St. Mirren 0 – 4 Celtic
For all that the scoreline was comfortable in the end,it was a hard watch for most of the game. In truth,St Mirren were a million miles removed from their performance at Celtic Park ten days ago and offered very little except a stubborn resistance for most of the match,but bar that three minute burst towards the end,Celtic were huffing and puffing and simply going nowhere.
A harsh summary of a comfortable win at a difficult venue? Perhaps,but few who watched it will argue the point. The final scoreline and the goals? Well,you’d have to have a heart of stone not to have lapped them up.
We started the match with the same eleven who performed so creditably on Saturday against Motherwell,with two centre backs,two full backs,two forwards (who really do not play as a unit) and four across the middle. Still no place for Soro,but Broonie anchored the midfield well enough which left the other three free to probe away at the St Mirren defence. And it was one of those three,Tom Rogic,who fired us in front after fifteen minutes. Up till then,St Mirren were coping comfortably with our unimaginative attempts to fashion our possession into a scoring oppoprtunity. But a sharp interplay with Johnjoe Kenny on the right saw him drag the ball along the line of the box before angling one into the bottom far corner.
An excellent goal out of nothing-but Goodwin won’t be too pleased by the defenders allowing him onto his laser-like left foot!
After that,the first half really just petered out. You got the feeling that the players were just looking forward to a half-time Bovril,and it’s difficult to blame them for that. St Mirren’s new mascot-a brass monkey-was last seen heading to a blacksmith’s for remedial surgery! Fair play to the Saints for getting the game on at all in those conditions,even if I thought the players should have done their bit by running about a bit more..
The second half was just a continuation of the first,truth be told,with the only thing of note being Stephen Welsh on the end of a hospital ball from Ajer followed by a shocking challenge on him from Obika. Stretchered off,and we wish him well and a swift return-the young fella has probably been the lone bright spot in a write off of a season. Various substitutions followed at the standard times,with Duffy,Christie,Klimala,Griff and Mo on for DT,Welsh,Ajeti,Eddie and TR. And with about twelve minutes to go,the second half was looking very much like the first-but with fewer goals.
Just then,Celtic burst into life with three goals in a three minute spell. It all began with a free kick,about thirty yards out,ideal stuff for DT. Christie instead fired it against the wall,and again,with the ball spinning out towards Taylor on the left. As he ran into the box,a push from a sinning Saint gave us a penalty which Eddie calmly lashed into the top left corner.
Sighs of relief all round,but we had barely got our breath back when Christie made amends for his hash of a free kick when he worked a one-two inside the right of the box,opened his body and placed a cracker just inside the far post. And there’s a sentence which sums up this lad’s season of frustration,interspersed too infrequently with flashes of what we know he is capable of. I was still warming my hands applauding it when DT popped up on the opposite side of the box to fire it low inside the same post for the fourth!
That’s twelve goals without reply in our last three games,and the kind of results which we have been lacking in for long stretches this season. I wouldn’t dare suggest that it heralds a new dawn,a turning of the corner-it is far too late for that now anyway-but it sure beats watching what we had to endure for so long either side of the turn of the year in particular. And while we weren’t really too pretty in possession very often,the goals were well worthy of any game.
Do it a bit more often,Celtic. We could do with something to smile about in these trying times. We have four more games in the league this month,and more of the same would do very nicely,thank you!
Above article by BMCUWP