Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie nabbed the goals that downed St Johnstone last night, and it gave them the boost they needed.
The match was threatening to be the kind we all dread. Those stuffy Parkhead performances where Celtic struggle to break down the opposition and only come away with the 0-0 draw.
But McGregor and Christie ensured there would be no such fears with a pair of stunning strikes. It was McGregor’s second goal in his last 22 Celtic appearances. For Christie, his second in nine games.
McGregor’s length of time without many goals is understandable. After all, he tends to play slightly deeper than Christie, even though he’s consistently looking to involve himself going forward.
Both players also netted against Hamilton on Saturday, with Celtic starting to motor. But the nature of their goals against Accies were more fortuitous than classy. Against, Saints, however, they were the opposite.
McGregor showed real purpose to drive into the space and fire an effort into the bottom right-hand corner. Christie then added to it moments later with some dazzling footwork and a fine looping finish for 2-0. You can view those goals here.
Goals will do their confidence some real good
Both players have been a tad off it going forward since returning from the winter break. Against Airdrie, St Mirren, and Hamilton, they haven’t been standing out as they had done before the break.
Christie couldn’t stop scoring between November and December for the Hoops. McGregor, meanwhile, was generally acknowledged for being one of the only standouts at Ibrox against Rangers.
McGregor last night just always wanted the ball when others didn’t. He was the one looking to change the game and be counted. He certainly deserved to be the man to do it.
But there’s no denying the pair needed the boost of last night to help spring them on. They’ve been quiet recently by their own top standards, and the magic produced last night was more of what we expect from the duo.
Celtic have some huge games coming up, starting on Sunday away to St Johnstone. With Hibernian, Valencia, and a trip to Kilmarnock on the horizon, the Hoops need McGregor and Christie sharp.
The pair certainly looked just that in the second half after their goals. A terrific performance that will hopefully see the pair blossom in the coming weeks.