Eight points clear. Sure, Ibrox has its game in hand but that’s the lead we wanted and needed and the one that sends us into next weekend in really good shape. Ibrox plays first; they have Livingston away, and then we have Aberdeen at home.
I’d say that should be a tough fixture for them; it won’t be. But we can restore that eight-point lead later in the afternoon.
Sandwiched between those games, of course, is a trip to Madrid, a big trip, the sort of trip that saw the boss ring those changes today.
And in the end it’s made no difference; we’ve still won that game today with some room to spare. Two of the goals were beauties. Two came from the alleged “fringe players.” All were scored by midfielders.
But today was as much about VAR as anything else. We’ll get to it.
Let’s talk about the two beautiful goals first, the opener from Turnbull and that screamer of a second from Palma.
David Turnbull got his late at the end of the first half, with what was almost the last kick of the ball. Palma’s is a true classic, a goal of the season contender, a wonderful sweeping shot from outside the box. He assisted Forrest’s third.
Incredible stats. 16 shots on target today.
Their keeper was easily the man of the match. People will talk about their defending, but we blew them away in our attacking football.
And although we’ve won the game by three … oh man, we had the ball in the net five times today and I do not know what the first two were chopped off except that someone called Dallas was in the VAR room.
The first goal is chopped off by the ref. Sure. But VAR’s verdict should have overturned that nonsensical call. The offside decision is laughable.
They’ve actually had to use the frame after the ball is played to justify that, which is a joke. That’s not an accident. That’s deliberate. You can look at that frame and see clearly that it’s the wrong one; Celtic fans from all across the internet have identified that “error” and yet industry professionals didn’t see it?
That’s simply not credible to me, not even close.
Elidh Barbour made the ludicrous claim on Sky that the red card ended the game. What a daft comment. We were ten minutes into the match.
I’ll tell you what would have ended the game, had the vicious elbowing incident on Oh a short time later been given as a red card, which it richly deserved. VAR officials didn’t think that was.
There’s no excuse for some of those decisions today, none, and the ref himself was an embarrassment in not giving the red card right off the bat for what clearly a studs up challenge with no effort to win the ball.
Some of his other decisions were ludicrous; one where he penalised Bernardo for going in to assist Oh, who was on the deck with a bunch of Ross County players around him with one clearly pressing down on him, was actually laugh out loud in how brazenly bad it was. On a day of stinking decisions that one actually did strike the funny bone.
I loved Malky Mackay’s contention that he was “proud” of his players having been absolutely pinned in their own box for virtually the whole game.
It sums up exactly what I said the other week; a lot of these managers are just happy not to get done. It’s not enough. It’s not nearly enough and I don’t know how any one of them can claim to be happy after that.
I think we saw some of the worst officiating of the season today. And there was another incident which isn’t going to be talked about much, one I’ve seen on social media but which the mainstream press hasn’t bothered to highlight, and none of them will; Cameron Carter Vickers having his jersey pulled at a corner kick.
Clear penalty, right? Has to be. Because we’ve been hearing it all week to justify Ibrox’s late penalty last weekend.
But what did we say at the time?
You see it every week, in almost every game. Only they would have got that. Only they would ever get that. I’ve saw it a hundred times and can count on one hand how many times it has been penalised.
Regardless of it all – not that we’re done dissecting some of this – that was a big, well earned, and well deserved three points.
The so-called “fringe players” did well, with big Oh being robbed of his second goal in two games by that diabolical decision.
It was great to see Turnbull his second in subsequent games and to see Forrest, The Famous Name, doing his stuff … but that goal from Palma, we’ll watch that over and over and over again. It is a masterpiece.
That he also got an assist for Forrest’s goal confirms this guy as a special, special footballer and a growing fan favourite.