Within 14 seconds of today’s Scottish Cup semi-final, holders Hibs found themselves a goal down to Aberdeen, after a serious of slack passes left Adam Rooney with only the goalkeeper to beat.
A total lack of concentration gave Neil Lennon’s men a mountain to climb.
How a team can start so lackadaisical is beyond me, especially with so much at stake. If anything, you’d expect the Hibs players to be extra focused.
To make matters worse, their goalkeeper managed to lose a second after half an hour, when Celtic’s Ryan Christie curled a free-kick at his near post.
Two goals behind, Lenny made a substitution that paid dividends immediately, when Grant Holt scored with almost his first touch with a header from Martin Boyle’s excellent cross.
That goal galvanised the holders, and they took the game to Aberdeen from the start of the second half. And their efforts were rewarded when ex-Celt Dylan McGeoch equalised with a shot that went through Joe Lewis in the Dons goal.
Unfortunately, Hibs’ comeback was all in vain when, with six minutes to go, Johnny Hayes’ shot cannoned off Hibs defender McGregor to wrong foot the keeper and give the Sheep a 3-2 victory.
Celtic will look at today’s game and see the first 14 seconds as a timely reminder of how NOT to start a game. When the Bhoys take to the field for tomorrow’s Scottish Cup semi-final, concentration is paramount, we cannot be slack in any aspect of the game.
We have to be 100% on the ball, right from the off.
If we do, then I can see us progressing to take on an Aberdeen side, that despite all the plaudits, find it hard keeping a clean sheet when teams go at them.
*A side note. Both Hibs goals were straight at Joe Lewis. I wonder if the pundits will claim he should have saved them, the same as they did with Scott Fox at Paddy Roberts goal last week?