Celtic 1—0 Rangers

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When the talking was over there was only one winner. Celtic dominated the match from start to finish. Hit the bar three time, the post once. Odsonne Edward from a Calum McGregor cross, just before half-time, missed an absolute sitter from five yards out and hit the Ranger’s keeper, Allan McGregor. The Ranger’s keeper proved by far to be Ranger’s man of the match. There’s nothing new in this.  In the last thirteen Old Firm games, in which Rangers have lost all  but two, which they’ve drawn, the Ranger’s keeper has been the Ibrox team’s man of the match. Hamilton came to Celtic Park last weekend and got beaten 1—0, but had more shots on goals than Rangers, more corners and more of the ball than Rangers. The gap between Celtic and Hamilton remains what it was.

Ironically, the Celtic goal when it did come was from a rare Ranger’s breakaway. Tom Rogic, who is not renowned for his work as a midfield enforcer, won a fifty-fifty with Ranger’s midfield enforcer, Ryan Jack, motored up the park, the Aussie passed the ball to Edward who shuttled the ball right to Forrest. The ball was squared to man of the match Olivier Nitcham. Easy-peasy.

Rangers best kick of the match was the boot Alan McGregor gave to Ayer. With the technology used in the world cup this would have easily have been a red card and penalty awarded. Rangers got off lightly. A 1—0 defeat flattered them in the way it didn’t Hamilton the week before.

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Celtic 0 – 5 Paris Saint-Germain

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Hamilton manager Martin Canning after Friday night’s defeat to Celtic admitted his team had stood off Celtic in the first-half, given them too much room to play, they’d done better in second half, but they were outclassed. Ditto here. Celtic were outclassed. The odds for both teams were roughly the same. Hamilton to win around 12/1. Celtic to win 12/1. The bookies are rarely wrong. It was all so easy for PSG at Parkhead last night. Barcelona have been here before with a triumvirate of Messi, Suarez and Neymar. The latter always seems to bring out the worst in the Celtic support. Not that it bothers the world’s most expensive player. He just gets on with it. He was up against rookie right-back Ralston who was the wrong side of him and Neymar finished cooly. Edison Cavani already had the ball in the net only to be ruled off for a marginal offside decision. And five minutes before Neymar’s finish Cavani had inexplicably passed to a Celtic player when twelve yards out and should have scored. He made up for it scoring a penalty just before half time. Jozu Simunovic tugging him back and giving away a needless foul and was lucky to stay on the pitch. Cavani’ best goal, and the best goal of the night was the fourth, finding himself at the back post he somehow looped and bent the ball with a header up and over Gordon and into the net. Fabulous goal. By that time, of course, the game was over. Kylian Mbabbe, scored the second,  joining Neymar in the most expensive strike-force in world football, and found it all too easy to finish unmarked from ten yards, after Cavani had fluffed his lines and missed the ball. Celtic could easily have been 5-0, or more, down at half time.

Before the game there was some debate whether Rogic or Armstrong would start. Both did. Armstrong got the first half, Rogic the second, with no notable difference. With seven minutes in the game to go Lustig added an own-goal to the PSG tally, after another forty-odd million pound substitute for the French team, German international Julian Draxler walked past Sinclair and whipped the ball into the box. It was all so easy for the French, but I’m sure the German Bayern team will not be so keen to step aside and there’s no guarantee that this PSG team will go all the way and win it. Last night’s game was little more than a training match for them. They’ve still to play the big boys. We need to go away from home in the next match to think again. A straight shootout between Celtic and Anderlecht for third spot and a Europa league place is the best Celtic can hope for, which would be more our level. Personally, I’d bite your hand off for that now.

L’Equipe’s player ratings makes interesting reading. Spot on with Stuart Armstrong, a bit harsh on young Ralston who was on par with Simuovich and just about everyone else in the Celtic team. PSG players got double the scores of Celtic players. Twice and three times as good and that’s about right.

L’Equipe player ratings

Celtic

Craig Gordon – 3

Tony Ralston – 2

Jozo Simunovic – 3

Mikael Lustig – 3

Kieran Tierney – 3

Scott Brown – 3

Olivier Ntcham – 3

Stuart Armstrong – 2

Scott Sinclair – 4

Patrick Roberts – 4

Leigh Griffiths – 3

Brendan Rodgers – 3

Average – 3.2

PSG

Alphonse Areola – 7

Dani Alves – 7

Marquinhos – 6

Thiago Silva – 6

Layvin Kurzawa – 6

Thiago Motta – 7

Marco Verratti – 7

Adrien Rabiot – 8

Kylian Mbappe – 7

Edinson Cavani – 7

Neymar – 7

Unai Emery – 8

Average – 6.8