Celtic Deserved Their Win Last Night, But We Rode Our Luck In The Second Half.

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Last night, everything was going right until half time. That was the only cloud on the horizon as we went into the break; that worrying habit we currently have of being less impressive in the second half of games.

It’s a pattern we repeated almost to the letter.

Where the Hell did our intensity go in that second spell?

Why did the performance levels drop so dramatically? If Hearts had scored the penalty, would we have been able to pull ourselves together and go for the winner? I think so, but I don’t know so for a fact, and that concerns me because we are a ball across the goal-line away from having had serious questions to answer this morning.

What causes these drops? This team is supposed to be fitter than it’s ever been, capable of chasing down an opposing side over 90 minutes. Remember what Ange told the players in his famous open mic session at training?

We work until the game is done.

If the opposition wants to slow down or zone out, that’s their problem because we’ll be all over them.

This Celtic team doesn’t look like it can do that yet.

We can go great guns for 45-60 minutes, but then it seems as if we run out of steam.

I understand that Ange hasn’t had a full campaign with these guys and that there are some of them who haven’t gotten up to speed with the pace he wants to set yet, but it’s been a trend for most of the season so far.

We cannot afford to let teams have a sniff in these matches.

Hearts were out of it until they got the goal, and whilst I wholly disagree with anyone who thought they “deserved” anything from a game in which we were utterly dominant for over an hour.

But we invited them to have a go, and then we invited them to think that they had a chance. I do believe we would have found an extra gear had we conceded the penalty and the game gone to 2-2 but we shouldn’t have dropped one in the first place.

That’s something Ange needs to be working on, or it’s going to cost us.

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  • Roonsa says:

    Those were my thoughts exactly after the game. Last week against the Hibees I genuinely thought (and argued on here) that Celtic were deliberately sitting deeper to hit on the break. That argument only works if you remain 2-0 ahead and in control of the game – as was the case last week.

    Against Hearts, as soon as they got the goal (offside as it was), we didn’t really seem to be able up the tempo again. A lot of that was down to Hatate who I don’rt think is ready for 90 minutes yet, not in big matches like that anyway.

    Our 3 best players on the night were O’Riley, Reo and Jota – all of them subbed at some point. If we had the bodies The first two would have been off the same time as Jota instead of in the dying embers.

    I think things will improve but I reckon it’s squeaky bum time till we get the bodies back.

    • Cyril Donohoe says:

      Hatate nowhere near as dominant 2 hf, must be said though he is at end of season in (Japan),Matt Riley has played little football , missing players through injury inter duty huge loss .We need like with like on bench to maintain Anges pressung gme.However even allowing 4 that we lack a ruthless streak,Hearts were completely out of it up to goal ,its a pattern that needs solving overall grt result Ange is a gem of a manager we are on ourway to total dominance may take a bit ot time but sooner rather than later

  • Smokey says:

    Good review, I think we are a 60 minute team at the moment.. it has happened unfortunately on a few occasions recently, the Bhoys put so much in to first hour of a game they do get fatigued ,
    wish Ange would make his subs earlier.
    Waiting for your write up on the penalty Livingston
    Should have been given last night…. Robertson again…. and that idiot Richard Foster saying big Biton should have been sent off…

    • Roonsa says:

      By the rules of the game Biton should have walked. No way the first one was a booking but when he got it he should have known to screw the nut. Biton can be a liability like that and last night he was lucky because he should have been yellow carded for the handball incident – unless I missed something?


      Haven’t seen the Livi penalty incident. Doesn’t surprise me. Expect Herr Robertson to become the huns’ pet referee in due course.

  • Ciaran Finn says:

    That win last night could prove to be vital come end of the season. If the peno was scored I couldn’t see Celtic scoring a third, they were out on their feet.

  • Pedro says:

    Look on the bright side, half your influential players missing/ injured/ murdered by opposition players, Reo has had 70 minutes ALL SEASON…a couple of debutants, only the refs are keeping Sevco relevant, otherwise this league would be out of sight….we got a wine against the usual hammer throwers….chin up fellas!

