Today we progressed, as expected, to the Scottish League Cup Final. We were disciplined and we were excellent for the most part. Our team has recovered from their midweek exertions and turned in a very good display at a ground where Brendan’s record is exceptional.
It was glorious to see Moussa come off the bench and bag two goals.
It was surprising to see Mikael Lustig score twice.
But welcome, because it secures the place in November’s showpiece game, which the SPFL better make sure is played in front of more fans than were at this one. Their ticketing policy is a fiasco, and you saw the shocking results of it here.
The standard of referees in this country continues to be appalling.
Two decisions stood out for me, and they reeked. Boyata’s perfectly timed tackle was not remotely a penalty no matter what Alan Stubbs thought and the smirking halfwit McCoist said he believed. Do these guys want a whole new rulebook written just for them?
Since when does it matter whether or not a defender had to make a challenge for a ball? Since when does that matter? Only one thing counts; did he succeed? And Boyata succeeded. He won the ball cleanly. That ought to end the matter, but these two preening eejits wanted the discussion to be about whether it was a clumsy effort.
The second act of utter mibbery was the Lustig yellow card; it was a nothing incident, but in the aftermath of it is an act of retaliation from a Hibs player which bizarrely resulted in no sanction. No wonder the big man was furious coming off the pitch.
I would swear that there is an unspoken agreement amongst refs this season to allow our players to be targeted. Young Kieran is foremost when it comes to receiving that treatment. It is ridiculous. There is another unspoken agreement that our players are fair game for picking up silly yellows. That Brown was booked – and there was some hollering from the commentary team when he made a wonderful tackle late in the game – for his first offence says it all.
His card is marked. It’s been clear since the last campaign, both by refs and by the media who are clearly still smarting from his performances in last season’s Sevco double header.
In spite of it all, we did the job, thanks in no small part to Brendan’s decision to bring on Moussa.
All the traits I highlighted in my match report from Munich were, I’m pleased to say, on full display. His excellent first touch, ability to turn a defender, his finishing prowess. He is the complete player. I just hope we do at least fight to hang onto him a bit longer.
In the meantime, Brendan and this team are back at Hampden again next month for the final.
The big games just keep on coming.