Celtic edged past Real Sociedad at St Mirren Park last night in their final preparation match before they get down to competitive business this Wednesday. Next up is the Champions League encounter with Stjarnan but Ronny Deila got a chance to put his players through one more test with David Moyes’s La Liga side providing opposition.
This was Ronny Deila’s third preseason friendly and the first for David Moyes. However it was the Basque side who played the better football in the first half.
Celtic found themselves under pressure from Erreala as Ronny Deila’s player’s tried to get into their stride. They dealt with everything that came their way even if they struggled to find their own.
The second half was totally different. Celtic found themselves stepping up a gear and putting together better moves and chances.
Then came probably the moment most fans had tuned in for. The arrival of Nadir Çiftçi from Dundee United had mixed feelings amongst Celtic fans.
Now that he is here it’s about application and effort. He didn’t waste much time when he came on as a substitute for Leigh Griffiths in the 67th minute either.
Griffiths was unlucky not score. Having had one deflected wide in the first half and another hitting the post in the second half he was lively.
Within moments of entering the field of play though, Çiftçi was involved in an attacking move. After that one broke down he was straight in again assisting Gary Mackay-Steven for the only goal of the match.
It was enough to win the game but again it was more about preparation for Wednesday. Still the result will go along way to easing the fears of those supporters who get a wee bit upset at friendly defeats.
The positive sign was that Celtic upped their game second half after pressure from the opposition in the first. Real Sociedad’s player’s were a wee bit feisty throughout the match but that provided a little bit of realism for the competitive games ahead.
Next stop is Celtic Park and Champions League opponents Stjarnan. This is where our season begins.