Celtic kicked off their first home game of the 2014/2015 SPFL season with the raising of the champions flag, hoisted by club saviour Fergus McCann.
It’s been a long road back to paradise with Celtic Park staging the Commonwealth Games. Celtic had their own open ceremony today as the champions hoisted the league flag for the third season in a row and start their bid for title number four in as many seasons. Dundee Utd. only managed to take one point from Celtic last season in a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park. However, confidence, morale and “did we get the right man for the job?” still hangs over a new season.
Ronny Delia was full of smiles, charm and managed to say all the right things from the time of his appointment, before a ball was kicked he’d seemed to of won over most fans, then the football came, Ronny got an anchor strapped to his feet and was thrown well and truly into the deep end. Despite a 3-0 midweek win against Saint Johnstone the scoreline only managed to hide the fact that Ronny has a long way to go before he wins back over a largely disgruntled support. Today was a paradise debut for Delia with more pressure getting thrown on his already sagging shoulders.
A lucky break see’s Celtic face Maribor midweek and a confident win against a tough Dundee United side could raise a few more hopes for hoops fans and players.
Team Line Up: Gordon; Ambroses, van Dijk, Denayer, Izaguirre; McGregor, Johansen, Mulgrew, Berget; Commons; Stokes
Subs: Zaluska, , Bitton, Lustig, Boerrigter, Griffiths, Kayal, Forrest
Gordon, Denayer, McGregor and Berget made their Celtic Park debuts today in front of
Before a ball was kicked Celtic lost Adam Matthews and Ambrose made his first appearance since his disaster game against Legia when he was at fault for 2 goals and got a red card. Nevertheless the game burst into action from the first whistle with McGregor hitting the post and Gary Mackay-Steven just missing a goal scoring opportunity all within the first 60 seconds.
On 3 minutes Belgian loan signing Denayer smashed the ball into the top corner after a Kris Commons corner.
United threatened on the break again and Denayer nearly went from hero to zero after a short pass back to Gordon was too short, luckily Gordon managed to smother the ball and got fouled in the process. Stokes played an inch perfect pass for Berget on 12 minutes but the outstretched winger couldn’t make contact.
Izzy nearly got his second goal in a hoops jersey on 15 minutes as he unleashed a pile driver that was slapped behind for a corner. On the 25 minute mark Celtic had a whopping 64% possession with most of that possession getting played in the United half.
The 27th Minute and last season top scorer Kris Commons headed in from another corner that Dundee United failed to deal with.
Ronny Delia said in his pre-match interview that if the Celtic team played the way they did in the second half the Dundee United would be in trouble and the intensity from Stefan Johansen led to goal number 3 on the 33rd minute.
Linked with Celtic, Stuart Armstrong came off injured just before 40 minutes after a crucial one on one save from Craig Gordon saw Armstrong flat out on his back. Johansen never made it back out of the tunnel after half time with Kayal coming on to replace him, Ronny with the midweek game in mind sent Johansen to sit alongside Lustig also rested for the trip to Maribor.
Celtic started the second half the way they ended the first with plenty of slick passing and intensity and they got their rewards on the 54th minute when an Anthony Stokes free kick crossed into the box found its way to the back of the net. Mulgrew claimed the goal but the ball must have got a touch from one of his show laces.
Jackie Mac will no doubt have his team working on corners for the next week as Celtic’s 5th goal came from another corner just after the hour mark when débutante Berget headed home the 5th.
Unfortunately a clean sheet went missing from the performance when John Rankin scored from outside the box on 70 minutes, with a lucky deflection.
90th minute and Berget scores his second and Celtic’s 6th.
The full-time whistle sounds and Celtic earn a 6-1 win. In truth Celtic managed 5 goals today but without exaggerating it could of been as high as 8 with over 22 shots at goal.
There was a handful of man of the match candidates today but for effort, performance and overall play……
Celts Are Here Man of the Match Goes to Anthony Stokes.