2nd Gear Celtic toy with Hearts as San Siro awaits

Teemu Pukki thanks Stokes as Boerrigter watches on
Teemu Pukki thanks Stokes as Boerrigter watches on

With AC Milan away on Wednesday on the players mind and Neil Lennon going to watch them tonight it would have been easy for the side to have minds elsewhere, but in the end a 3-1 win and we never got out of 2nd gear, this was as easy a game as we could have asked for, but the players still had to go do it, Stokes was superb today and we really need to get this kid signed up before others start looking, scoring and setting up the 3rd for debutant Teemu Pukki with a simple header from Stokes brilliant set up

Celtic took the lead on the 19th minute with one of these penalties some refs will give some won’t, but we take them and Commons scored his 6th straight penalty if my memory serves me well. A cross into the box Stokes headed toward goal, the ball hits the hand of a Hearts player and 1-0, at this stage we could have gone on to win 5-0 but Celtic played this well today, relaxed and we just oozed  class from start to finish

1-0 Commons Penalty
1-0 Commons Penalty

Hearts got a goal back from a deflected shot 20 yards out from Holt on the 58th minute but even then there was a feeling Celtic would go and do the damage and we did, a good head flick on from Commons, Stokes took it in his stride and hammered home, 2-1 and again no real fear Celtic would lose today, our reaction to going 1-1 was superb, the maturity was there and we seen it out, we are growing well under Lennon, no arguments

Super finish by Stokes 2-1
Super finish by Stokes 2-1

2-1 up and Celtic brought on new striker Teemu Pukki who had only been with the side for 1 day and as a striker you want to get your first goal early as do the fans want to see you get your first goal early and there was no disappointment today, Stokes took the ball down to the line, lifted his head and chipped the ball over to Pukki, a superb cross, leaving Pukki to head home for a dream debut goal

Teemu Pukki gets a dream start heading to make it 3-1
Teemu Pukki gets a dream start heading to make it 3-1

3-1 win, 3 points, Mathews looks like he will be ok for Wednesday and we will need fit fast players over there in Italy, today we were a class above, we were superb. Could we have done better? Of course we could have, but a 3-1 win before a Champions League game and in the main a full squad at our disposal only Kayal out and a few doubts over others. So Lennon now has to pick the 11 to start on Wednesday, for me I would go with the players who won’t be fazed by the experience and play the game, we can’t have players who will play the experience, we need heads down and players doing what they do. Samaras was not really at his best today on the tight park, but I think we all know on Wednesday Samaras could be our Danger man as he comes to life in these big games

All in we have to be happy, good times being a Celtic fan these days with a lot to look forward to, a good day at the office, lets enjoy the weekend and get ready for the big on Wednesday, we can go there and get something, we just need to believe and this squad has surprised us time and time again

Man of the Match – Anthony Stokes, Superb today, we need to give him a contract as soon as possible, he is doing his job very well

HH

Comments

  1. Appreciate the summary as usual, Shaun. As you know, I only listen on Celtic TV then watch the game asap after midnight – b***y contractual guff – and the commentary can be somewhat distorted though generally in a pleasing way if you are a Celtic fan. Audio-wise the game sounded pretty well as you describe with my main impression that Hearts were little beyond spirited and that we are still not getting as much from games as we should be. I honestly had the impression Hearts could have been “liquidated” football-wise today by a barraload – I believe Lennon said similar in his post match interview and you yourself more than hint of the same above.

    “we are growing well under Lennon….”

    I think I have to agree with that. The team seemed to turn a corner against Shakhter Karagandy and discovered the way to win is trying to drive straight ahead and not sidyways – Celtic cars are not built for that kind of unnatural football. I got the impression it was a similar scenario today and all intent was of a forward nature. The other significant difference was the determined reaction after losing the goal, heads up rather than dismay till too late. As for Stokes, it is annoying that so much potential is so often buried in the inexplicable. Till now I think it has had more to do with head than heart. I believe he has screwed it round the right way after a few recent personal eye-openers and we may be on the verge of some special performances from him. It sounds as though today was not a bad start, not bad at all. The same could be said too of our new boy Pukki. I have not seen how he performed overall but he scored on his début and goals are what we bought him for. So it is more than promising

    The only real downside from today was the potentially serious injury to Adam Matthews. I simply love this kid. I can see pure natural talent in a laddie’s body with a sage’s mind. If he does not go far, very far, in the game, I am a “bale” o’ hay. He has had an awful time over the last year and I had so hoped he would have a relatively trouble free season. Perhaps the committed way he plays has its costs. I hope they become fewer and fewer. I can never accept any one player can change the potential of a good team. After all it is a team game and all eleven players no matter how good or how bad on the day make some kind of contribution to the whole. However, the absence or poor performance of certain individuals can take the off a team’s sharpness and bite. Personally, I think Adam is in that category. No matter, as a whole, including our twelfth man in the seats, we are capable of unseating any group of ex champions or teams.

    Here’s a hoot and a root for a good performance come Wednesday. Do not let anyone be kidded, our achievements last season mean every single player in every single team we meet will need a visit to the little boys’ room prior to kick off.

