Celtic comprehensively beat Dundee Utd last night in what was a strong performance from a winning Celtic side.
All the talk before the game came from Dundee Utd on how Celtic get ALL the decisions, a risible declaration by the Dundee whingers that was disproven in the first minute of the game when Leigh Griffiths was clean through on goal and brought down by an on-rushing Cierzniak – a sending off for the goalkeeper obvious to everyone in the ground apart from the referee who bottled the early decision and brandished just a yellow.
Again Scott Brown was magnificent, the heartbeat of the Celtic midfield. Wherever the ball was on the pitch you would be sure Scott was never far away from it. James Forrest was also causing the Dundee Utd defence all sorts of problems as the players confidence took him down that right wing and hit the by-line more often than not. We even need to make a special mention for Efe Ambrose who had a terrific game and was calm on the ball at every opportunity, prompting the Green Brigade to chant “Efe Ambrose, Ballon D’or” to the tune of Carnival De Paris. Simply put I could go through the whole team and praise ever single one of them for their efforts. Nir Bitton also very much starting to look like a player that Man City tried to sign 2 years ago.
This was our third game against Dundee Utd in ten days but there was no sign of fatigue or complacency from Celtic. The only disappointing thing on the night was to see Stokes sent off with 5 minutes to go for reacting to a Paul Paton elbow to the face. The player saw red in more ways than one AFTER his mouth had been burst by the United man. In the last two minutes Ryan McGowan followed Stokes up the tunnel after a reckless lunge on Liam Henderson, a tackle born out of frustration but the player had to go. Making it 6 sending’s off between these two sides in just 3 games. Familiarity seemingly breeds contempt, but there was no excuse for McGowan’s tackle.
On the night it was an early goal from Denayer that settled the nerves, followed by a well taken goal by Leigh Griffiths, two late goals from Commons and van Dijk put the polish on the performance as Celtic glided safely into the semi final of the Scottish Cup. A trip to Hampden next month to play Inverness the prize which has been confirmed for April 19th 12:15pm KO.
Up next for Celtic though is the final encounter in this marathon of games with Dundee Utd. Some saying before these ties that this is the game Celtic could afford to lose the most but I disagree. Celtic must continue to be the pace setters in this league and with Aberdeen’s game being moved to an early kick off they could be tied on points with us before we kick a ball on Saturday albeit with two games in hand.
This will be the first time we can call upon the two former United players, McKay Steven and Armstrong who I’m sure will start the game on Saturday in front of Forrest and Stokes. The players will be chomping at the bit to get back in the team after being cup tied the last 3.
Celtic are in a fantastic position and it’s all down to the manager and his backroom staff. There’s something special in the air, could there be a famous treble on the horizon?