Sinclair (28'), Dembele (72') Anderson OG (75') Ntcham (89')
Saturday 4th November 2017
CELTIC FOOTBALL CLUB are a side well versed to breaking records and today will now go down as another one to celebrate in the unbroken history of the side from the East End of Glasgow. Goals from Scott Sinclair, Moussa Dembele, an Anderson OG, as well as a crisp Olivier Ntcham strike, catapulted the Hoops towards breaking a 100-year old British record, which was set way back in 1917 by the club's very own legend Willie Maley and his mythical squad. Since Brendan Rodgers arrived over 18 months ago, he has transformed this club from top to bottom, improving not only the 1st team squad but also managing to have a profound effect on the already fantastic youth set up at Lennoxtown. This record though - a staggering 63 games unbeaten - is without doubt the most glittering testament to his managerial ability, and one which, as a Celtic fan himself, he will cherish.
Now, if you are going to break a record such as this one, it is best to do it in style, and that is exactly what the Celts done, pounding Tommy Wright's side for the full 90 and racking up over 27 efforts on goal in the process. As per usual, possession was dominated by Celtic from the outset, who did not look overly fatigued following their mammoth effort against Bayern Munich mid-week. However, this might not come as too much of a surprise, due to Rodgers' outstanding record in games following European ties, a challenge which, under past gaffers, was often a lot more difficult.
Despite their early domination, it took the Hoops 28 minutes to find the breakthrough, with the goal coming from Scott Sinclair. In recent weeks, there has been some discussion regarding the Englishman's form, and prior to this game, he had failed to find the net in his previous 6 league games, an extremely barren run when judging against his high standards. However, that all ended today, as he swept home from Stuart Armstrong's low corner, to set the team on their way.
The pounding of the St Johnstone goal was to continue, with the Perth side failing to really ever get close to their opposition all afternoon. Tommy Wright's men are going through a tough spell at the minute, having failed to score since the end of September. Surprising when you consider how consistent a side he has managed to mould them into over the past few seasons. Despite their troubles and lack of any real possession, it would take Celtic up until the 72nd minute to find that ultimately fatal second goal.
Beautiful, magical: Sinclair ends his dry spell with the opener in Perth
Following a driving run by Stuart Armstrong - who now looks back to his steamrolling best - Moussa Dembele was on hand in the 6-yard box to tap home and finally kill off St Johnstone once and for all. It was the very least that both Celtic and the French striker deserved, after he was a menace in attack for the entire 90. After a sustained spell on the sidelines, he now looks like finally getting back to full match sharpness, which can only be a positive for Rodgers' side, as on form, he really can be a joy to watch. He even started the move which led to his goal, with a lovely first time flick to the onrushing Kieran Tierney. As lethal as Leigh Griffiths can be, Dembele brings the Celtic side something different, an extra bit of variety. Whenever he is in the side I feel that the link up play between the front players is all the more effective, and that isn't a slant on Leigh at all, as we all know the attributes he brings.
As mentioned, the second goal appeared to finally quash the spirits of the Saints players, and with 18 minutes left, it seemed all the more likely that Celtic were set to add to their lead, which they did. The third was all about Moussa Dembele once again, as, following a nice run down the left hand side of the box, he cut the ball back in an attempt to pick out Sinclair. Instead, it was long term servant of St Johnstone Steven Anderson who knocked the ball into his own net. Not the proudest moment of the skipper's 13-year spell at the club.
The fourth and final goal came just a minute from time, courtesy of second half substitute Olivier Ntcham. The Frenchman is continuing to find his feet here in Scotland, but certainly looks fond of a goal or two, with this being his 4th in green and white, his most crucial of course coming away against Astana in the Champions League qualifiers. It was a nice finish, drilled in low from just outside the area following a sharp passing move between Sinclair and Dembele, and wrapped up what had been a stroll in the park for Rodgers' men.
After their mind blowing heroics of last season, many people would have expected Celtic to 'let up' slightly at the beginning of this season, perhaps due to a slight hangover after all the magic witnessed throughout the treble-winning triumph. That hasn't been the case, however. Despite not always being at their best, the Hoops are remarkably still unbeaten as we quickly head towards Christmas and in all honesty, do not look like giving up this astonishing record anytime soon. The expectation of being history makers and invincible appears to continually spur these Celtic players on and no matter the test, no matter the team Rodgers sends out, they manage to get the result.
They might not get the credit they deserve due to the all too familiar 'pub league' shouts that continue to come from our neighbours down South and elsewhere, but Rodgers and co won't be caring a jot, and rightly so. Make no mistake, to go 63 games unbeaten, winning a domestic treble in the process, while also negotiating 2 Champions League play-off campaigns successfully, is one hell of an achievement. Rodgers, Chris Davies, John Kennedy, the players, everyone at the club, deserve enormous credit. Well done, Bhoys, and here's to another 63.