Celtic’s performances have been in the spotlight for what seems like months, but the old Hoops stepped up at St Johnstone last night.
Yes, the score was only 1-0. It was a narrow victory and Leigh Griffiths once again saved Brendan Rodgers from embarrassment with another late strike. St Johnstone set up to frustrate Celtic just like Kilmarnock did last week.
So what was the difference this time around? Celtic were quicker and sharper on the ball. They also looked for the forward pass a lot more often, with the likes of Olivier Ntcham and Kieran Tierney always bombing forward.
It may have felt in the first half like Celtic were at their usual pedestrian level. That’s because they were for most of the opening 45. It all changed when Callum McGregor was fed by Ntcham right on half-time before stroking it wide. It was a sitter, but it was a chance.
Celtic had plenty of them on the night. Leigh Griffiths should’ve had a hat-trick (just ask his manager). His partnership with Odsonne Edouard looks like something to hold onto, as they combined well at times.
Celtic went on to test Zander Clark all throughout the second half. It was a dominant second 45, and Celtic had the home side consistently on the ropes. St Johnstone rode their luck, and the Hoops should’ve been out of sight.
Supporters would’ve wanted an early goal to calm things down. That’s what we all want on a weekly-basis. Only by some poor finishing and bad luck did Celtic not wrap this one up a lot sooner.
Importance of creativity
The important thing last night, however, was just to create chances. Going forward, Celtic have lacked any sort of attacking spark in recent weeks. The club have been sapped of energy going forward, with club legends having to come out and fend off suggestions of a crisis.
Last night, however, Celtic rallied round and got the victory they deserved. More displays like last night and someone is in for a real shock when they play Brendan Rodgers’ men.
For large spells of the contest, it felt like the Celtic of old. Sure, they started a tad slowly, but they were all over the Saints in the second half and should’ve scored four or five. How long has it been since Celtic fans have been able to say that?
Momentum is now key at this stage. Celtic will come up against a plucky Aberdeen side on Saturday, and they’ll be determined to pile on the misery once more.
Hopefully and finally, Celtic have turned a corner. They were mightily impressive at McDiarmid Park, and walked away deserved winners.
Same again but with a few more goals on Saturday Celts.