Celtic responded positively to the midweek loss against Barcelona with solid 2-0 victory over Motherwell yesterday at Celtic Park. It was virtual one way traffic with two sublime goals by Anthony Stokes and Kris Commons.
The first was pure instinct by Stokes as he struck the ball from a difficult angle without much time or thought. For Commons he required a strong run, two or three defenders, a nutmeg and a good finish, all accomplished with perfection.
Despite all that, Motherwell offered very little in return which is unlike them I’m sure you’d agree. In many ways this was almost like the Morton game in that Celtic were in control throughout whilst the opposition sat back.
The only difference was that Celtic took two of the chances they created and they were not gifted to them either. There could have been more but I think Neil Lennon will be more than happy.
Given the slender loss midweek and the dismissal of Scott Brown, it would have been easy for the heads to go down. As the players demonstrated though, it was game on and it only goes to show the positivity around Celtic Park.
Things are so positive that big Virgil was seen performing a cameo role in the Motherwell box. He could have bagged a brace as well.
He is lookin like a real player for Celtic. The partnership with him and Efe Ambrose is looking solid.
We’re all aware that Ambrose takes risks but he’s confident. The same goes for Virgil and both players are good at bringing the ball out from the back and taking it up the park.
Behind that central pairing, Fraser Forster is looking bigger than ever. I had my concerns about him early in the season but he’s been doing so well ofmlate thaf the old England debate has reared its ugly head once more.
The attention Forster has been getting is warranted but the plaudits aren’t just about playing for England. Its players like Alves, Buffon etc that have been talking up the big man and quite rightly so.
The one downside to yesterday’s game was the concern over the injury to Adam Matthews. Whilst making one of those signature surging runs into the box, he landed awkwardly after a penalty box challenge by Keith Lasley.
The early reports are saying that it could be a fractured collarbone but that’s yet to be confirmed. Worse case scenario would be a few months on the sidelines.
That would be a severe loss for Celtic when you consider what Matthews offers alone. With four games left to play in the Champions League group stage, the Welshman’s pace and craft are vital for Neil Lennon.
Should our worst fears happen, it’ll fall to another to step up. It’s how you respond to these kind of setbacks that defines you and the same applies to the Celtic squad.
Despite being beaten in both Champions League matches and losing to Morton in the League Cup, Celtic have done very little wrong recently. Overall I think we as fans can be pleased by the way Celtic have played but I think there’s more to come from the team.
Its onwards and upwards for now. We wish Adam Matthews a speedy recovery.