Celtic tore visitors Livingston apart today in the Scottish Premiership, registering a 6-0 victory at Celtic Park.
The opening minutes had the distinct feeling of a pre-season friendly but the Bhoys increased the intensity and the quality, eventually getting rewards with a barrel load of goals.
That hasn’t happened often enough this season, of course, but there was still plenty to be cheerful about today.
What were our big takeaways from the encounter?
A sign of how Celtic will play v Rangers
Celtic’s 2021 so far has been dominated by a narrow midfield diamond, with attacking width coming from our full-backs. It was, in part, designed to counteract Rangers.
However, after today’s game, the speculation will be that Kennedy is planning to unleash a 4-2-3-1 at Ibrox. That’s how we lined up against Livingston and it resulted in a dominating performance and result.
This approach against Rangers would have its supporters and its detractors.
Some would be fearful of fielding such an open midfield against what is effectively a good Europa League opponent away from home.
Others would relish the thought of Mohamed Elyounoussi and James Forrest advancing on the wings, with David Turnbull deployed as a creative central force behind Odsonne Edouard.
Whether you agree with it or not, I do think this is what Kennedy is planning for the Scottish Cup derby. That’s if Forrest is fit of course. He did get substituted off with an apparent injury. Fingers crossed on that one.
Celtic should sign Mohamed Elyounoussi
If it wasn’t already obvious before today, the match against Livingston is surely more evidence that Elyounoussi should be signed up on a permanent basis.
Yes, it could cost £5m or £6m, but I honestly think it would be worth it.
When playing with confidence in the right position, he is a joy to watch. The Norwegian international is also devilishly effective.
His goals today were outstanding, but he also provided a classy assist for David Turnbull.
If I’m thinking about players in this squad who can be effective consistently and challenge Rangers next season, Elyounoussi is close to the top of the list.
He could thrive under a new manager. Every signing is a risk, but we know enough about Moi that we should commit to his abilities.
Sign him up!
The fearsome foursome combo we’ve missed all season
Regardless of whether we see it against Rangers or not, it’s clear that the front four of Turnbull, Elyounoussi, Forrest and Edouard is something we’ve badly missed for large chunks of the season.
Having them all fit, together, in their natural positions is something we just haven’t been able to do – whether because of injuries or because of bad management decisions.
It’s a foursome combination we might not be able to enjoy for much longer either. So today was pleasing, entertaining and a display of attacking freedom that highlights just how badly we’ve been let down across the piece this term.
Can we replicate the classy combinations of today at Ibrox?