Just Ntchampion!!!

Discussion in 'TalkCeltic News' started by CheGuevara, Sep 26, 2019.

By CheGuevara on Sep 26, 2019 at 9:32 AM
  1. CheGuevara Administrator Administrator

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    The Rebel treble winners got the next leg of their defence under way against a Partick Thistle team buoyed by the appointment of Ian McColl as manager. Could the appointment bring a shock in the big Glasgow derby?

    Naw! It couldn't. It would take a while to make this game safe after a plucky Jags performance, but right from the start there was only going to be one winner.

    Lennon made 9 changes to the team that started the last SPFL Premiership match, granting a debut to young full back Jeremie Frimpong, signed late in the transfer window from Manchester City. The Dutch youth international would go on to give his manager some food for thought going forward, with an excellent display. What looked like a problem position now seems abundantly covered with quality players.

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    Celtic started brightly with lots of possession but the first real chance came from a cross by Hayes, met by Bayo with the head. The effort went over the bar, but was a sign of things to come. The African youngster is exceptional in judging the flight of the ball and always looks a threat with the head. Even in defence he makes some fine clearances when covering corners and free kicks, but it was his prowess in front of goal that would make the breakthrough last night.

    A free kick on the left was flighted in by Hayes onto the head of the Ivorian, and his downward header was unstoppable for the Thistle keeper, from such close range.

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    Thistle had a couple of efforts in a fairly uneventful first half, with McGinty coming close and Gordon being denied by the Celtic shotstopper of the same name.

    The second half was a different story and with only a minute or two in, Celtic doubled their advantage with some lovely play. Nitcham started the move with a fine run into the left hand channel. He played a nice ball into the feet of Bayo, who looked like he was going to strike - but cleverly passed right to the waiting Rogic, who gently passed the ball with pinpoint accuracy into the Thistle goal.

    It seemed bizarre that Frimpong - who looked to have been fouled himself - took a booking for fouling a Thistle player on the break down the left flank. The resulting free kick was pinged in and O'Ware found his effort ruled out for offside, much to the dismay of the Jags fans.

    The best of the night was left to the exquisite right foot of Ntcham. He picked the ball up in midfield and let fly a delightful shot from about thirty yards into the top right hand corner of the keepers net - and although he got a fingertip to it - the blistering pace made it impossible to stop. A genuinely class strike from a player who has looked sublime at times this season.

    It took a further 7 minutes for the French under 21 star to get his brace. Another great run with the ball at feet led him into the channel, and feigning a pass inside, he stepped to his right and curved an effort accurately into the far corner, off the inside of the post and into the net.

    The biggest cheer of the night, outwith the goal celebrations, was given to forgotten man Scott Sinclair when he came on as a sub. His contribution was felt soon after he came on when a Rogic effort one on one with the keeper rebounded to him 6 yards out, and his strike through a clutch of Partick players found the net for Celtics 5th.

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    The game played out with further efforts from Bayo and Ntcham who seemed desperate for his hat trick. It was a masterful performance from the young French star and for me - deserving of the man of the match performance. That accolade went to the young debutant who also had a sparkling performance, looking strong defensively when called upon, but also very tricky and quick going forward.

    Overall a great performance and result and on now to face Hibs in the semi final at Hampden in a few weeks time.

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    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
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