27 Sep Celtic’s night to remember
PETER MARTIN’S VERDICT ON A BIG WIN FOR CELTIC
Scott Sinclair’s third goal in Belgium on Wednesday night could be the crucial strike in Celtic’s bid to secure European football after Christmas in the Europa league.
Celtic deserve all the plaudits coming their way for their 3-0 away win against Anderlecht in the Champions League. The fans have waited such a long time to celebrate away from home, five years ago in Moscow, but this was a more composed performance from a Celtic side eager to bounce back from the PSG hammering.
I thought the team were sloppy in possession in the first half against an Anderlecht side in disarray domestically and with an interim boss in the dug out.
However, there have been many Celtic sides tipped to do well away in Europe and fallen flat on their faces, but not this time.
If Olivier Ncham was sloppy in the first half, he more than made up for it with an assist in Celtic’s first goal and countless interceptions in the second half. Griffiths, Roberts and Sinclair may hog the headlines with their goals, but Jozo Simunovic and Dedryk Boyata deserve a huge pat on the back for keeping the back door locked, time and time again.
When Leigh Griffiths and Scott Brown were asked after the game about building on this result against Bayern Munich in Germany on match day three, you could see the wry smiles on their faces because they know the level that awaits them three weeks from now.
The win in Belgium is the real battle for Celtic and Brendan Rodgers has once again come out with flying colours. Tactically, he got it right and you can see this team growing in confidence when they step up a few levels from the Scottish Premiership to European football.
The one worry I have is the injury to Scott Brown with Scotland in mind. He is so crucial to our hopes of two wins in the remaining two World cup qualifiers. He’s also vital to a Celtic side that I still can’t see being defeated domestically in 2017.
Well done Celtic on a night to remember in Belgium.