It Is Always Rewarding


Wee Fergus reminded us many moons ago that it is not always easy to be a Celtic supporter-but it is always rewarding. Well,last night proved that in spades! I swear I’ve never been so relieved to hear the final whistle on a defeat-on the night-or to qualify for such a competition.

Similar to nearly two decades ago when Bayern Munich celebrated a goalless draw against us in the Champions League as though they’d won the bliddy thing. For once,this isn’t a comment about how low our stock,reputation and expectations have fallen in the intervening years-it is a simple reminder of how much football means to us,how it can get to us like nothing else outside of friends and family.

Quite simply,there is nothing else in which we invest so much emotion,nothing else that makes or breaks our day or our week like Celtic. And after last night,I now know why so many of us have grey hair-or none at all!

We have said on here how good a team AZ are,and that was based on their performance in a very good league last season,and borne out by their performance against us last week. We should be proud of our own performance a week ago,and taking a two goal lead was certainly an achievement.

It meant that another goal in the away leg should make things very difficult indeed. And shades of Vicky Pollard ayebutnobutayebutnobut we did just that after only two minutes-then proceeded to give us all heart attacks for the rest of the game!

The goal was a peach. A pass up the line from AR to Abada,quick cross to Kyogo and we are three up. I was booking my tickets to Seville already! Five minutes later,AZ hit a hopeful punt up the park,it bounced off Welsh’s shoulder,but an easy clearance for Joe Hart-except that he froze on the edge of the area,tried to play football with a footballer and made an arse of it.

Frankly,we never regained the initiative after that. Back foot for almost all of the game,bar a flurry towards the end when AZ ran out of steam.

And muscle.

Because that skilful side of last week were virtually unrecognisable from the thugs we played last night. That’s not to make an excuse. But we were officiated by a ref who had clearly learned his trade in MMA and was happy to allow the game to turn into a free for all. If that’s football,you can f…..g keep it. Some of it was a throwback to the 60s and 70s,and reminded me of Derby v Leeds in The Damned United. Their players were considerably bigger and heavier than ours as a rule,and they used the leeway freely given by the ref to their advantage. There will be a few sore bodies over the next few days.

But we were still two goals ahead,even after the blunder from Joe Hart-who redeemed himself considerably as AZ used the initiative that his blunder had given them. He couldn’t have been looking forward much to half time,but bloody hell,worse was to come halfway through the first half.

A nothing ball into the box,Starfelt with no-one near him. Easy clearance. Swings at it with his left,airshot,ball bounces off his right leg and into the net. That isn’t even a schoolboy error,that is a shooting offence! We were up against it,and no mistake. The defence was all over the place,the midfield was missing,the ball wasn’t even getting to the forwards-and the clock seemed to be in slo-mo!

Would we make it to the 45 without another disaster?

Well,we did-but nothing changed. Welsh had to make three desperate clearances in the first five minutes of the second half. But then,suddenly,the players seemed to find some confidence,imposed themselves a bit more. Started kicking back-honestly,that ref should never be near a game again!

Hart was making the saves when needed,Starfelt was as good,solid,as I’ve ever seen him. Both players putting in a shift to redeem their earlier errors.  54,56,57 across the back-I assume we have “retired” the 55 shirt?-were outstanding again.

Eddie stretched their backline and brought Christie and Abada into it,and Kyogo just went searching for more punishment. CalMac was everywhere.

The final whistle when it came was greeted with as much relief as it was joy. That was a torrid ninety minutes,one where we gifted our opponents two goals and the initiative.

But it is Celtic who will be in the draw in the morning. 

There should be no place in football for some of the thuggery last night. That it was a Dutch team dishing it out does their heritage a disservice.

I’m proud of our players and our manager,who have come a long way from a dark place less than a month ago. Fergus was right.


Above article by BMCUWP

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August 27, 2021 12:49 am

Morning, and breathe, huge improvement in a matter of months. Mistakes make everyone nervous. I think angeball doesn’t suit starfelt. Too slow on thr ball. He got better, but again after a big mistake. We are through and so happy.


Garry Postecoglou
August 27, 2021 12:52 am

Excellent match report BMCUW. It very much chimes with my view of tonight’s proceedings.
Thought young Adam Montgomery was our man of the match when he replaced Taylor.
Hope Adam starts in doomdome on Sunday with Juranovic at right back.
Was extremely impressed with the defending of Starfelt, Welsh and Montgomery in that last half hour tonight. Loved Eddy’s contribution too.
Get him signed up with Christie.

