Celtic turned in a comfortable performance yesterday at home to Ross County. After a spate of bad form, Ronny Deila got a decent response from his players.
Leigh Griffiths, a recent victim of social media abuse, notched up goal number 30 of the season. He’d been denied by the post earlier in the match which could easily have turned out to be the story of the game but it wasn’t.
Instead, the timing of Celtic’s opening goal was ideal with it coming in injury time in the first half. Kieran Tierney crossed the ball into the Ross County box which their defence failed to clear sufficiently thanks to pressure from Stefan Johansen.
The ball dropped to Griffiths who smashed it home from close range. This made him the fastest Celtic player to reach the 30 goal mark since Henrik Larsson.
Dedryck Boyata doubled Celtic’s lead in the 57th minute with a great header. With a deep cross coming in from Stuart Armstrong, Boyata leapt to nod it in at the back post.
It helped settle things down but results are rarely settled with a two goal lead. Craig Gordon demonstrated a fine save late in the game to deny County an equaliser.
He’s not been in his best form this season but that save showed he still has the ability and focus. This was a steady performance by Celtic who have now won their last two game’s 2-0.
Ronny Deila needs to rebuild the confidence that the team were displaying throughout January. The League Cup exit remains a scar on the season but the focus remains on the League and Scottish Cup.
Now it is over to Aberdeen who face Inverness tomorrow night at the Caledonian Stadium. Both sides have only lost 1 of their last five matches but with 26 points separating each side, Aberdeen are the favourites for this match.
Though it is worth remembering that Derek McInnes’ side have not beaten Inverness in their last two league meetings. They drew the last match 2-2 at Pittodrie on Boxing Day and Inverness won 2-1 at the Caledonian Stadium back in late September.
The Dons are on form though and in pursuit of Celtic who despite a difficult period, remain 3 points at the top of the league. Win, lose or draw tomorrow night, Celtic will still have a game at hand.
Congratulations to Leigh Griffiths this weekend for reaching that milestone. Even greater credit for enduring the internet trolls.