It was a bit of a surprise when Neil Lennon handed Celtic centre-back Stephen Welsh only his second ever Hoops start in Saturday’s Glasgow derby.

The player was thrown into the biggest game of his career due to an injury to Christopher Jullien and the Covid-19 related absences of Hatem Elhamed and Nir Bitton. The game didn’t go the way any Celtic supporter would have wanted, as the Hoops slumped to a 2-0 defeat.

However, one of the few players that can hold his head high and be pleased with his performance on the day is Welsh.

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Played like he had been in team every week

He played well, and you would never have known that he was starting only his second ever professional game for the club.

At times, it did look like he lacked experience. However, that was always going to happen when he hasn’t played a league game since the 4-1 win over Hamilton in February.

Let’s be honest, there is a big difference in playing in that game than there is in a Glasgow derby. The derby is the biggest league game in Scotland, whereas a game against Hamilton is just another league game.

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However, Welsh looked like he was a veteran of the Celtic side, and he put some of his higher profile teammates to shame with his display.

Some Celtic fans on social media were impressed with how Welsh performed. One fan claimed that he was ‘the best player in a Celtic top’.

A rare positive on a bad day

Another proclaimed Welsh to be ‘solid’. There aren’t many positives that can be taken out of Celtic’s display against Rangers. It was a performance best forgotten. However, Welsh’s performance is certainly one of them.

Stephen Welsh in action for Celtic vs Rangers

Stephen Welsh in action for Celtic vs Rangers (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

His Celtic career could get the kickstart it needs after this display. That could be a silver lining to come out of a day that Celtic fans will be looking to forget in a hurry.

 

Here are some of the best reactions from Twitter to Welsh’s performance:

In other news, Darren Fletcher wasn’t impressed with Celtic’s performance against Rangers.

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