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Conquering the KKKlan at the Crumbledome

Discussion in 'TalkCeltic News' started by CheGuevara, Apr 5, 2022.

By CheGuevara on Apr 5, 2022 at 6:25 PM
  1. CheGuevara Administrator Administrator

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    Last year was an utter disaster. We had a team with players who were desperate to leave, a manager who had allowed the team to deteriorate over the course of his tenure, and no fans to help cheer the team on to better performances.

    We rightly lost the league to a team at Ibrox that looked the best it had been since the old club died. They had undoubtedly improved where we had declined and the point gap at the end of the season was enormous. When Neil Lennon was eventually sacked the damage was done. Had the decision been taken earlier in the season it may have been salvageable, but the board delayed and the rest is history.

    It looked like Eddie Howe would become the new manager, only to turn the position down after dithering for months and not being able to get his backroom appointments together. With the new season looming it was a left-field appointment of Ange Postecoglou that the board pulled out of the hat.

    I have to admit that initially I thought this was utterly insane, but soon we were hearing from Celtic fans in Australia about the job this guy had done everywhere he went. Despondency was replaced with a renewed hope that long term we may be in very good hands. Regardless of the appointment, it seemed the rebuild job would so enormous, that success this year would likely come in the form of a cup win. The league might be a little too much to expect.

    Fast forward to the game at the weekend. Ange's Celtic went into the game 3 points ahead and with a vastly superior goal difference. This meant that all the pressure was on the Ibrox team to get a victory in front of their home support. Anything less than 3 points at home would mean that their chances of winning their 110th title in 2 years would all but evaporate (I think that's how Sevvie arithmetic works).

    The team all but picked itself for the game. The only real question was who would start in midfield between Rogic and O'Riley, and would a fit again Kyogo make the team? As it turns out Rogic would get the nod and Kyogo - surprisingly - wouldn't be in the matchday squad at all. It turns out the Rogic decision would be inspired.



    It didn't take long for this game to get into full swing. Celtic looked nervous in the early exchanges and took a little time to get the passing going. Rangers would take advantage very early with a good move down the left wing. Bassey picked up the ball and Kent fooled Juranovic with a turn and run round the Croatian full back. Bassey picked the run and Kent was able to cross into the centre where Aaron Ramsey had taken up good position to steer the ball in with a deft touch past the despairing Hart whose touch wasn't enough to deflect the shot away.

    It was a poor start from our point of view but a well taken goal and deserving of the early play from the Ibrox side. It looked early on that this might prove a difficult day for the Hoops, but that changed abruptly only 4 minutes later.

    Jota was found by Juranovic on the right by a Maeda cross field pass. The Portuguese wing sensation turned the ball back to Juranovic who found CalMac inside. The club captain drove at the Rangers defence and had them in disarray as he swept past three of the backline before crossing to Rogic who hit a right footed shot that deflected out to Hatate. The little Japanese midfielder attempted a curling right foot shot reminiscent of his goal in the corresponding fixture at Parkhead, but McGregor got a hand to the effort but could only parry the shot to the feet of Tom Rogic who calmly slotted the ball into the net from six yards.

    The game turned at that point. The early jitters seemed to disappear and Celtic began to take control. Rangers still tried to press and Ramsey came close after a lucky break of the ball. The Welshman brought out an exceptional save from Joe Hart in the centre of the goal, but it woulgdn't have counted as he was offside.

    Starfelt started another attack as he stepped out strongly from defence and found Jota on the left. The winger pinged a deft first touch into the path of the advancing Taylor on the left who broke into the box. Goldson had tracked back and got in a good blocking challenge, but it broke once again to the ubiquitous Rogic whose shot went over from 12 yards out.

    Carter Vickers played a ball into the feet of Giakoumakis in a deep position for the Greek striker. His strength held off Balogun and he managed a tiptoe pass to Juranovic on the right. The little full back had great vision to find a curling pass into the run of little Maeda. The strikers first touch took him in on goal but he was thwarted by McGregor - but again the keeper was unable to hold onto the ball and Rogic ran on to nip it past him and get a shot away which struck the arm of Bassey who then cleared the ball successfully. The players arm was in a natural position and was rightfully ruled as not having touched the ball illegally and play raged on.

    Hatate won the ball in midfield and found his captain inside. McGregor to Rogic and out to Jota on the left again. The little magician shifted his feet well and found the space to cross beautifully to Giakoumakis in the centre who rose well but couldn't find a finishing touch with the head under the pressure of Bassey at the back. Celtic were getting closer and would be denied a penalty moments later.

    The pressing of the Celtic frontmen caused an unforced error from Rangers as Goldson passed out from defence with Giakoumakis closing in. The ball found Aribo but his touch was poor and the ball broke into midfield again and the Aussie playmaker Rogic took a single touch to the feet of Maeda. Tha Japanes buzzbomb got between two Rangers defenders and bore in on goal once more. He clipped the ball just over McGregor and the keeper clipped his left leg with his and brought him down. No penalty given, but a decision that would have been reviewed on VAR and given had it been available.

    John Lundstram was adjudged to have fouled Giakoumakis on the left hand touchline with a wildly robust challenge. While he got the ball the player went right through the Greek with the follow through and he was rightly booked for the tackle.

    The resultant free kick would bring about the winner for Celtic.
     
    The Prof, packybhoy and tarboltontim like this.