August 27, 2021 1:12 am

contrast and compere, what game would you pay good money to watch ?
We got past a fairly good team tonight.
The other mob scraped by a bunch of part timer (no offence to them)
But watch the smsm Headlines tommorow.
The RAGERS cruise to victory.
Celtic sweeeeze into the next round.
Anyway night night to all good tims out there,See you in PARADISE.

August 27, 2021 1:33 am

No disrespect to your headline,Had a few wee haufs.JG.

August 27, 2021 4:16 am


Totally agree with your summery on the refs performance, (maybe a pal of shug dallas) ,and maybe just not up to snuff, for euro level of football.
we were a wee bit bullied by their players, especially when they used the old shoulder charge, But a lesson learned is a lesson gained for the future in euro games ,in what is and what is not acceptable.
we have a fairly young group of players, still learning, but a good lesson all the same, I am sure Ange will have picked up on these things in the Qualifiers and will educate/remind them for future games.
Upwards and onwards. JG.
AH canny wait till sunday.

August 27, 2021 8:15 am

Morning all,

There’s one thing to say after last night:

“ Think we’re going to need a bigger couch !!!!!! “.

Nerve racking stuff but well done Celtic.

To think where we were 6 weeks ago and the improvements made, Well done Ange and the Bhoys 👏👏👏

This Season is certainly going to be one giant rollercoaster ride. Bring it on !!!!

HH 🍀🍀🍀🍀

August 27, 2021 8:22 am

Morning all…I watched the game last night with a young guy from Argentina who’s helping with our fitba team. When I was screaming ‘Foul!’ he was wondering what the fuss was about! It seems they play it tougher o’er by!! 😱😁

Saltires en Sevilla
August 27, 2021 8:24 am


Now seen a few match reports this morning, yours is by far the most accurate representation of events.

A decent scalp and we must remember where we were when the draw was made. Not favourites to progress.

Those lads did us all proud and it would be churlish not to recognise that. However, there are some fairly glaring questions that need addressed if we want to progress in Europe.

The team showed guts, if little guile. The opening manoeuvre to score a devastating goal, the devastating goal as it turned out, was not representative of our overall play.

That we saw two horrendous mistakes, perhaps three, and didn’t completely collapse was instructive. Welsh, Starfelt and Hart all rallied superbly as the game progressed. That is something new. Previously we would have lost the crucial goals and surely capitulate.

Ralston and Montgomery acquitted well, despite being subjected to those long angled high balls.

As to the other 6 players on the park. They offered the back line little protection for the core of the game.

McGregor was isolated and exposed, adrift from his midfield partners. Christie was running into all sorts of bother and ceding possession for an hour. Rogic likewise and Turnbull was anonymous.

Either they are following instructions too closely and AZ Sussed that out very quickly, stepping up 10/15 yards to dominate the space in front of our defence and crowding out the increasingly isolated McGregor….or our guys did grasp the need to adjust tactics for periods of the game ….I.E. our midfield knew the problem but simply lacked the physicality and energy to shuttle over a longer distance.

The latter looks likely. I don’t want to consider the other alternative, that Angeball strictures are so uncompromisingly rigid that our mid cannot make in-play adjustments without being instructed to by Ange.

Unfortunately, it looks like we need alternative players to be able to cope in this type of game.

It’s really not a new thing.

Bringing Christie inside and back 10/15 yards and offering more pressure to their right back by switching Kyogo and introducing Eddi, with more harassing and holding the ball, kept AZ in check… albeit at a time AZ were paying the piper for running so hard in the first hour. AZ looked quite spent after 65 mins.

The tactical substitution took too long to execute. However, our players on the pitch should have sussed it out far sooner and adjusted.

This questions remain to be answered. Did our players realise the problem but felt they were constrained by the system. Or, do the players have the freedom, but lack the tactical nous? Or. As seems likely, the players could see the issues but lack the energy, or desire, to Shuttle over an extended area… run a longer distance?

Looking forward to the draw today and hoping our players and coaches are capable of learning from last night.

August 27, 2021 9:01 am

Good morning all from Govanhill.

Cosy Corner Bhoy
August 27, 2021 9:29 am

To lose one comic-cuts goal is a disaster, but, to lose two! Ye Gods!! From heaven to hell in the blink of an eye almost. However,all’s well that ends well, so they say.
We dug in and kept them out, especially the miscreants in Hart, Welsh and Starfelt. The old heart got a pounding but I survived and so did the team. Apparently two handed pushes are allowed when tackling in Portugal! The ref was diabolical.
Enjoyed the company of Garry Postecoglou and Craig76 last night in addition to ATOB and BMCUWP.

