Celtic made six changes to the team that started midweek in Warsaw. Ange Postecoglou made nine changes to the team that played midweek and went to Dingwall. We ran riot there, as we’ve done domestically this season. But here we came unstuck from simple goals. It was never going to be pretty football. A ball played up field and into the corners. Humphed into the box. Mark O’Hara arriving at the back post to powerfully headed the ball past Joe Hart, just before half-time.
Bullied by Johan Ayunga and Curtis Main. The latter held the ball up and allowed St Mirren to get up the park and take shies and corner that put our backline under pressure. We buckled, and lost the first and second balls from another long throw-in from Gallacher just after half-time. Hart shouted for a push on Welsh, but really, our defenders need to be stronger. Ayunga stooped down to score from close range.
Celtic had over half an hour to dig something out. Postecoglou reversed many of the first-team changes he started with, but it was too little and too late. A pick-me-up for Rangers. Celtic have scored early in most of their domestic matches and controlled the game thereafter. St Mirren drilled by Steve Robinson didn’t do anything do anything different from, for example, Ross County’s Malky MacKay. Go long. Scrap for corners and free kicks. It worked today because Celtic lacked that fluid beauty and spark at times their play has exhibited this season. The International Break was coming at the wrong time for a rampant Celtic. But now it’s time to pick up the pieces. Players that started today looking to prove a point, quite simply, didn’t. Poor result (St. Mirren to win was 18/1). Shocker. Poor performance. Celtic in their third-choice kit were third rate. We need to get back to what we have been doing.
Celtic, as we’d expect, dominated with around eighty-percent possession. But quite simply, backwards and sideways made it a pedestrian performance. Carson, the St Mirren keeper, was untroubled and untested.