Celtic got past Partick Thistle today with a 3-1 win at Firhill. There were plenty of chances to put the game to bed earlier, but it took for a Thistle equaliser to pull Celtic out of their slumber.
Brendan Rodgers made further changes to the team with six players being dropped or out injured. There was enough in that starting lineup to win and it was Leigh Griffiths who fired home from close range after a great cut back by Scott Sinclair in the 18th minute.
Further opportunities came and went as the match wore on, but Celtic were unable to find that second goal to ease the tie. Then came a moment for the Jags and they didnt’ waste it.
Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo slid home from inside the Celtic box after finding himself some space in the 73rd minute. That prompted a reaction from Celtic.
They had already switched Griffiths for Moussa Dembele and James Forrest for Mikey Johnston before the Thistle goal. Dembele was then on hand restore Celtic’s lead in the 78th minute.
After a run down the right hand side, Gamboa crossed in a pacey ball which Dembele knocked into the goal from close range. It immediately soothed any fears.
Brendan Rodgers then introduced Callum McGregor for Olivier Ntcham to keep the engine room running. Gamboa continued to make a name for himself with another assist.
Another run down the right picked out Tom Rogic who slotted home from close range. Two assists from Gamboa then.
Brendan was critical of his side in the aftermath of the game. The win was obviously the desired result, but he appeared unhappy with our overall performance.
It is still early in the season, we’ve had some obvious disappointment recently and Brendan is rotating the team. We do still need a couple of players, but we also need the team to get up to speed.
There were some positive displays by Gamboa on the right and Emilio Izaguirre on the left. Sinclair looked more effective today as well.
Griffiths got his 99th goal for the club and we see just how important Dembele is again. There was one ridiculous challenge on Scott Brown by Jack Storer which should have been a red.
Craig Thomson had as good as view as anyone and only produced a yellow. I can only imagine how that had gone down had the roles been reversed.
Aside from that, Broony hasn’t looked very sharp so far this season. As I said though it is early on so plenty of time for himself and the squad to get up to speed.
The most important thing was the win. Next up is the trip to Lithuania.