August 27, 2021 9:55 am

Aye a portugese proddie ,Who wouldda thunk it ?
Mibees he was a lanarkshire lisbonite.LOL.

OH i think that would be a
good song. laters.JG
Away to write a song.

August 27, 2021 10:01 am

Looking forward to today’s draw. For long periods of the game last night,that looked a remote possibility!

August 27, 2021 10:03 am

Hugh Dallas is insidious.

1Proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects.

More example sentencesSynonyms
1.1Treacherous; crafty.
‘tangible proof of an insidious alliance’

The hand of Dallas has seemed quite clear in our matches since UEFA employed the bigot.
Have often wondered what pre match info is given to refs in our European ties where they gleefully follow 70’s and 80’s rules in allowing our opponents to constantly foul without appropriate punishment.
The press will write as they do and to be mollicated with 47% possession and 11 shots to AZ’s 14 shows how lucky we really where.
Huns scribble what huns want to read.
One thing that really pleased me was how our team stood up to adversity.
Under NL and BR we folded easily when something went wrong.
This side showed an abundance of courage and team spirit.
It bodes well for the future.

August 27, 2021 10:13 am

Good morning all & Packy.

The first paragraph of the article summed it up exactly for me.

To be fair I can’t remember one single poster on here thinking this was going to be an easy tie. They maybe don’t have a ‘name’ like Ajax or Eindhoven but AZ came 3rd just behind those two last season. They were above Feyenoord by 12 points!

We should be proud to have gotten through. Despite two freakish mistakes I doubt we will see the likes of again! (Please God).

Garry Postecoglou
August 27, 2021 10:15 am

Great wee Celtic supporters club you have in Irvine. 👍
Can’t remember the last time we celebrated a Celtic defeat as much.
Great night in great company P.
Thanks for signing me in. 👍🍀💚

August 27, 2021 10:39 am

Oops, forgot to say;

Happy Hoopy Birthday Ange !!!!!!!

HH 🍀🍀🍀

August 27, 2021 11:02 am
Ayrshire Bhoy
August 27, 2021 11:30 am


Ayrshire Bhoy
August 27, 2021 11:34 am


Ayrshire Bhoy
August 27, 2021 11:39 am


Ayrshire Bhoy
August 27, 2021 11:40 am

Tough group but better than group e

August 27, 2021 11:42 am


Great match summary the way I saw it!!

After a terrific team endurance event we have earned the right to compete in the Europa League and earned it the hard way.

If you have any doubts about what I mean look at the AZ players on the final whistle, devastated. Make no mistake, they got a weekend off to concentrate on this game, they got their tactics right and stretched every sinew to get Europa football – yet the best team got through.

Sitting forlorn on the pitch de Witt’s despairing cry was echoing through the victors’ heads as they limped from the field of battle.

Now, to the serious business…

Tough draw, some very exciting matches and excellent travel destinations.

Europa League – Group G

Pot 1 – Bayer Leverkusen

Pot 2 – Celtic

Pot 3 – Real Betis

Pot 4 – Ferencvaros

We have a chance of Europe after Christmas if we manage to get first, second or third in the group.

While not a total disaster fourth must be looked on as a failure. So baring that Europe after Christmas it is.

If we are good enough to be first, then with a favourable draw in the last sixteen our current holy grail – a European quarter final…

Of course I’m getting ahead of myself, many permutations and trials and tribulations to go through and that’s where the “fun” comes in:)

Looking forward to this season in a way I haven’t done for quite some time – it’s going to be an awesome journey.

Maybe a visit to Seville  is on the cards, a message to a few bhoys me thinks:))))

Hail Hail

August 27, 2021 11:43 am

Good draw for us.

Hard but achievable 👍👍

August 27, 2021 11:45 am

Real Betis and Ferencvaros both play in Green & White!

Group G – for green. The green group!

Billy Bhoy
August 27, 2021 11:45 am

Great group.
Group G is appropriate as three of the teams play in green!

Did anyone notice that UEFA have not Tuped over the dead clubs honours? They referenced Seville 03 when Celtic were drawn out but failed to reference the sacking of Manchester in 08.

I’m sure the SMSM will clarify the position for the raging Huns 🙂

August 27, 2021 11:45 am


Just watched the draw, hard but could have been worse.

I was listening to the long explanations at the beginning re teams from same country etc.

