Sunday April 15th: Scottish Premiership; Ross County 2 (Gardyne 50, Boyce (Pen) 90) Celtic 2 (Tierney 34, Roberts 78)
A fairly pedestrian end of season game EXPLODED into life in the last few minutes as referee Don Robertson awarded Ross County a penalty that never was and sent-off Scott Brown for a stupid challenge, which should rule him out of next week's Scottish Cup semi-final.
Brendan Rodgers made changes for the game, as Sviatchenko, Rogic and Dembele all started, and we played as a three at the back as Lustig and Boyata both missed out.
As many teams have this season, Ross County kept many men in and around their own half and penalty box, making it difficult for Celtic to create many chances in the first half. We created some half chances, but our first shot on target from Tierney was easily saved by Fox.
The shot must have given Tierney encouragement, as he gave Celtic the lead in the 34th minute, he was given lots of space and arrowed a fine shot into the corner of the net (0-1). 1-0 to Celtic and that's how the game ended at half-time, even though Chow could have done better with a good chance for County.
The second half began with County on top, and it wasn't a surprise when they equalised; a Jim O'Brien cross was completely misjudged by Sviatchenko and Gardyne scored with a fine header (1-1).
County continued to cause problems, and it wasn't a surprise when changes were made, Rogic and Dembele lasting an hour before being replaced by Griffiths and Gamboa, as Celtic went to four at the back.
Not long after that we made our final change, as Roberts replaced Forrest, and in the 78th minute he put Celtic back in front, after some nice skill and a shot which went right through Scott Fox (2-1).
Now for the real stuff; it all started when County were awarded a highly dubious - and that's putting it mildly - penalty when Sviatchenko was adjudged to have clipped Alex Schalk, when he didn't touch him. Still it fooled referee Roberston and even though Celtic players protested vehemently, Boyce scored the equaliser in the 90th minute.
The drama didn't end there, as already wound-up by the crap penalty decision, Scott Brown dove in on Boyce and didn't give the referee much of an option but to send him off. Maybe it wasn't the worst decision but the way Brown dived into the tackle was extremely stupid, and even though we'll no doubt appeal it looks like he is going to miss the Scottish Cup semi-final. Groan. (Actually, he might not miss the semi-final after all)
Obviously the end of the game will take up all the column inches, but Erik Sviatchenko didn't do himself any favours with a very poor performance. Tom Rogic had some nice touches but looked like a player just coming back from injury. On the other hand, the display of Patrick Roberts could guarantee him a start next week. Interesting times ahead - as usual...