Ross County boss yet again fails to give Celtic much credit; gets his analysis all wrong

By David Walton

March 20, 2022

Ross County manager Malky Mackay has stated that all of Celtic’s goals yesterday were disappointing as they came from set-pieces – despite 2 of them coming from open play.

The Staggies were hammered 4-0 at Parkhead. Truth be told, it could’ve been a lot more after a stunning first-half display from the Hoops blew the Dingwall side away.

Giorgos Giakoumakis netted twice whilst Daizen Maeda got on the scoresheet before the half-hour mark. Giakoumakis sealed his hat-trick from the spot in the second 45 after County were down to 10 men after a first-hald red card.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But despite Celtic’s first 2 goals coming from open play and them carving County open consistently, Mackay certainly had and interesting take post-match.

Speaking at a press conference in which 67HailHail were in attendance, Mackay said: “We had to just tweak the shape slightly to make sure that we were in situations where we stop them carving us open, which I thought we did.

“I’m disappointed probably with the way they scored their goals today. I’ve seen how they play and I’ve seen them score some wonderful goals. It was corners and set-pieces today which is something we’ve been fairly strong on and something you don’t enjoy losing goals from.

Celtic 4-0 Ross County | Full-Time Reaction

Celtic 4-0 Ross County | Full-Time Reaction
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“I thought the 4th one was unfortunate. Alex was in mid-air when the contact came from Bitton. I thought that apart we showed real good discipline to make sure it was difficult for Celtic to create chances and score goals. We also had a couple of half-chances ourselves.”

Celtic’s open-play goals were moments of total class – County carved open

To say that Celtic didn’t carve County open would be simply a laughable take. Mackay states that it was all corners and set-pieces today. Effectively implying that Celtic weren’t made to work hard enough for their goals.

However, for goal number one it was brilliantly wide play from Jota before a pin-point delivery to the back-post. Giakoumakis rose tremendously well to glance home. But you can’t simply ignore the quality of the ball in from the on-loan Benfica man.

As for the second, again it was good play from Celtic to get space down the right flank. Josip Juranovic played another brilliant deep ball that was nodded back from Daizen Maeda. Just because it wasn’t silky footwork in and around the box, it doesn’t mean County weren’t carved open.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In addition to that, Celtic had their chances in both halves to extend their lead further. The silky football was on show with Matt O’Riley firing wide from close-range whilst Callum McGregor forced Ross Laidlaw into a smart stop.

That continued into the second half with the game already won. Celtic’s goals certainly didn’t come from corners and set-pieces. That was only part of the story. The 2-0 lead we gave ourselves early doors came from terrific open-play work.

Then again, Mackay struggled to give Celtic credit for their late win in Dingwall back in December too [The Scotsman]. Simply admitting his team has been outclassed and hailing the opposition appears to be a touch tricky for him.

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