The ecstasy from last night’s 5-0 defeat of Astana courses through my veins still. Celtic Park was jumping and significantly the Green Brigade were back among the supporters and helping to raise the roof once again.
This significance of the playoff was to secure entry into the group phase of the Champions League once more and the guaranteed income that comes with it. In truth this was something more, it was about teamwork.
This was Celtic’s eighth game of the season, and their fifth in Europe. Not everything has been rosy in the garden though.
With injuries to key players, Brendan Rodgers has been deprived of both central defenders and strikers. That has meant using alternatives from within the squad, alien to the roles required.
Then there has been the matter of player sharpness. Form has been sporadic at best, but last night that all changed.
After an opening thirty minutes where Astana looked at comfortable and organised, Celtic began to click. It was as though someone had flicked a switch and suddenly all the misplaced passes, missing runs and misfiring in front of goal ceased.
A two or three goal victory without reply was a target but it was better. Much better than we had hoped for.
Good fortune came Celtic’s way but not without digging deep and working together. That was the key to this win.
The joy among the players was just as apparent as it was in the stands. The atmosphere was electric as the goals rolled in one by one.
2-0? Great. 3-0? Ideal!
We were all concerned about narrowly beating Astana last season. This session we knew we were a better team, but we still had concerns.
Bitton filling it at centre back and Forrest and Sinclair both off the boil. They came good though and then some.
The players all seemed to acknowledge that things had kicked in again. We saw that from stands and we rejoiced in unison.
What a great feeling. What a great night.
With the hard part done, all we need now is for Paddy to sign, Armstrong to re-sign and a decent draw after our place is confirmed. Well, two-out-of-three wouldn’t be bad!