Last night at Celtic Park, Ronny Deila’s player’s executed a near perfect performance. Whilst Dundee offered nothing at all, Celtic played some nice, easy on the eye football.
The task was not completely difficult as Dundee chose to sit back the entire match. It did take Celtic a bit of time to break them down but they got there in the end.
Paul Hartley claimed in his brief post match interview that Celtic had them pegged them back from the beginning. In reality, it was more that Dundee sat back and planned to hit on the break.
As it turned out, they were rarely given that chance because Celtic pressed the whole match. Their ‘plan’ backfired but Celtic’s tempo kept us all entertained and if you come to Celtic Park and play like that, well, you deserve everything you get.
Take nothing away from Celtic because they carved out some nice goals. With all of their men behind the ball, Dundee weren’t doing anything but defending.
Leigh Griffiths popped up in the 30th minute to score a great header. On watching the replay, the goal had a touch of Larsson about it.
My thoughts were mirrored by an associate on Twitter, I just didn’t have the balls to say it myself! Whilst Griffiths and Larsson are two totally different players, it does show you how long its been since I’ve seen someone score decent headers in the box.
Seven minutes later the second goal came and with it the hallmark of Champions. Every player got a touch without a Dundee interception before Captain Scott Brown rounded off the passage of play by running into the box to make a calm finish.
Commons got his name on the score sheet later in the second half. Darnell Fisher came off the bench, added some pace to the right hand channel and was duly fouled in the Dundee penalty area – Commons didn’t waste the chance.
Then came James Forrest, man of recurring injury but with pace and ability to cause problems to most defences. The ball fed through to him was perfect but the finish was difficult so to score it was the icing on the cake.
They say you save the best until last and whilst the four goals in the game at that point were all excellent, the fifth was brilliant. Nir Bitton, a player who has taken his opportunity to impress this season went one step further last night.
In the 89th minute, he took control of the ball 35 yards out and smacked it towards goal. If Forrest’s goal was the icing on the cake then Bitton’s was the candle.
As far as Friday nights go, this was one to remember. Many will say that without a decent challenge from our opponents that it wasn’t a test.
It certainly wasn’t a test, but it was great to watch. Even as I write this, I’m watching the goals again.
The finish line is in sight but the title has not been decided. Aberdeen still have a say in this but should they fail to get anything other than a victory today at Tannadice, Celtic will be crowned Scottish Champions.
Personally, it would be sweeter to go to Pittodrie next Sunday and try and win it there. It would certainly make it a huge occasion, given what is at stake.
For now, Celtic can sit back and see what the weekend brings.