A solid enough start to the 2015 Campaign With a 2-0 win against Ross county , it’s been 17 yrs or so since Celtic lost on the opening day so a win yesterday looked on the cards , leigh Griffths got us off to the perfect start with a penalty which he had won himself , Alough this came at a cost as the striker took a sore one and had to leave the feild of play shortly after ..
A worry certainly for Ronnie Deila with qurabag approaching wed , he would want the on form striker available, the team went about their Buisness on Saturday comfortably enough , but their was spells when Ross county did look dangerous , especially second half , Boyata looks like he will need time to settle several misplaced passes could have led to something for the away side but luckily enough they didn’t, the big Belgian does look like he will come good given time , he’s already scored 2 fine goals in European qualifiers , he looks strong but his passing needs work .
it’s going to be a long season and it’s good that we still have the services of kris commons when he came on as a 2 nd half sub the game lit up , the player is never shy about taking a shot and the Ross county keeper had his palms stung several times, when Celtic scored there 2 nd goal it was from brilliant unselfish play from McKay Steven his short incisive pass found Johansen player of the yr last season to smash home a curling shot into the right hand corner of the net , McKay Stevens has added a new edge to the attack and his link up with X team m8 Armstrong Is almost telepathic…
If Celtic can negotiate a tough European tie on wed tea time , the opening exchanges in the season will be looking good , champions league awaits and a booster to the transfer kitty for January , in s long season funds will need to be spent to strengthen , I was pleased to see Craig Gordon had signed till 2018 yesterday he showed again his worth , he’s been a fine replacement for the wall Fraser Forster and it looks like his injury worry a of a few years ago are now gone , we look forward as fans to another fine season and the noise created by the green brigade yesterday was again first class hh bhoys and well done hh
Qarabag v CelticUEFA Champions League 5th August 2015 Kick Off 17:30
Official match report
Celtic fly the flag with opening day win over Ross County
Celtic Park, Glasgow Saturday, August 1, 2015
CELTIC…2 (Griffiths [penalty] 4, Johansen 35) ROSS COUNTY…0
CELTIC celebrated the start of the 2015/16 season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Ross County at Paradise.The Bhoys controlled proceedings from the first whistle to last, scoring twice in the first-half through a Leigh Griffiths penalty and a Stefan Johansen shot from inside the box to effectively kill the contest, before continuing to dominate the game in the second-half. There was slight concern for the Hoops after Griffiths was forced out of action just 15 minutes after scoring but his replacement, Stefan Scepovic, acquitted himself well in his absence.
The Bhoys made four changes to the team that recorded a vital 1-0 win over FK Qarabag on Wednesday evening, the most notable of which was the inclusion of 18-year-old Kieran Tierney, who filled in at left-back in place of the suspended Emilio Izaguirre. James Forrest, Efe Ambrose and Griffiths replaced Nir Bitton, Mikael Lustig and Nadir Ciftci to complete the changes.There was a party atmosphere in the air before kick-off as the fans packed out the stadium to see Hoops legend John Clark unfurl the league flag.
And it wasn’t long before the support had a goal to cheer as well when Griffiths opened the scoring inside five minutes. A clever through ball from Virgil van Dijk had set the hit-man racing into the area but he was fouled from behind by recent Staggies signing Andrew Davies, leaving the referee with no option but to award a penalty.The striker stepped up and slammed the spot-kick low to the right of Scott Fox, who gcould only get the slightest of touches on the ball as it slipped underneath his body, giving the Bhoys the best possible start.
The champions carried on their forward momentum as the game continued and they went close to finding a second after 17 minutes when Forrest burst forward from midfield and worked space for a shot, but Fox had his angles right and saved well.Ronny Deila was then forced into his first change of the match when Griffiths was removed from the action with an injury, allowing Scepovic to make his first appearance of the season.
A moment of panic then fell over Celtic Park when former Hoops midfielder Jackson Irvine broke free from midfield for County and latched on to a loose pass, calling Craig Gordon off his line to meet the Australian outside his box.The Hoops keeper committed himself to the challenge and caught Irvine, earning himself a yellow card. Ian McShane took the set-piece for the visitors and curled a shot through the Celtic wall but Gordon saved well.
The Staggies went close again minutes later through Craig Curran’s low shot from 20 yards but the Bhoys soon retained control of the match when Stefan Johansen finished a well-worked move to give the Celts a 2-0 lead. The goal came from patient play on the edge of the area before Gary Mackay-Steven adroitly weaved his way into the box and played a perfectly weighted pass to Johansen, who had expertly timed his run into the area and thumped the ball beyond Fox with his right foot.
Celtic continued to dictate play after the break, working the ball down the wings through Forrest and Mackay-Steven, but County were pressing much higher and quicker, thwarting Celtic’s play in midfield. The game settled in that pattern until just before the hour mark when Gordon was called into action to save from Curran before Armstrong rounded Fox at the other end only to see his cut-back cleared for a corner.The chances at both ends sparked the game back into life, with Irvine emerging as a threat from midfield for the visitors as they played on the counter-attack.
Ronny Deila made a double switch to regain control and gave Saidy Janko his first taste of competitive action in place of Tierney on the hour mark. Kris Commons also came on for Johansen as the Bhoys sought to kill the match.County still looked dangerous, however, and Gordon had to move quickly to save a stinging effort from substitute Raffaele De vita after Marcus Fraser beat Ambrose and Commons to cross. It wasn’t long before Celtic got back in control of play, mostly through Commons, who struck a thunderous shot at goal from 25 yards which was tipped over by Fox before Armstrong also went close with a clever chipped shot.
The former Dundee United man looked in the mood to get on the score-sheet, as did Commons, who went close again with 10 minutes left but dragged his shot wide from right of the box. The wins gave the champions a positive start to the defence of their title and good momentum going into Wednesday’s vital UEFA Champions League qualifier third qualifying round second leg against FK Qarabag in Azerbaijan.
CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Ambrose, Boyata, van Dijk, Tierney (Janko 60); Brown, Johansen (Commons 60); Forrest, Armstrong, Mackay-Steven; Griffiths (Scepovic 19). Not used: Bailly, Rogic, Bitton, McGregor
ROSS COUNTY (4-5-1) Fox; Fraser, Davies, Boyd, Forster; Murdoch (De Vita 56), McShane (Graham 85), Irvine Quinn, Gardyne; Curran (Boyce 70). Not used: Bachman, Robertson, Holden, Franks
CELTIC’S Champions League qualifying second leg against Qarabag will be shown live on BT Sport Europe wed tea time Celtic take a 1 goal lead to Azebaijan for the return game which has a 5.30pm kick-off.