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Celtic Prey On Saints in L.C. Semi Final. 19/11/21

Discussion in 'TalkCeltic News' started by packybhoy, Nov 22, 2021.

By packybhoy on Nov 22, 2021 at 6:48 PM
  1. packybhoy Administrator Administrator

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    SCOTTISH LEAGUE CUP SEMI FINAL


    Saturday 19th November 2021. K.O. 5.15pm

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    CELTIC 1-0 ST JOHNSTONE

    Scorer: Forrest (73)


    Hampden Park. Glasgow


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    Everyone was buzzing to get back to domestic business after a long International break and a Semi Final tie at Hampden was the obstacle to make it to the first final of the season. An evening kick off at 5.15pm helped add to the spectacle as night games usually make for a better atmosphere. The Celtic fans and particularly the Green Brigade did not disappoint.

    A full length East Stand display with the lettering spelling out BERTIE was unveiled just before kick off and it was an amazing sight. The noise level from the Bhoys was crackling like electricity in the cold night sky for a minute's applause. The players emerged all wearing number 10 on their shorts in tribute to Bertie Auld, a true Celtic Legend and club ambassador.

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    It had been mentioned several times in the weeks build up to the game that Celtic defeated St Johnstone 1-0 in the 1969 League Cup Final and the man himself, Bertie Auld, was the goal scorer. Although Bertie was moved out to the left wing and wore the number 11 instead of his usual 10. Taken as an omen by many and maybe there is something in it as Celtic would also triumph 1-0 in this Semi Final Tie and the goal coming from a winger. Being eased back into the team after a lengthy injury absence, James Forrest had been on the Park 4 minutes when he buried the ball into the Saints net to give the Hoops a narrow victory.

    Celtic, again, were dominant throughout the game but St Johnstone did very well to defend and limit Celtic to few chances. That has to be down to Davidson’s organisational skills and add the fact the team had been over the course successfully twice last season. We knew this would be no walkover but still confident enough with the direction the team is headed under Ange.

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    The early signs were in favour of the Celts and most of the productive play was going through the amazing talented Jota. As early as the first three minutes he had Jinked and danced into the box only to slice wide. A few minutes later and his ridiculously good Robona cross only to see it closed down. Celtic though could have lost one on 19 minutes.

    Welsh dealt with a non threatening ball with a pass back to keeper Hart. He took an age to play the ball on but didn’t notice Michael O’Halloran closing in on him at speed as he hit the ball off the player but it just went past. Joe Hart was lucky as he had a few other blips in this game that nearly cost us dear as St Johnstone were breaking out in spells.

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    The first half whilst dominated by Celtic, we just weren’t breaking down St Johnstone as we played the crosses in or tried the walk in approach. Kyogo had one of his quieter games but Jota, McGregor and Ralston were going full tilt in the first 45 and it took a great sliding block by Jamie McCart when he stopped a net bound shot by Callum McGregor on the stroke of halftime.

    The Perth men were pinned back at the start of the second half as Celtic piled forward looking for an opener. It was a tall task as the Saints stayed compact and well drilled and keep in mind it was 21 months since they were last knocked out of a cup competition. Referee Nick Walsh was flashing yellow cards all round now. Bitton booked in the 1st half and on 56 minutes he issued another 3 to Kyogo, McCart and Bryson with Murray Davidson going in the book a few minutes later.

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    67 minutes and another tribute to Bertie as a large portrait banner was unveiled surrounded by pyro lighting to a loud chorus of ‘Champions of 67.’ Celtic were looking frustrated on the pitch at this point as they just couldn’t pierce the Saints defense and Postecoglou decided to freshen things up with the introduction of James Forrest. The goal arrived in 73 minutes when Zander Clarke’s poor clearance was brought down by Jota about 30 yards out. He raced into the box and crossed that was blocked by a Saints defender but Forrest was waiting to rifle into the net. 1-0 and there were scenes of delirium.

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    Shaun Rooney received a yellow on 75 minutes that should have been a straight red as he jumped toward Welsh leading with his elbow when he smashed the lad in the face. There were several other chances created by Celtic from Jota and Mikey Johnston and deep in injury time Hart nearly sold us short but recovered with a slide to put the ball out. There was still enough time for the ref to flash two yellow cards also in injury time and taking the total to 9 yellows. It wasn’t even a dirty game. Overall it was a well deserved win from the Bhoys and although it’s nice to win by 2 or 3 goals, it doesn’t make a difference in the cup.

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    Postecoglou and his team are marching onto the final, again at Hampden, in search of their first silverware on 19th December against Hibernian. They convincingly beat rangers in the other semi on Sunday which made for a very pleasant weekend of football. Next up though is a really tough trip to Leverkusen in the Europa League on Thursday night and hopefully we go without any injury worries.


    MOTM: Jota. Again another brilliant performance and a joy to watch. Definitely a player that gets you out of your seat.


    LINEUPS:


    CELTIC: Hart, Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Welsh, Juranović, Turnbull, Bitton, McGregor, Abada, Kyogo, Jota. Subs: Scales, Ajeti, Soro, McCarthy, Johnston, Urhoghide, Bain, Forrest, Montgomery. (4-3-3)


    ST JOHNSTONE: Clark, Brown, Gordon, McCart, Rooney, Wotherspoon, Davidson, Bryson, Booth, O’Halloran, Kane Subs: Dendoncker, Parish, Muller, Vertainen, Crawford, Ambrose, Craig, Northcott, Moreland. (3-5-2)


    POSSESSION: Celtic 79% - 21% St Johnstone

    SHOTS: Celtic 16 - 7 St Johnstone

    SHOTS ON TARGET: Celtic 3 - 2 St Johnstone

    PASSES: Celtic 754 - 200 St Johnstone


    By Packybhoy
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2021 at 6:38 PM
    Taz and tarboltontim like this.