On a wet December night at Paradise Celtic continued their winning run to go fourteen points clear at the top of the SPFL table.
With Brendan Rodgers making EIGHT changes from the side that defeated Dundee 2-1 on Saturday, there certainly wasn’t any drop in performance. Scott Sinclair made his first start since returning from injury, Scott Brown returning from a 1 match suspension and French under-21 player of the year Moussa Dembele also starting with Leigh Griffiths dropping onto the bench. Most surprisingly of all young Calvin Miller made his first competitive senior debut he certainly didn’t look out of place at left back in the second Glasgow derby of three this month.
Thistle made a bright start, pressing high up the field and trying to disrupt Celtics passing game. Within the first 15 minutes, it was the visitors that had created two decent chances that forced Craig Gordon into a couple of early saves.
In the 16th minute, Gamboa was brought down the right wing, from the resulting free kick Liam Henderson cut the ball back for Scott Sinclair who rifled in a shot from 15 yards into the roof of the net for his 10th league goal of the campaign. In the 30th minute debutant Calvin Miller began a brilliant passing move from the left involving Henderson and Roberts, with young Miller getting into the Thistle box, hitting a right foot shot straight at Cerny in the Thistle goal.
The start of the second half Celtic came out and tried to finish the game off quickly. In the 60th minute young Calvin Miller was replaced by Izzy and the young man can be proud of his hours work. Just as the lights began to flash and the chorus of ‘In The Heat Of Lisbon’ rang around Paradise, Scott Sinclair broke through the Thistle defence and was one on one with Cerny but the keeper came out on top with a fine save. That would be the goalscorers last involvement for the evening and was replaced by Stuart Armstrong.
With twenty minutes to go Celtic created a number of chances but couldn’t get past the Thistle keeper. Leigh Griffiths came on with twenty minutes to go, replacing the Frenchman Moussa Dembele, who looked a tad frustrated he hadn’t got himself on the scoresheet. With Griffiths on he looked to get his fourth goal in four games but it was to no avail. With three minutes added Thistle pushed men forward and almost scored an equaliser as Ziggy Gordon ran through a massive gap in the Celtic defence, but his strike went narrowly wide of Gordons right-hand post. Celtic managed to see the game out after that.
Once again three points on the board for the Bhoys. Although it was the usual dominant performance with some brilliant passing football there’s a slight niggle, that not finishing the game with a few more goals might cause a slip up. Thistle were one of the more organised sides I’ve seen at Celtic Park so far this season and their position in the table won’t be the same if they carry on that sort of energy and performance against other teams. Celtic are now fourteen points clear of second place with a game in hand. The Rodgers Revolution continues as Celtic charge towards six in a row.
Raymond Pool (@RaymondoPool)