That today was certainly not vintage Celtic. We all know we have performances like that in us, as every team does, and it was probably better that we got it out of the road. It was poor fare overall, with one of our most disjointed displays. It is not one that is going to automatically be included on anybody’s end of season highlights reel.
This team has set such high standards for such a prolonged period of time that it’s jarring to watch a performance like that. For all that, we were the better team, we created the better chances and but for an inexplicable Kyogo miss we might have tied the points up a lot sooner. It’s one of those days when you put the points in your pocket.
That said, the second goal was just magnificent … and it must have been a proper sickening moment for those who were tuning in hoping to see a shock.
Before we continue, where in God’s name did eight minutes come from? When have you ever seen a game which was pretty much stoppage free turning out eight added minutes? It was faintly ridiculous and felt an awful lot like the officials trying to compensate for giving us the decision that put us in front. Not that it will matter.
The entire week will be consumed by that decision.
We’re going to have another full chorus of “How bad are our refs?” a song which I don’t mind singing but which never gets the full backing orchestra unless the decision is one that “benefits” us. It’s a penalty, and as James McFadden says the very kind of decision VAR was introduced for … that will not stop the bitching and complaining.
Let me be perfectly honest; I’m going to take a certain amount of ironic satisfaction, perhaps even mocking glee, in the fury that will be unleashed across social media for the whole of the week leading up to Saturday.
It amuses me to think that people will trot out that old familiar line about how it “turned the game” as though the match stopped immediately after it was scored. In point of fact, Ross County made us work for that and got up the pitch enough that you never felt like it was cleanly in the bag until that superb second goal hit the back of the net.
I don’t like MacKay but he deserves a bit of credit for that. His team didn’t just put eleven men behind the ball today. He had a go, albeit we just had too much quality.
I hope, therefore, he doesn’t attempt to trot out the tired old nonsense about how it was the officials who decided the affair … he can leave that to others. There will be plenty of them, and as I said that does make me smile.
One fly in the ointment today; the injury to Greg Taylor. Although I do enjoy Bernabei and was well pleased to see him rattle that goal in today, Taylor has been so good this season that there’s no way that his absence is anything other than a loss.
So let’s hope he shakes that off and he’s back in contention for the weekend.
Nine points clear again. Eight games to go in the league. Another box crossed off, another date scored out, another day when the Green Machine did what it does. We’re almost there now folks. Not much longer to celebrate that second title under Ange.