David Potters Reflections: “This is the day that we win away…”

27
Sep
2017

Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles, Match Reports

Yes! At long last, Celtic have ripped up the script that says they must lose in Europe! This was a fine performance for most of the game, although the first quarter of an hour was absolutely dire and had us tearing our hair out in frustration at the amount of times that they gave the ball away. Olivier Ntcham in particular looked totally out of his depth, but to his credit, recovered well, playing a great part in the first goal, and had a fine second half.

The goals were all good. There was a touch of luck, perhaps in the deflection for the second goal, but on the other hand, we had several narrow misses and might have scored more. Anderlecht, on the other hand, had possibly two chances on either side of half-time, but apart from that, never really threatened, and were only like to score from a Celtic mistake.

Tonight, there were very few mistakes in the defence. There were loads in midfield in the first half, but the central defensive pairing of Simunovich and Boyata were rightly praised to the heavens by Chris Sutton and others, and how nice it is to think that the days of the leaky sieve defending in Europe may be over. Time, of course, will tell.

But what is it with Celtic that makes them play so badly in Europe at the start of a game? Is it just nerves? We all know that the worst sin in the book is giving the ball away. We know that, the Press and TV know that, Brendan Rodgers knows that. Why, then, do Celtic do it? It does not seem to be the most difficult thing in the world to find a green and white jersey, but then again that is the opinion of a man sitting in his armchair. Of course, it is more difficult on the field in the heat of battle, but let’s keep working on it, Celtic.

The encouraging thing as the half progressed, however, was that Anderlecht did not take advantage of any errors. In truth, they were a poor team to be in Europe at that level, and although they did have a few good moments in the second half and put us under a little pressure, now and again, there was no consistent attacking play from them. Naively, they allowed themselves to be caught offside far too often.

Leigh Griffiths is a constant source of wonder for his energy and commitment. Even near the end of the 90 minutes he was running about as enthusiastically as he was at the start. He had a fine game, but over the piece, no-one really had a bad game, and it was a fine European night for Celtic in spite of some early sloppy play. Scott Sinclair might well have blasted the ball over the bar for the third goal, but kept the head well.

We have said that Anderlecht were poor, but the game itself was played in a fine spirit of sportsmanship. The referee was good, but did you notice that he blessed himself at the end? Well, that just explains it all, according to our friends in Larkhall and Govan. So that’s how Celtic win! Far better with the men with the firm but funny handshakes!

But jesting aside, we can now hold our heads up in Europe, Let us now have a real go at Bayern Munich. Maybe we can make the latter stages of Champions League yet. Believe!

DP

 

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