Well, I think we put this one to bed tonight. Scoring four away from home and leaving with a two goal win doesn’t suggest that we have much to fear from the second leg.
This tie is over. Celtic has it, and although the defence gave us the jitters a little we showed something up front tonight – a clinical edge – that has been sadly lacking of late.
This team is still building and growing, of course, and I expect more defensive reinforcements and an all-round improvement as players bed in and get to know each other, but already we looked like a side that is going to score a lot of goals, and we tighten up and stop conceding cheap ones … well I think we’re definitely going to be a different prospect than last year.
Already you see signs of great things. Abada for one.
He looks a real talent, a genuine find of quality who is capable of finding space amongst a packed defence.
He scored his second European goal and his second for the club tonight, and there will be many more.
He is going to terrorise Scottish defences, absolutely terrorise them. Furuhashi showed the kind of first touch, quick reactions and sublime finish which will do likewise.
This will be a Celtic unlike any we have seen before … and unlike any our opponents have faced.
But clearly we need to sort out that backline.
The first goal is indefensible for any side to lose; a big high punt up the park where the guy dances between two flat-footed players and runs one on one with the goalie. Dreadful, absolutely dreadful.
Starfelt looks a yard off of it at the moment too; he was all at sea being turned for the second.
But we know this is a guy who has played at a top level and he’ll improve and we’ll see a very good footballer, because you can already see he has the characteristics of one in several areas of his defensive game.
The result, and the performance midfield to front, was exactly what we’ve been waiting for, it had dynamism and energy and the cutting edge we’ve been missing.
We dropped the £16 million striker tonight and four of the front men scored.
I think that decision has been entirely vindicated folks.
Tonight the media sharks were just waiting for us to slip up.
The BBC anchor was wetting his pants every time Jablonec got up the pitch. To hear the hopeful edge fade out of his voice when Ryan got the fourth was sweet, sweet, sweet.
Some will still try to dress this up as a false note, focussing on the negatives rather than on the positives but every team with a new manager and new players is a work in progress, and tonight you saw where that work is sort of headed.
It’s not a bad place at all.