Ryan Christie has certainly announced himself as a Celtic player in the last two games. After a positive showing in Leipzig on Thursday, he was unlucky to be dropped for yesterday’s semi-final.
However, after being introduced at half time with the score at 0-0, Christie lit up Murrayfield and collected the man of the match award for his display.
Christie had a hand in all of Celtic’s three second-half goals. Firstly, he won the penalty which led to Scott Sinclair opening the scoring.
Making the difference
His shot, which was spilled by the Hearts keeper, looked to have crossed the line before James Forrest made sure of the goal.
There was no doubt about the third strike, though. Christie produced a superb effort from 25 yards that left the Hearts goalkeeper helpless.
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What was most impressive about Christie’s performance was how often he popped up with the ball in dangerous areas.
Celtic have needed someone with guile and drive since Stuart Armstrong left for Southampton in the summer. Many fans were unhappy no one was brought in to replace the midfielder.
Christie showed in his 45-minute cameo that he can pick up the baton dropped by Stuart Armstrong in the summer.
He is clearly a player with a lot of skill and flair, but seems to have added to his game while on loan at Aberdeen. He was due a big performance at Celtic and it came yesterday when his team needed inspiration most.
Celtic undoubtedly have to go into the transfer market in January and buy some much needed reinforcements. They may even opt to sign another midfielder despite the emergence of Christie.
Until January, however, Christie has done enough to merit a sustained run in the team. Brendan Rodgers should give him the platform to showcase his talents to the Celtic support.
You never know, a ready-made replacement for Armstrong may already be at the club.