Now “ That’s Entertainment” as one of my all time favourite bands The Jam used to sing.
Celtic produced a performance of total control over an ICT side who were left chasing shadows at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium this morning. At times I swear Moussa was using the game as a practice match whereby he was working on receiving the ball and turning and dribbling/ driving at a bemused defence. He was at times, unplayable, and his ability to drop deep or wide left the central defenders not knowing whether to go with him as once he was turned he was almost unstoppable or desert their post and risk the likes of Stuart Armstrong or the unbelievably clever Scotty Sinclair to burst into the gaps created.
The big ghuy is showing another area of his game that is developing and we really should savour watching him whilst he plays for the Hoops.
I was actually watching the game with a smile on my face, especially second half as the team controlled the ball and played some fantastic football, moving the ball quickly and purposefully. I know I bang on a lot about it but we really are a joy to watch.
The first half of the game had us in familiar territory as ICT showed little inclination to attack and ensured they had lots of defensive cover. We struggled to break them down but remained patient and moved the ball about making them expend energy and constantly testing their defence for weakness. Celtic had the ball, had the game under control and I always felt that it was only a matter of time before we broke them down.
It took a moment of magic from the excellent Scotty Sinclair who cut inside the defence and fired into the far corner past the despairing dive of Fon Williams. The goal was a thing of beauty and Scotty is another player to savour. Moving to Celtic has revitalised him. (Incidentally Fon Williams looks like he was wearing Richie Foran’s old beard). That goal was superbly timed, just a couple of minutes before half time.
The second goal, a couple of seconds after half time, was a disaster for the ICT goalie. He miscued a pass back as the ball bobbled up on him as he was about to clear. The Wolf pounced on his miscue and casually lofted the ball over him with his left foot before volleying home with his right. The youngster scored his own second and Celtic’s fourth when he was put through clean on goal near the half way line and ran on unchallenged to casually chip it past the stranded goalie. The finish was almost Dalglish like in its execution and showed that the big fhella can combine pace, power and artistry.
Stuart Armstrong fired in the third; a free kick after Moussa was stopped during one of his rampaging runs. Chris Davies I think alerted Brendan that the goalie was not covering the near post and that it was a direct free kick. Brendan passed this on to Stuart who duly took a superb free kick and scored. I am not sure if Chris or Brendan should be credited with the assist. Suggestions welcome!!
All over the pitch Celtic excelled and even Craig Gordon had a fantastic save when one of their players, Polworth, fired in a beautifully struck volley that the keeper did well to touch over the bar. It is significant that Brendan is ensuring we maintain standards to the end of the ninety minutes and I think this actually shows we respect our opponents by driving forward for the duration of the game.
The next game is St Mirren in the Cup and we must maintain the standards we have set this season. That means treating the Paisley Saints with respect and working like dogs to earn the right to play our game. I am taking nothing for granted but I am looking forward to watching this team play football as often as I can, I think we all are.