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Too Many Ch-Ch-Changes: A Celtic-Kilmarnock Match Report

Celtic v Kilmarnock - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Leigh Griffiths puts Celtic 1-0 ahead
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images


Celtic equalled our 100 year old unbeaten domestic run of 62 games but a much changed side were unable to get the three points, being held to a 1-1 draw by Kilmarnock.

Brendan Rodgers made six changes from the side which demolished Aberdeen in midweek, with starts for Ajer, Kouassi, Ntcham, Roberts, Johnston and Griffiths.

Celtic actually started the game quite well, with Griffiths coming close with a header over the bar after a fine ball from Tierney, then Rogic shot just wide as Celtic dominated the early stages.

Inevitably playing such a disjointed team would have it’s effect, and the game went into a lull, which wasn’t helped by Roberts picking up a hamstring injury and having to be replaced by Sinclair. According to Brendan Rodgers the injury will keep Roberts out for ‘4 to 6 weeks’.

Just as it seemed the first half would end goalless, Celtic took the lead in the 42nd minute, a fantastic Kouassi pass put Griffiths clean through and he finished in style.

Celtic started the second half quite slowly, and Killie got more into the game, and it wasn’t a surprise to see Jordan Jones level on the hour. Celtic had already been warned when he fired a shot against the post but we didn’t learn a lesson as Jones picked up the rebound, played a one-two and equalised as Celtic’s defence was static.

Unsurprisingly this prompted Brendan Rodgers to make changes, with Armstrong and Dembele coming on for Ntcham and Johnston, but aside from Griffiths falling over at the back post and missing a great chance to score and then having a shot saved by MacDonald the game ended with Killie relatively comfortable and Celtic had dropped another two points at home.

Making so many changes seems a bit counterproductive to me, let’s be real here we aren’t likely to beat Bayern on Tuesday, our bread and butter is the league and we have allowed our lead to shrink back down to one point. Surely it would be better to start the first XI, get the game won early then make changes on around the hour?

As for the performance today, we never really got going, none of the players that came in - aside from good play in patches from Ntcham and Kouassi, and a decent finish by Griffiths - did enough to try and force their way into the team. Still, at least we equalled the unbeaten record...

Anyway, I’m sure the first choice team will start against Bayern on Tuesday, and here’s hoping that minimum changes are made at St Johnstone next Saturday.