Stuff of Champions



What a week it has been on planet Celtic. Seven days booked ended with two fantastic matches.

After mauling Aberdeen 3-0 at Hampden last Sunday, Celtic visited Motherwell at lunch time for an all out battle. What a game we saw today at Fir Park.

Mark McGhee set about Celtic with the right tactics. Motherwell took the lead in the third minute with a great finish.

It was a through ball that a sharper Kolo Toure may have dealt with but on this occasion Louis Moult was the one who was the winner. The finish was a superb lob over Craig Gordon who was helpless.

The early concession should have sparked Celtic into life and it did…eventually. Brendan Rodgers made a tactical switch with Emilio Izaguirre being sacrificed to allow Callum McGregor to come on.

That meant Celtic moving to a back defensive back three. Five minutes later, Motherwell were 2-0 up with another Toure blip and Moult finish.

I was beginning to think the Kolo was our new bogeyman. Efe Ambrose must have been thinking “I’m no that bad after all”.

So 2-0 down at half time it was. The second half would need to see a revival.

McGregor took the initiative only three minutes after the interval. Some neat footwork and a one-two with Stuart Armstrong saw him deliver Celtic’s first goal of the game.

Celtic would continue to attack Motherwell but nothing would come off for them. Moussa Dembele was suffering from a combination of bad control, being heavily marked and below average service.

The next goal would be the equaliser courtesy of a Patrick Roberts header. The ball was crossed in perfectly by Armstrong who was having a fantastic match with Roberts knocking it in with an equally well taken header.

Motherwell had a response though and it came pretty soon. Lionel Ainsworth had entered the field of play a minute before Celtic’s equaliser and a minute after that he had volleyed Motherwell back into the lead.

Celtic took that on the chin and provided a similar response. Roberts threaded a through ball which Armstrong latched onto to level the game once again.

It was four crazy minutes that took this game to another level. It was a feisty game with pleasantries were being exchanged all across the park.

The game trundled on and inside the 90th minute the Tom Rogic would unleash some of his magic. Some great footwork on the edge of the box allowed him to switch from left foot to right foot and smash home the winner.

Celtic would see out the last five minutes of added on time to secure the win. This was a classic match.

Motherwell provided great opposition and gave Celtic a very good run for their money. Performances like this from Celtic is stuff of champions.

They executed Aberdeen last Sunday without reply. Motherwell were a different beast altogether and refused to lie down to the champions.

That deserves some respect, even if I have none for Mark McGhee. Brendan Rodgers made a tactical switch which worked in the long run.

Had it not been for the defensive errors of Toure, it may have been a different game. Maybe even a boring one!

With the rest of the Scottish Premiership in action this afternoon, their 11 point lead will be short-lived. With a further two games at hand though, Celtic are looking very comfortable right now.

It will be interesting to see the shape of the Scottish Premiership after Hearts play away to Ross County and Aberdeen visit Ibrox.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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