Celtic’s Dazzling First Half Last Night Has Fully Vindicated Two Up Front Yet Again.

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Last night, for 45 minutes, we were absolutely magnificent.

It is understandable that we took the foot off the gas a little in the second half, because by then a reeling St Johnstone were already well beat. The performance Celtic put in was so good that no side in this country – including the one at Ibrox – would have lived with us.

We simply destroyed the home team.

We’re now a couple of matches into the away run which was supposed to leave our season bleeding and wrecked, and as we all know we’ve comfortably won both of them, and at the same time the Ibrox club has dropped points, giving us back the initiative.

As dispiriting as that defeat must have been for all over there, the way we’ve played must be sending shockwaves through their club.

This is down to our playing system changes, I think, and in particular the revert to a front two.

As well as we did against Thistle and Kilmarnock with a front two, I think the real brilliance of it was revealed last night.

St Johnstone tried to prepare for that system, knowing we might utilise it.

We often come up against really tight, compact defences but this was rendered impossible by the decision to play Griffiths and Edouard at the same time.

So they tried to mark both players and that gave Ntcham all the room he needed to waltz into the box and open the scoring … he, by the way, was tremendous last night and that should give pause to those who’d happily let him leave.

Scottish defences are so used to seeing us playing the one man forward line, and have developed their tactics against us to counter it, that they have no idea how to cope when we introduce a second striker to the equation.

When that striker is Leigh Griffiths, whose goal was superb and who’s overall play was quite brilliant, then it’s enough to give them nightmares.

Scotland’s best two front men are at Celtic Park and they proved it last night. Edouard had a quiet night by his own blazing standards, but that didn’t matter because the rest of the team weighed in to take care of business. It was especially good seeing Forrest getting on the scoresheet … the test for Lennon will come when Abd Elhamed and Frimpong are available to him again … it will be interesting to see the tactical choices he will make when they are.

But he must surely see the value in continuing with two men up front.

The case for it has been made, the decision to try it has been vindicated, and it will be a huge disappointment – to say the least – if the manager decides to ditch it, and return to the tried, tested and predictable 4-2-3-1, which allows teams to crowd out our midfield and pack their penalty box against a toiling single striker.

It will have its moments, that system, but the future should belong to two up front.

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