Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 v 0 Celtic
So here we are after four games still sitting atop this most topsy turvy of Leagues after a convincing display against the current champions that merited more than the solitary winning goal that the game was won by.....Inverness passed Celtic to distraction.
In Tansey and Draper we had the midfielders who commanded the game, in Brill by far the better goalkeeper, in Warren the best defender and in Watkins the most skilled attacker. They were better all over the field against a much changed Celtic side that still contained first team that was supposedly weakened.
Looking closely, Mulgrew is a Scotland international as are Commons and Griffiths. Ambrose featured in the world cup, Biton has featured for Israel. Pukki has played for Finland. Even Zaluska has played for Poland so this was no “second string” pushed in as cannon fodder. None of these players are mugs although that’s what some of the media have portayed them as. Don’t believe a word of it.
As early as the fourth minute, Tansey had rifled a vicious strike at Zaluskas’ goal that had the keeper scrambling to divert....and it wasn’t the last time that the Liverpudlian would trouble him. Inverness were settling into their Hughes inspired style and Celtic offered little in answer, Griffiths mustering their first attempt in twelve minutes.
When Celtic did ask questions, they were answered emphatically by Dean Brill. The big Englishman has been a revelation since coming north from a tier of football unknown to most Caley Thistle fans. How he must love it here at present with a great defence in front of him and his form at its best. Saves against Pukki and Ambrose were of note and even when he was beaten, the woodwork saved the day.
The second half was where Caley Thistle really kicked on, exemplified by Marley Watkins. He made such a misery of Twardzik’s day that the full back was replaced by Johansen...Watkins took him apart as well. His was the driving run that forged a cross just after the hour that Billy Mckay tore after. Such was the consternation caused that Zaluskas parried the ball off the unfortunate O’Connell and into the net.
If that was supposed to spur Celtic on, it didn’t and Christie blasted a great chance wide just after the goal. Even after that, substitute Ross crafted a fine shot that brought an equally fine save to keep the score at 1-0.
So the match finished, and an obviously irked Ronnie Diela was left to face the press. No matter what he said, no matter how it was interpreted the fact is that the better team won and long may that continue. I for one think it will.
John Hughes? He maintains steadfastly that there are no lofty ambitions, no dreams of glory and there won’t be until our place in the league is cemented. Inside that craggy exterior, however, must be one of the happiest men in Scotland right now and who can blame him?
Next Saturday brings Kilmarnock north, and will we still be top of the League at 5.45pm? Do yourself a huge favour and come along and see for yourself – you’ll be glad you did.
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