At the end of a very tough seven days, participating in three different competitions, Celtic have come out of the week eliminated from the Europa League, through to the semi finals of the Scottish Cup, where we’ll meet Aberdeen, and a point better off than when we started at the top of the Premiership.
The loss at home to FC Copenhagen was a sore one to take, considering how well we played in the first 45 minutes in Denmark. I think I’m right in saying we were all fairly confident of progressing to the last sixteen, but alas, a mixture of missed chances, heroic golakeeping and individual defensive errors cost us dearly. The 3-1 scoreline slightly flattered the Danes, but at the end of the day, they found the net when we didn’t.
How the Bhoys would react to the defeat was always going to be on the agenda before the trip to Perth last Sunday. The pitch on the day was a mess, but that’s the case for both sides, although it was more of a leveller for the home team who were swept aside by the Hoops only a few weeks ago.
Saints did raise their game, and it took the holders until the 81st minute to score what would prove to be the winner, courtesy of a Ryan Christie free kick after Jamie McCart tried to hospitaise James Forrest. The goal meant this Celtic side have now gone an unbelievable 34 cup games with as much as a replay. A fantastic achievement.
The performance wasn’t the best but it’s the result that counts, and the same goes for playing on a plastic pitch where you’ve lost earlier in the season.
Any notion that the Hoops were going to turn up at the Tony Macaroni Stadium and sweep Livingston away was pure fantasy. They’re a big, physical and direct side. They play to their strengths. And why not? The Bhoys have recently found it hard enough to score there, never mind win, so it was with great relief that Callum McGregor put the champions ahead.
However, just like last Thursday night, two defensive lapses cost Celtic goals, and only minutes into the second half we found ourselves 2-1 down. Now there was a time when we might have accepted were were dropping points, but not this team.
With the game going into injury time, the last gasp goal specialist, substitute Tom Rogic, fired home Odsonne Edouard’s cut back to make the scores level at 2-2. A share of the points that to be honest most would have taken before the game was even better given the result at Ibrox.
Sometimes we take for granted what these players do. That was a tough week, with very mixed emotions and mixed fortunes. These really are special times, let’s enjoy them.