Sections of the Celtic support have been flocking to social media to praise goal-hero Kristoffer Ajer today.
The Norwegian international fired home a sumptuous effort nine minutes from time at Pittodrie to give us a vital three points. Initially, the goal was enough to put us 13 points clear at the top of the Premiership. Rangers, however, would go on to beat Livingston 1-0 as they reduced the lead to 10 later on.
Yet the narrow margin of victory at Ibrox was perhaps symbolic of the pressure Celtic and Ajer had put them under. The Hoops had to show real dig and character to eke out the 2-1 win in the Granite City. Ash Taylor managed to cancel out Callum McGregor’s opener after a worrying first 45 before Ajer’s winner.
However, reacting to his goal post-match, not one Celtic fan cared less about how the win was delivered. Here’s a look at some of the reaction to the big Norwegian’s goal
Got the flu. Canny eat, sleep or breathe but at least Kristoffer Ajer is a legend
— Caz (@carricknrm) February 16, 2020
Proposing to Ajer on 29th Feb.
— ML Brennan (@mlcoolj2) February 16, 2020
I love this big guy. Such a versatile player and never fails to give his all. What a finish that was today. Ran 80 yards up the field to get the goal. McInnes said in radio 'Ajer ran by the dug outs like a racehorse.' Top man. pic.twitter.com/85ap0BukEd
— St.Anthony (@Stephen4_2) February 16, 2020
Where are all the Ajer haters now ? 😂 Great finish ! Showed Hayes how to score.
— Celtic Symphony (@DM8883) February 16, 2020
🎵Ajer won the league at Pittodrie🎵
— Wolfe Of Parkhead 🍀🏴 (@ParkheadWolfe) February 16, 2020
big ajer gets it
— stephen mcdowall (@Smcdowall32) February 16, 2020
How many times has Ajer threatened to score like that? Beauty!
— Dominik Diamond (@DominikDiamond) February 16, 2020
— VDZE Media 視覺 🏴 (@VizualDze) February 16, 2020
Big players produce in big moments
Ajer had a seriously poor game before his goal – that’s undoubted. He was losing the ball carelessly whilst his positioning was off as part of the back three too.
However, in saying that, big players produce big moments when it matters. When Ajer got in down the right and had a chance to bury beyond Joe Lewis – that was a big moment. In fact, it could be a pivotal moment in the title race. 10 points clear sounds a lot better than eight points. Every point should be a prisoner just now in truth.
Of course this doesn’t mean that the faults in Ajer’s game today can be dismissed. Neil Lennon and John Kennedy will surely have a chat with him about some of his glaring faults today. But he also wasn’t alone. Christopher Jullien, as well as the majority of the midfield, were also struggling for long spells.
Yet come the end of the season, we could be looking back on that Ajer goal as vital. Keeping genuine daylight between ourselves and Rangers is golden at the moment. Today’s three points in the Granite City helped do that.
Ajer certainly had his critics today, but it’s also difficult for a back three to look competent when up against better sides. Outside of Motherwell – Aberdeen are the highest-ranked side in Scotland against whom we’ve played the 3-5-2 system.
It’ll be interesting to see if Lennon takes this into consideration for Thursday night’s trip to Denmark. One thing’s for sure regardless of formation – Ajer will be right at the heart of it.