SCOTTISH PREMIERSHIP: SATURDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER; CELTIC 4 (ROGIC 13’, DEMBELE 41’, FORREST 52’, 74’) ROSS COUNTY 0
Celtic moved clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a comfortable 4-0 win over Ross County, which saw Moussa Dembele score on his return to the first team and James Forrest grab a double.
As expected Brendan Rodgers made changes to the side after the 5-0 defeat to PSG in midweek. Jonny Hayes came in for Kieran Tierney who dropped out altogether, Bitton instead of Lustig partnered Simunovic, whilst Anthony Ralston kept his place at right back. Surprisingly Scott Brown wasn’t rested, and played in midfield alongside Armstrong, Rogic and Forrest. Dembele and Griffiths were up front, whilst Roberts and Sinclair dropped to the bench.
Celtic started the game on the front foot with lots of possession, and we took the lead in the 13th minute, Tom Rogic finding space on the edge of the box and firing home a shot which make have taken a slight deflection past McCarey in the County goal.
Forrest came close to making it 2-0 with a shot which just inched past the post, before Schalk had a good chance for County which he hit straight at Gordon. Anthony Ralston then hit the post with a fine shot, before Moussa Dembele marked his return from injury with a typically well-taken goal, beating his man on the edge of the box then curling a shot home into the corner of the net. A fine goal.
Celtic made no changes a half-time, and early in the second half came two minutes which decided the game. Firstly Craig Gordon made a superb save to deny Keillor-Dunn when he seemed certain to score, it was a truly great save reminiscent of Gordon in his Hearts prime.
Gordon making a great save pic.twitter.com/vJpOLCWMed— goal for celtic (@goalforceltic) September 16, 2017
From the resulting corner Celtic went on a swift counter attack and after McCarey could only parry a Rogic shot Forrest was on hand to slide home the rebound.
Celtic now went on the hunt for more goals, and Rogic was unlucky with a shot which just fizzed over the bar. Odsonne Edouard came on for Dembele and caused problems with his movement, before Forrest made it 4-0 with his second of the day, driving a low hard shot into the bottom corner of the net.
4-0 to Celtic, Forrest with his second pic.twitter.com/zxxjutmyAL— goal for celtic (@goalforceltic) September 16, 2017
Substitute Scott Sinclair came on for the last ten minutes and could have had a hat-trick, having two shots saved and then missing a header after a fine Jonny Hayes cross but the game ended 4-0.
Brendan Rodgers will have been delighted with Celtic’s reaction to the PSG loss, with Moussa Dembele’s hour an added bonus. He seems certain to get more game time against Dundee on Wednesday ahead of the Rangers and Anderlecht games. Tom Rogic and James Forrest were both excellent, and I would have no qualms with either of them starting in Celtic’s next few games. Anthony Ralston also had a very good game.
The only slight worry is that the defensive pairing of Simunovic and Bitton looked a bit dodgy at times, hopefully Dedryck Boyata will get some game time against Dundee on Wednesday. Despite this worry, all in all it was a good day for Celtic as we completed our 55th game unbeaten domestically.