It then came to the Pot 4 Draw and 1st out is Galatasaray and, you would imagine they would go into Group A with Lyon, Huns & Sparta Prague as there is no clash but, they were put into Group E.

Did anyone catch the reason?


August 27, 2021 11:50 am

CT I gave up trying to understand it. If an association has clubs in the Conference league group stages then that comes into it.
It’s all to do with television coverage I think.

August 27, 2021 11:52 am


Cheers, that must have been it as there was no conflict in Europa League.

Still weird.


August 27, 2021 12:01 pm

Leverkusen, ‘The Nearly Men’. Been runners up in the Bundesliga 5 times but never won it!

St tams
August 27, 2021 12:03 pm

Great draw.
2 of the 3 teams that I wanted.

August 27, 2021 12:07 pm

Real Betis came 6th in La Liga last season. I won’t even mention who was above them! (I’d have been happy with 6th!)

August 27, 2021 12:18 pm

Ferencvarosi’ fans had a terrible reputation for thuggish & racist behaviour. 2002-2015. Don’t know if it’s still the same.

August 27, 2021 12:45 pm

Just got a text:

The @SecvoFC Covid outbreak is being called the Masonic Variant because it’s a secret who’s got it.



August 27, 2021 12:55 pm

Plenty of airlines flying to Koln/Bonn and Düsseldorf. Should be easy enough to get to. Possibly even Eurostar to Brussels then onto Koln.

Plus,of course,Seville!

August 27, 2021 12:55 pm



big packy
August 27, 2021 1:50 pm

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, said to jim yesterday afternoon they are a good team but they will need to score 3 to beat us, and we will score over there and so it turned out,👍 to all those going to the hoot have a great time, BOBBY if your lurking would love to go but it would be unfair of me to leave wee joan and her mother at this time.👍

August 27, 2021 1:51 pm

BMCUWPS @ 12:55 PM,

Got my heart set on Seville but you make Koln sound tempting…

Hope your all hooting well the morra’

Hail Hail

Saltires en Sevilla
August 27, 2021 1:52 pm

Some proper European nites lined up…


Maestro Fan
August 27, 2021 2:04 pm

Fantastic achievement in a short space of time. Lawwell and Lennon committed the sin of corporate negligence last season, so to knock out AZ is some going.

Still, the state of that bench! Honking. Won’t withstand the rigours of the season to come. No chance. It’s clear Jimmy Bell will get a game before Griff and Boli. The 2 boys from Sheff Wed are projects. 2 bad keepers and some youth players does not a squad make.

Jullien, Mikey J, Karamoko, all long-term injuries. Eddy and Christie may leave this week. If we lose folk like Taylor and Kyogo we’ll soon be in the shit.

Thanks fat man and booze bag. For nothing.

August 27, 2021 2:05 pm

Welcome to our utility defence man…

Was Mulgrew the last one? Always liked him, well until the walkabout….

Hope he graces our hoops like he did the Dubliner’s.

Liam Jumps, Liam Leaps, Liam Scales

Hail Hail

bada Bing
August 27, 2021 2:16 pm

Hjelde signs for Leeds

August 27, 2021 3:24 pm

36 people have still to make their predictor forecasts on Superbru. Deadline is 3 pm tomorrow

Prestonpans bhoys
August 27, 2021 3:26 pm

Wonder what the PLC will fleece us for the EL tickets, £70-80?

St tams
August 27, 2021 3:52 pm

Maestro Fan
Can’t really argue with any of that.

Still need 3/4 to come in.
No loans or projects

August 27, 2021 3:52 pm

The prices for the Europa Package is $72 for adults, £57 for concessions and £42 for under -13s. I think that is a price freeze i.e. the same price as last year

Craig 76
August 27, 2021 3:55 pm

Unique angle of Kyogo’s goal
Celtic TV (@CelticTV) Tweeted: ⚽️ Unique Angle ⚽️

🇯🇵 The goal that put us through @Kyogo_Furuhashi #UEL

Garry Postecoglou
August 27, 2021 3:56 pm

There was no tickets for our Europa games last year. 😁

The Real McCoy
August 27, 2021 4:01 pm

CT – Re the Europa League draw.
Think we’ve covered this conundrum before.
I believe Galatasary were placed in Group E (bottom half E-H) because Fenerbahce ( same country) were already drawn in Group D ( top half A-D). 😂

August 27, 2021 4:03 pm

The Real McCoy,

Thanks, that’s more plausible.


August 27, 2021 4:21 pm

Good afternoon all from Shawlands.