Celtic skipper finds his role and four other things learned against Aberdeen
Celtic marched to four consecutive trophies in a row against Aberdeen, showing a new shock fighting spirit in the team.
The Dons made the final into a war and The Bhoys came through it in flying colours.
Weaknesses were still aplenty, with the Hoops poor in possession at times and Odsonne Edouard leaving a lot to be desired.
Derek McInnes set his Aberdeen side to battle against Celtic – he always does.
The Dons were as red as the shirts they were wearing but Brendan Rodgers’ men gave as much back.
Unfamiliar players such as Ryan Christie and Tom Rogic were getting in opponents’ faces and were booked in the process. Filip Benkovic was torn limb from limb and his socks were nothing more than torn rags by full time.
This is something that Celtic haven’t been able to cope with in past games. Aberdeen’s plan was not to make the grand occasion a game of football.
Yet, The Hoops rose to the occasion and showed the world why the are champions.
Possession possession possession
As a result of the Aberdeen game plan, Celtic’s own style was being attacked and it showed.
Ball retention was poor until the last 10 minutes as Aberdeen started to feel leggy.
On two or three occasions just in the first half, Edouard’s forward passing was abysmal.
Time for Edouard to step back
The Frenchman didn’t have his best game in a Celtic shirt at the final.
Far too often he had to come deep and play with his back to goal, which didn’t help his performance.
On the bench was a hungry Leigh Griffiths who will be chomping at the bit to play. On Wednesday, the Scotland international should get the nod at Motherwell.
It’s time to try something else up front and leave Edouard for the all important Salzburg match.
Brown finds his place in the team
Some may call it tactical genius by Rodgers but Scott Brown’s introduction was the best time and place for him.
The manager wouldn’t have had to say too much to his captain before he entered the fracas.
Celtic needed stability and fight in the centre of the park. Brown tightened up the midfield and dropped in between the centre halves which isn’t unfamiliar.
It’s unknown whether Rodgers will use his captain’s experience in this way in future or take someone out the current winning crop.
Rodgers reaches legendary status at Celtic
Although he is a double treble winner already with the club, Rodgers is still matching legendary records.
Jock Stein was the last man to win three consecutive league cups as Hoops boss.
Former Rangers manager Walter Smith also managed seven consecutive trophies between 1992-94 during the Gers nine-in-a-row era. Rodgers will now be gunning to wipe Smith’s nine and get 10 as well as winning the treble treble.
The fans love the boss and the he loves the fans.
Where he can take the club is up to whether those at the top match his ambitions.