Neil Lennon was full of praise for his Celtic side after a comprehensive 4-0 thrashing of Aberdeen at Pittodrie in today’s early kick-off.
Any worries that the Hoops might suffer a Europa League hangover were quickly dispelled as Aberdeen were turned inside out like a dirty jumper in a stunning first half.
It was a cold, blustery day in the northeast but Celtic were so red hot that Gordon Strachan would have been able to ditch his pre-match bivouac and warm his hands by the side of the pitch.
Edouard tore through the Aberdeen defence in 10 minutes to give Celtic the lead with a low shot into the bottom corner. It was an outstanding goal after a dizzying run from the young Frenchman and Aberdeen never regained their equilibrium.
Edouard then linked up with the rampaging Frimpong on the right, with the Dutch youngster scrambling the ball over the line in 15 minutes.
Joyful Jeremie has evidently made a big impact on and off the park and his teammates as delighted as he was as he claimed his first senior goal.
Next up, was James Forrest, taking responsibility in the box after a scintillating move had left Aberdeen chasing shadows. Tom Rogic’s sublime ball was gathered by Elyounoussi before the winger pounced to place a low shot home.
Some Dons fans had clearly decided that this was 37 minutes of their life that they’d never get back as they headed for the exits.
Elyounoussi then finished the scoring just before the break with a clinical finish, after another great Rogic ball picked him out in a crowded box.
Celtic then took their foot off the gas when thoughts were turning to goal difference and record scores.
After a 6-0 win over Ross County last week and a cracking, tough fought victory over Lazio on Sunday, the fans have been rewarded with brilliant performances and a barrowload of goals.
They certainly enjoyed their day out, with another highlight being the ongoing public spat with the granddaughter of an executed fascist dictator.
Former actress, topless model, and professional bigmouth Alessandra Mussolini railed against the banner in the Green Brigade section of the stadium on Thursday.
She thought that the image of her papa hanging up after partisans exacted a terrible revenge upon him for his many crimes was “violent” (she has previously called the actor Jim Carrey a “bastard” for depicting the same gruesome event).
An article in the Guardian looking at Italy’s war crimes, recalls him thus:
“Benito Mussolini’s invading soldiers murdered many thousands of civilians, bombed the Red Cross, dropped poison gas, starved infants in concentration camps and tried to annihilate cultures deemed inferior.”
A gentle “f*ck off Alessandra”, displayed in her native language, seems like fair comment.
Meanwhile, over at Ibrox, Rangers won the race to Remembrance Sunday, getting in a minute’s silence just as the clocks go back.
It’s clearly not enough for the Ibrox club to simply pay their respects at Livingston on the appropriate weekend. Their quintessential Britishness means that they have to have their own moment of “solemn respect” in their own stadium.
And a moment of solemn respect isn’t enough, what with the “Lest we forget” on the scoreboards and the cascade of poppies on the electronic advertising hoardings, a giant ‘lest we forget’ tifo, and cannon fire marking the end of a minute’s silence.
Yes, actual heavy artillery, facing in the direction of the Sandy Jardine stand (pictured below by way of proof).
It’s almost beyond parody, but we’ll try… If Celtic fans turned up with a cannon and aimed it in the direction of the home crowd, there would no doubt be an outcry. One rule for them, etc etc.
When this incarnation goes bust, Edinburgh Castle not being paid for the loan of Mons Meg will be up there with the face painter who was ripped off.
On the pitch, Motherwell took the lead which begged the inevitable question… Will Tavernier-Penalty miss their inevitable spot-kick when it’s awarded?
The right-back has gone from being the “best right-back in the country” to being something of a hate figure among a section of the Ibrox support recently. Sure enough, a penalty was soon awarded and he did miss it, to further demean his standing.
The more cynical might have felt he’d score at least one of the next two or three they’d surely get from Andrew Dallas in the second half, but in the end a refereeing intervention wasn’t required. Rangers won 2-1 with at least one goal seemingly worth a close look over an offside call.
Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson also was of the opinion that Rangers first was as a result of a “very dubious decision”. Let’s wait and see how bad it was.
Some media outlets are labouring under the misapprehension that “Rangers are level with Celtic at the top of the league”.
This is wishful thinking. If the league finished today, same as last week, Celtic would be champions and Rangers would be second. It’s just one of those rules (although we know they don’t like rules) that determines who wins the title and who doesn’t.
Celtic top, Rangers second, not too difficult.
Had Rangers won by four or five today, as some expected, and Celtic only sneaked a win, you can be in absolutely no doubt that “Rangers go top” would be the three most used words of the weekend.
Anyway! Elsewhere, Livingston drew 0-0 with Hearts in a dreary match. As Strachan intimated, you knew it was going to be brutal even before the game.
The question was asked, has anyone ever said “that’s a great game of football” on a plastic pitch and the answer is no. A perfectly good reason for ripping them up and trying to act like a proper football league.
Fellow Edinburgh strugglers Hibs also dropped a couple of points, throwing away a 2-0 lead against Ross County. Hibees fans are being far less polite about manager Paul Higginbottomthan than Celtic fans are about Alessandra Mussolini!
Kilmarnock’s shaky start to the season seems a distant memory. They beat St Mirren 1-0 and now sit third in the table. Behind Rangers, who are second. With Celtic on top.
Last but not least, St Johnstone got a much-needed victory beating Hamilton 3-2. They’re still bottom, but will be feeling a wee bit better about themselves after that.