Evening folks and aye last night was a bad one. Indeed a sore one, but the inquiry must start now. There are certainly 2 elements of last night’s game that played their part. One of course is the referee who denied Celtic what seemed to be an infinite amount of penalties. But most importantly, the softness of this Celtic team.
Lets get the ref over and done with first. He constantly denied Celtic an even playing field at corners, that whateverhisnameisswissbawbag was at it everytime, the best one was after he got himself and Hooper booked the ref warned him again and he had a grip of Gary Hooper whilst talking to the ref saying ‘I’m doing nothing wrong’ Il Fudinio. The ref then proceeded to watch Scott Brown be man handled in the box, booked Brown and the Juve player, then watched Brown be pulled down again, but did nothing. Why was he so poor? No conspiracy about Juve fans with sub boards or sons playing for Juve’s youth teams. It’s simple. Antonio Conte is a despicable wee guy, there’s an air of cockiness about him. As An Ac Milan enthusiast I’ve watched his Juve team constantly get away with murder, not necessarily as bad as last night btw, that’s a new one for me. But Conte is a younger Sir Alex Ferguson, whether its right or wrong I get the impression of him that he knows how to handle refs and what to say to the media (I.E, strong referee which Alex McLeish tried to peddle.)
But for me, the most important part. It’s been a while since a Celtic defence has gifted Juventus 3 goals, all terrifically finished however. In big games, Its always important for your centre halves to start well. First ball in the air, bang, you’re wanting your defender to come out and clean house, win the ball, but more importantly, let the striker know hes not going to get it easy. Efe Ambrose, fit or not, didn’t do that, he lapsed, and Forster who for me wasn’t out quick enough because he was expecting Ambrose to win the header, contrived to see us a goal down inside two minutes. Celtic then had Juventus penned in, there was about a 5 minute spell 30 mins in where Juventus were rattled and Celtic just couldn’t get the goal.
Celtic were tremendously unlucky, don’t get me wrong, we’ll play worse and win next week probably. However there is a softness in that Celtic team. Yes the antics at corners were abysmal, but Juventus tried that in 2001 and Sutton, Balde, Valgaeren Mjallby and co were a match for them. Ironically we got a penalty that night for pulling in the box but the point is Celtic bullied the bullies and we really announced ourselves. There’s no denying Celtic at least deserved a draw last night, but Celtic let the antics get to them, they didn’t brush them off, then the second goal, Matthews out of position then turned inside out. Then the third goal, Ambrose who I’ve said since day one there’s an accident waiting to happen with him. No doubt he’s a terrific defender, but far too calm on the ball, in these games just clear the ball away and move on, especially if you’ve already caused one goal. Beautiful finish from the thumbs up Vucinic as well Forster was well beaten.
My honest assessment of the game is that Celtic played some terrific stuff at times, we just couldn’t take any chances and you get punished, especially if you’re as sloppy as we were on the night. The ref ruined it by letting Juve get away with murder and Celtic let them get to us, a sad night, but no doubt the champions league campaign will be remembered fondly, we won away and beat Barcelona of course, but barring a miracle in three weeks (fingers crossed and novenas said) it will end on a sour note.