How good was it to beat Dinamo Zagreb last night …ive not seen as good a game as that at parkhead for a while in europe …listen celtic had the first half but the Croatians had the second and made it very nervy for the fans,but the hoops defended very well and in the last few games the fitness of the players has been apparent,in goals Craig Gordon was immense his saves in the 2nd half especially kept celtic in the driving seat,and with Van Dyk and Denayer having a great game at the back our defense was amazing,i was really pleased for Craig Gordon getting the clean sheet it’s what his confidence needs …he’s been really unlucky in the league games so far this season ,Fraser Forster was always going to be a tough act to follow but Craig Gordon has come in from the cold and been very impressive…
Its been mentioned several times now but the lad from man city Jason Denayer is a class act ,he has a good football brain already for one so young and his defending has been first class,a solid central defensive partnership with Virgil Van Dyk is being formed and we can be glad to have the kid on loan,if i was Celtic id be enquiring about buying both loanees from city Guidetti and Denayer because both have been excellent…..
Chris commons scored the all important goal last night a fine strike after a neat celtic move involving himself and Anthony Stokes ….scoring on 6 mins certainly settled the hoops down and the fans in the stands all 30000 of them were in fine voice,the upper tiers were closed and even though the old stadium was half full the atmosphere was good,the Croatian team were probably glad it wasnt a sell out as the noise would have been even more intense…
Collectively Celtic played well but special mention to Craig Gordon as ive spoke about and Jason Denayer ,but also Wakaso Mubarak deserves a mention …that guys fast and everything he does is at pace he looks like he has a pass to and an eye for a defense splitting through ball,all in all ive been impressed with all the new guys even Alexander Tonev looks decent,Stefan Scepcovic may take time and im hoping he can lift his game in the coming months….
Ronnie Deila Interview
So 4 points from the first 2 games is a decent return and now we have a double-header against fc Astra who look like the whipping boys of the group …so 2 wins there could give Ronnie Deila his 10 points before the last 2 games are played ,already this tournament is proving a better environment for the team ..i really believe we have a chance of a good run in the Europa league,ive said it many times its our level,we simply can’t compete with the so-called champions league millionaires,its great to participate in it but we aint going to win it so why bother…..
From what i here Ronnie Deila and John Collins have certain players working closely together forming better understandings and partnerships and it’s certainly working if you think of the Izzguire and Stokes link up play recently ,the new gaffers football philosophy will take time to be instilled with the team but bit by bit we can see improvements on the park and its all coming together nicely,also Ronnie Deilas tactics in games is evolving and he’s not shy to make early substitutions ,i particularly like the idea of using the subs in the game early instead of throwing them on at 89 mins pointless really,its been an up and down start but im quite confident from what ive seen we will have a productive season HH..GOD BLESS..
Official match Report
UEFA Europa League
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Thursday, October 2, 2014
KRIS Commons’ early strike earned Celtic a priceless three points against Dinamo Zagreb to boost their hopes of progressing to the UEFA Europa League knockout stages.Last season’s Player of the Year swept home in the sixth minute after a lovely piece of interplay between him and Anthony Stokes cut open the visitors.The Hoops had to survive some heavy pressure in the second half but, helped by several heroic saves from Craig Gordon, they held firm to move joint top of the group after two games. Commons, Jason Denayer and Aleksandar Tonev were all restored to the starting XI following the 2-1 win over St Mirren last weekend. Eoghan O’Connell, Callum McGregor and the ineligible John Guidetti dropped out.
After a cagey opening five minutes, Celtic made the perfect start as Commons fired them ahead following an incisive passing move. Stefan Johansen and Emilio Izaguirre were involved initially, before Commons collected a return pass from Stokes and lashed a shot beyond Eduardo. Urged on by a jubilant home support, the Hoops immediately went in search of a second as Tonev shot wide and Izaguirre embarked on a number of enterprising forays down the left.Zoran Mamic’s side failed to threaten until the 19th minute, when Wilson Eduardo headed over unmarked from Ivo Pinto’s cross from the right.
However, the Hoops were still enjoying the bulk of possession, patiently probing for further openings, with Commons always a threat through his clever movement and inventive play.Celtic were looking comfortable but a speculative effort from Wilson Eduardo almost wiped out their advantage, the striker’s ferocious shot from 25 yards cannoning off the bar.At the other end, a nervy looking Eduardo nearly gifted Celtic a second. After being closed down by several Hoops players, he passed straight to Commons inside the six-yard box. He couldn’t react quickly enough, however, much to the shot-stopper’s relief. As the half wore on, the Croatian champions were looking more menacing – Ivo Pinto and Wilson Eduardo came close with efforts, before the latter forced Gordon into a superb save with a thumping volley.
Amidst this spell of pressure, Tonev replied with a shot from distance, which Eduardo coped with comfortably. The keeper had greater difficulty dealing with Virgil van Dijk’s powerful attempt just before the interval but he did enough as Celtic held the advantage at the break.Commons and Johansen combined moments after the restart and only a last-ditch tackle prevented the Norwegian driving through on goal. Wakaso then cutback the ball back, with no takers.But after this encouraging period of play, the Hoops were forced into some desperate rearguard action.After the visitors had mounted a breakaway from a Celtic corner, Wilson Eduardo was left in acres of space to apply the finish but he was denied by the outstanding Gordon.
Arijan Ademi headed over and Domagoj Antolic had a shot blocked by Jason Denayer as the pressure mounted.A succession of corners at the other end provided some respite but Celtic were back on the defensive again as Denayer had to make a crucial interception to thwart the Croats.Gordon came to Celtic’s rescue again, saving from Marcelo Brozovic, before Wilson Eduardo blazed over.Denayer was close to converting Stokes’ searching free-kick, substitute Leigh Griffiths shot wide and Stokes lofted an ambitious chip over as Celtic offered a response.But that was the prelude to a late onslaught from Dinamo, with El Arabi Hilal Soudani spurning two late chances to grab a leveller. However, the battling Bhoys held them at bay to seal their first victory of the group stages.
CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Ambrose, Denayer, van Dijk, Izaguirre; Brown, Johansen; Tonev (Berget 87), Commons (Kayal 68), Wakaso (Griffiths 77); Stokes
Not Used: Zaluska, Henderson, O’Connell, Fisher
DINAMO ZAGREB (4-3-3) Eduardo; Ivo Pinto, Sigali, Simunic, Pivaric; Ademi, Brozovic, Antolic (Coric 74); Soudani, Cop (Henriquez 59), Wilson Eduardo (Pjaca 84)
Not Used: Jezina, Machado, Santos, Vukojevic
Man of the Match: Craig Gordon