Celtic recorded a decent 1-0 win over Elfsborg last night, at Park Head. The Hoops were the only side to not concede an away goal and that is valuable at this stage of the tournament. Kris Commons scored the winner late on and now Celtic can go to Sweden knowing that the Swedish champions will attack. Celtic must not show complacency though, after all, we hold a slender lead but have to defend it against a team who have not lost at home in just under two years!
Celtic must perform better next week, some fans on twitter called it the worst memorable Celtic performance, and ‘awful’ was another word used. Although those comments were harsh, Celtic did lack creativity, drive and a clinical striker. I wanted the Bhoys to run at the opposition in attack, to threaten, and in the first half in particular, this rarely happened. New signing Derk Boerritger can add such threat and drive to the team and hopefully this will be shown on Saturday evening against Ross County and next week, in the second leg. The loss of Gary Hooper was evident and we need a replacement and quickly, but who? There has been nothing more than speculation regarding this, and Kevin Doyle is the subject of most of it, Wolves apparently rejecting an initial 500k bid for the Irishman. There will be frantic work behind the scenes at Celtic, Lennon will be trying to capture someone before Saturday, to give them some possible game time, but at the same time, he won’t want to take a big risk in a player, he has got to fit the attributes required. We need to see that money the club have received recently being reinvested if we want to get through the second leg and the playoffs of the Champions League.
Elfsborg will know that the tie is still open for them. Mo Bangura played a part in the first leg and if they can use him as they used him in the first half then maybe they will have more hope, in the second half, he was useless, resulting in him coming off. He should never have played though and should not be playing in the second leg, what cheek! Agreements between two clubs saying that a loaned player cannot play against his parent club are not looked upon well by UEFA, so Celtic left it to common sense, common sense that didn’t prevail. How can a player play against his club in the hope of knocking them out of a tournament which means so much to them? For him to have the cheek in trying to get Kelvin Wilson sent off is disgraceful, after chasing the ball which was being guarded by Wilson, Bangura through himself onto the ground, clutching his face claiming he had been elbowed. In my eyes, Bangura should never play for Celtic again, he shouldn’t have played and certainly should not have shown the behavior that he did during the game, we wouldn’t miss him either. Henrik Larsson saw potential that we couldn’t in Mohamed Bangura.
This is such a huge tie for Celtic Football Club, for the income, for the attendances, for the reputation, Celtic must see this tie through and after last night, we have a strong foothold, but there is still a huge job left to do.