Celtic 3 – 2 Livingston
I think there were a few of us somewhat puzzled and perturbed when the Celtic side for this clash was revealed. With no Forrest,it was clear that Frimpers was playing wide right. But was Elhamed playing right back in a four with Taylor on the other side,or was it a back three with Taylor wide left? Was Christie playing as a striker alongside Ajeti,or was The Yeti up front on his own? No Edouard,and no defenders on the bench?
Honestly,Neil-this management lark is hard enough without chopping and changing for every game. And by the way,it looked like the players weren’t sure of the formation either.
But to the game,and it started well enough with the ref turning down a possible penalty for us. To be honest,my thought was naw,but my second thought was that it was the type of penalty we get awarded against us-and that we can’t complain because them’s the rules!
Livingston went straight up the pitch and got a penalty of their own-the kind that we know we never get! So a goal down and backs to the wall and only fifteen minutes on the clock. No panic from the troops though,as they soon got back on level terms.
McGregor was playing in a more advanced role on the left,and he received the ball from Ajer prior to whacking it into the top corner. Aye,it took a deflection but it went in like a rocket. A couple of minutes later,CalMac took a pass from Taylor before playing it inside the fullback for Taylor to run onto. From there,GT did what he has so often done,a touch and square it low across the box.
Ryan Christie was the grateful recipient this time,with a straightforward finish.
The half kinda petered out after that,minor chances at both ends but neither keeper was being called upon for a world beating save. At that stage,a third goal should have sealed it and set us up for a more comfortable win,but it wasn’t forthcoming. Well,not until seven minutes into the second half.
Ntcham was disappointingly anonymous on the day,but he made space in the centre circle,flicked it forward to Christie. He took a touch,saw The Yeti attacking the centre backs and laid it perfectly into his path.
First time from twenty yards,what a peach of a finish that was!
And that should have been it,score a few more,pressure off,or do we conserve energy for Thursday? NL introduced the subs from the 75th minute,five of them in ten minutes,but if anything it seemed to disrupt our flow,even if they were like-for-like replacements. It certainly didn’t give us the impetus that fresh legs are expected to do,and a few minutes later the midfield and defence were caught napping completely when Sorriano picked the ball up and slammed it past Barkas from about thirty yards.
That put us into panic mode,I think,and really the only team that looked like scoring after that wasn’t us! But we held our nerve to take the three points.
I thought it was a poor performance too much of the time,and I firmly believe that the tinkering has something to do with performances like that,which we see too often. But it’s worth remembering that we are unbeaten domestically in 2020,so maybe I can settle for that and not worry so much.
Another thing to think about is the two goals we conceded. Do we get penalties like that? Not in Scotland we don’t,and as for the second one,well…
Now,he didn’t half hit that ball-but he’d been hitting our players just as hard all day without referee Duncan blinking an eye! And he wasn’t the only one either. One booking that mob got,I think. I’ve been banging this drum for as long as I’ve been supporting Celtic,in pubs and clubs,supporters buses and on various sites like this one.
It cannot continue. It penalises us for The Wearing of the Green,but more importantly,it jeopardises the health and safety of our players. And I wonder how many players have knocked back the chance to join us because it is an open secret in Europe,not just Scotland. I remember a quote from Willie Wallace,that at other clubs everyone knew they could get away with a lot more against Celtic. And that it was only when he started playing for us that he realised just how much more!
It has to stop. We’ve lost many a player in the past because of this-Jock Stein,for instance,cried at the mess of the 18yo Brian McLaughlin’s knee after Willie McVie trashed it. Frimpers seems to be the main target at the moment,and I know that if a wee pal of mine was on the receiving end,it wouldn’t happen twice.
The club have to get this sorted. Apart from anything else-like players not wanting to join us,or simply leaving because they can’t take any more-it will shortly drive up their insurance premiums.
That should concentrate their minds wonderfully.
Above article by BMCUWP.