  • Derek McNabb says:

    I agree with everything you say, very slag in midfield and wing backs they where of the pace in the second half.
    Mr Beaton was abit dodgy

  • jrm63 says:

    Celtic were out on their feet last night. Hatate and O’Reilly were done after 65mins. They barely had enough energy to walk off the park. What a performance both gave – a second run out and a debut. That is a sobering thought for the rest of the SPL. The substitution of Jota seemed to turn the game. The Greek striker played well again. Reminds me of Sheringham. He likes the ball at the near post. All three goals have come from there

  • Justshatered says:

    Our high intensity pressing game is too intense and right now when it comes to replacing players at the 60 or 70 minute mark we’re bringing on Soro and McCarthy instead of McGregor, Rogic, Turnbull, or Ideguchi.
    Up front we should have Kyogo or Meada with the big Greek backing them up.
    So many injuries mean that with our style, we will struggle at the back end of games as we are bringing on guys who aren’t up to the pace.

  • Tom Foolery says:

    That was a great 3 points. I was concerned about last nights game but the bhoys proved they have the steel as well as the skill.

  • Jack says:

    Great 3 points. Hearts first goal was offside and brother Beaton could not wait to award them a penalty for an unlucky handball. Contrast that to the penalty Livingston never got at Ibrox. They say we’re paranoid, but it’s hard not to be. All these honest mistakes are keeping Sevco in the title race. Can’t continue surely?

  • JimBhoy says:

    Given a fair bit of injury and covid luck Celtic could pick up a treble this term. If we had all our squad available there would be no team to get close to the quality we have. Grinding out results is necessary when you are juggling your playing staff.

    A few moving out to be replaced by more quality and the addition of some of our loan boys with some more game time will see us with an extremely strong talented squad for next season.

    Exciting times ahead for the Bhoys.

  • Mark B says:

    Good summary agree with all your points. . Was impressed by O’Riley and Reo. Still like to see more aerial presence a set pieces especially in defence.

  • David Frame says:

    Constant injuries leading to Ange having to change the line may be a factor…however I am convinced the title will be ours,nothing I have seen so far (refs apart) will stop it happening…HH.???

  • Fat8mike says:

    4 of the back 5 have played consistently all season, nobody else in the team has.. 2 new signings and biton coming back from injury in the engine room and 3 up front with very little football so far. The fact they were so dominant and cohesive for as much as 60mins was testament to how well ange is implementing his ethos on the squad as a whole. This time next year we’ll all be arguing over what our best 11 is because the whole squad is on fire and fit

  • john henry says:

    Absolutely spot on with your comments , the first 45mins was the best I have seen in some time/ Then to be followed by a repeat performance of too many lack lustre efforts in the 2nd period. This is something Ange has to address as a matter of priority.

  • john clarke says:

    Ange and his player management team will be aware of the importance of sport diet leading up to games. Ange knows all about netballer and australian rules player sport diets because those coaches are his friends. these games are played at a high “comsumptive energy rate”. i know a bit about adult education. players must have the knowledge, attitude and aspiration to figure their sport diet for themselves. no doubt the academy members have been taught the basics of exercise physiology/sport diet. perhaps the senior players need a short course as a technical update. hydration maintenance is the most important need when playing these games. reducing the risk of cramp is important. the British Dietitian Association has a membership for specialist Sports Dietitians. the celtic ceo is academically trained in sporting club management and will be aware of this need.

  • john clarke says:

    the celtic fc CEO has a masters degree in law and MBA from harvard university. sorry!
    my assumption is that the players are fit, but the readily available energy is low in the second half. i may be wrong. players can always take a drink during injury time-outs.
    you can have an engine that is well serviced but when the fuel runs out…..
    small portions of sushi won’t get you far and haggis will give you gout (high in purines).
    if you take the japanese players to a highland ball and the haggis is piped in for dinner….better tell them all about it..

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