant best. Europe? Well three wins in a row will bring us a step closer to 29th of May in Baku, Azerbaijan. Here’s to hoping and Hail, hail.
Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata (Ajer 69), Benkovic, Tierney, McGregor, Rogic, (Morgan 55), Christie, Sinclair, Forrest, Edouard (Arzani 55)
Goals: Rogic 20: Sinclair 32(pen), Forrest 37: Edouard 45+2: Christie 48.