Celtic progressed into the quarter finals of the League Cup with a comfortable win over Heart of Midlothian. This was a victory that Ronny Deila needed as he strives for consistency.
Hearts were up for it from the word go and made the early moves in the game. To their credit, they have shown how a club can fall into a financial mess and recover by repaying their debts and re-establishing themselves on a steady footing.
They gave a good account last night considering the changes they have undergone. However, as the game wore on, Celtic grew in stature.
Its been a period of change for Celtic and Ronny Deila has been tinkering with the team for weeks. I’ve no real issue with that but last night he put out a strong side and got a result.
Although Hearts hit the bar and Osman Sow missed a penalty, Celtic were the dominant force. You can argue that the first chance was a defensive error and the penalty was contentious but Celtic were the dominant force.
It was a another quiet night for rising start Callum McGregor. He’s been Deila’s best performer to date but the lad needs a rest and it shows.
The left wing was where Celtic were getting all the joy. Emilio Izaguirre, forgiven for a horrendous back pass in the match, played a blinder on the left channel.
Together with Stokes in a wide berth they played some neat passing to trouble the Hearts defence throughout the entire match. This is a role more suited to Stokes who to be honest, is never a striker.
That role was left to John Guidetti who quite simply, put the ball in the netty! Sorry about that one, but let’s hope there are loads more goals from him.
Commons tucked away another from the penalty spot to add to his season tally. The final goal came courtesy of a chest propelled back pass from Hearts defender Adam Eckersley.
He did remarkably well to do what he did. I don’t think Neil Alexander was ready for such a close and pacey pass back though!
All in all this was another bit of progress for Ronny Deila. He’s had his critics lately so the timing and importance of this result were important.
The next step is to get into a winning run in the league. There isn’t a huge gap and it is still early in the season but with Europe going on in tandem with domestic duties now is the time to start gathering momentum.