An early season top of the table clash brings two unbeaten sides together at the Caledonian Stadium. Top of the table clash might be slightly over exaggerating the game with only 5 games played between the two teams.
Ronny Delia clearly had a certain champions league fixture in mind as he dug in to the squad and rotated just about every position on the pitch. The Celtic team line up obviously encouraged an ICT team who matched Celtic from the whistle and had a few shots on goal. Ambrose came closest for Celtic after 20 minutes with a flick on from a free kick that got tipped over the bar by the Caley keeper.
On the 25th minute Pukki should of put Celtic one nil up but he hesitated and had the ball blocked and the follow up went out for a corner. A few minutes later ICT had a penalty claim and from the incident Celtic went straight up the other end and Kris Commons had a shot saved that also should of found the back of the net.
On the 35 minute mark Bitton takes a shot that’s denied by the woodwork. The reminder of the first half was won by ICT as they matched Celtic front to back and just lacked in the final third to inflicting some damage. At half time Delia has some organising and motivating to do, his young side are on the back foot for most of the game and it’s only counter attacks that pose a threat. That been said Celtic probably had the best chances of the half and should of walked off at half time with at least a goal or two.
Coming back out of the tunnel saw Pukki & Twardzik go off and Johansen & McGregor come on. Mcgregor has had a flying start to the season and he made an imitate impact on the game going on several runs down the wing and in the 55th minute he chipped a delightful ball to Griffiths but he failed to connect with the ball.
Ronny’s plan to rest nearly 9 players for Tuesdays Champions League match comes back to haunt him in the 65th minute as ICT went one nil up after O Connell netted an own goal.
With just over 20 minutes left Anthony Stokes comes on to try break ICT’s clean sheet record since the start of the season. That substitution nearly paid off immediately when Stoke put Commons through one on one with the keeper but a tame shot went straight into the keeper’s hands.
Credit has to go to John Hughes and the way he has his ICT team set up, at no point did they get behind the ball and shut the game down, the game remained open and ICT threatened the Celtic goal on more then one occasion before the final whistle.
Celts Are Here man of the match goes to Charlie Mulgrew
Zaluska; Ambrose, O’Connell, Mulgrew, Twardzik; Henderson, Bitton, McGeouch; Griffiths, Commons, Pukki
Subs: Fasan, Stokes, Berget, Denayer, Johansen, Kayal, McGregor