Celtic probably thought they’d walk the League Cup tie at home to Alloa Athletic. Even with the game stats so much in favour of the home side, the visitors were great and can be proud of their efforts.
Over 70% percentage of possession and over 30 shots at goal with those on target in double figures but Alloa stood firm. Celtic had their best players on the park from the start with the exception of Scott Sinclair and the injured Leigh Griffiths.
On another night Celtic would have thrashed Alloa with this type of performance. And that’s just it, Celtic were so good but couldn’t find the net.
As it was, man of the match James Forrest broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute with a superb run and strike. Neil Parry had a brilliant night in goal for Alloa, but Forrest got what he deserved after a tireless performance.
This was Forrest of old, if that’s even possible. To wrap things up, Moussa Dembele finished a great move in the box to make it 2-0.
It was a rare clean sheet for Brendan Rodgers’ side. Only his third in fourteen competitive matches since taking over.
Celtic weren’t really under any threat except for the few chances Alloa had. Craig Gordon, getting a chance back between the sticks, almost saw red.
Last man, perhaps not. The challenge he made on Greig Spence though was dangerous though.
He was lucky to stay on the park. This kind of recklessness won’t do him any favours in the battle to be first choice keeper.
It’s an area of concern for Celtic. With a team of good individual defenders that have yet to gel, you’d like to think there’s a goalkeeper you can rely on but there isn’t.
Gordon had a good first season at Celtic but he’s been on the slide ever since. Dorus de Vries doesn’t inspire me and Logan Bailly may never even get the nod for Celtic.
This isn’t a crisis but it is a concern. With Champions League football at the core of our season, I’m troubled by our goalie problem and our frailty in defence.
If there’s a chance for Celtic to stop losing goals it lies with our defenders. On the attack I am much more confident with what I’ve seen.
We could be more clinical as we saw tonight against Alloa, but we create opportunities and look positive in attack. That will only get better as this team evolves.
This evening the man of the match was James Forrest and deservedly so. He ran for the entire match creating and shooting so it was fitting that he broke the stubborn style play of Alloa who had frustrated Celtic all night.
Next up is Kilmarnock at home in the Scottish Premiership this Saturday at a more normal time of 3pm. Brendan Rodgers will try to keep the team focussed on winning that match without being distracted by the big game a week tonight at home to Manchester City.