    Thanks again Shaun for your hard work

    H H
    Arthur

    1. REALLY love doing these reports again to a CELTIC Audience and not people from all over the World, especially those who ask “Who is your Quarterback” 😀

      Celtic were RUTHLESS against a bunch of kids yesterday, but these kids, some I have seen up close and personal since they were 8 years old (I do happen to live in Edinburgh and coached here for 15+ years). Most are my son’s friends, He is a 1st year 21’s player. They are good young players, but they talk back to the ref, and tackle hard, especially at home. Same young lads that beat Hibs and a picked up points, so they were no pushovers, at 1-1 for example, under Mowbray (Did I have to? lol) we may have packed it in and lost. Yesterday there was no sign of that. We just got our heads up and scored not long after, the players walked, the ball ran, and that was a DELIGHT to see, that is mature football. When I said we are coming along well under Lenny, this is what I meant. We are now playing like a decent European side, we let the ball move, we don’t try to force bodies through 3 men, and we keep the ball. We still need to improve, but if Lenny along with his chief scout John Park keep finding these players, we will only go forward. Pikku may not be a Gary Hooper, but Gary Hooper never played for his country, Scored against Spain and played top flight football in Germany. It can be said for the other players we signed, all played a very high level in good leagues. Wanyama was NOWHERE when we signed him, look what we did for him. Can we do the same for the lads we brought in? The only player I have a lot of doubts over are Balde, he seems very Mark Unfortunate (Lad we signed under Mogga) Him aside the lads we signed I think have improved the side. We will score goals from all over this season. The way we play. I think we REALLY do still need a Stan Petrov type, someone who will play on the edge of the box when the winger is throwing it in, we lack that, maybe when Kayal is fit? Right now the only player who can is Commons, but we need a natural midfielder chipping in also.
      Overall, we were good, but feet back on the ground, we are going to a place on Wednesday where we need MEN not boys. Or Bhoys not Boys.
      But bring it on, Lenny said it after the game yesterday, or in so many words, we fear nobody, he knows this Euro league is hard, but he has players who are thinking “Bring this shit on” and when you have that, good things happen, like 2-1 against Barcelona, 1-1 with seconds to go against Barcelona.

      I am a happy Timmy these days, we all should be.
      I notice checking twitter people are STILL blogging “Are Rangers Dead”

      Really? lol
      They will die again, this time for good.
      Lets sing and talk about Celtic till that day comes, they are nowhere, we are somewhere, we are a cause, they are because, Karma came right up and bit them in the hole, Rangers, the SFA the media are ALL trying to cover this up. But let’s not be any fake charlatans here, they are gone.. 😉

      #BlueDust 😀

      1. Hi Shaun

        I have had a busy day so I have not been able to reply till now. ” “Who is your Quarterback” – I love it. I presume they are the ones who do all the “assists” – where in the name of all that is, did that come from? “under Mowbray “, yes we were always under under big nice Tony just like Middlesbrough since they tied his noose round their necks. I agree about Balde but the way some young players are turning around at Parkhead these days, I will not write him off just yet. And I do agree about a constructive and thoughtful midfielder. Even Kyall is more of a ball winner than a ball distributor. Oh to find a Lambert or a Stan, as you say. Wednesday grows a longer chapter by the day in the book of possibilities. Somehow, though, I am more comfortable when we are simply written off.

        Finally “BlueDust” – magic! I take it that comes from one of their fairytales? I am keeping the Fairy Liquid handy for the clean-up, that’s for sure.

        H H
        Arthur

        PS That miser Wullie did not invite me for a pint yesterday either and I live NORTH of Newcastle – so not that far away, Wullie! 🙂

        H H

        1. #BlueDust was a joke saying I said on Twitter about a year ago and it just stuck. lol..
          I think Wednesday the game is harder for AC, They are expected to win and are not great by any way just now.
          I will be doing a “Build up to the game” blog tomorrow for Wullie. Working on it just now. Will be up for 5pm Tomorrow. Looking at some of the players they are missing and scores so far, we can cause a problem. Pity about Forrest not playing. But we have MORE than enough class players to go there and not play the occasion. We have players that will go and have a go.

          HH

          ps: I have family in Ashington North of Newcastle. How North are you? 😀

          1. Right where your family are. Incredible! God, I hope they don’t know me. Now that would be really embarrassing especially if they let my cats out of the bag – I’m still at school actually 🙂 – not true, Shaun. I can’t even remember what one looks like. Anyway, bed time. It’s an early bin collection in the morning and the wife likes to put me in one in the hope they will tip me into the truck one day when they empty it. Goodnight and pleasant dreams – think Wednesday’s final whistle 🙂

            H H

    1. HA HA ,,,
      Aye it;s cool mate, hope you didn’t get too pished..
      What boozer you end up at? Diggers 😀

      Hope you enjoyed your day mate
      HH

  2. Family I have not seen for a LONG time, Father owns a Taxi firm in Edinburgh (Divorced) Wife, kids (All growed up) still there, after growing up in Muirhouse…Not far from Paul, the one that is from there. Seriously, I get mixed up with the 2 Paul’s

    Wednesday it is.
    Hope you had a good sleep mate
    HH

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