Celtic returned to domestic action in the SPFL and took all three points against Motherwell with a 3-0 win at Celtic Park.
Despite the midweek disaster, manager Neil Lennon sent out the same starting XI which included no natural striker.
The Hoops grabbed the lead towards the end of the first half after James Forrest blasted it past the keeper in the 40th minute.
Substitute Albian Ajeti made it 2-0 with a ruthless finish after Kristofer Ajer picked out the Swiss international. Christopher Julien added Celtic’s third with a terrific finish in stoppage time.
With four matches played in the SPFL, Celtic sit third in the table on 10 points and six points behind Rangers, but Celtic do still have two games in hand. The Hoops will return to action following the upcoming international break when they’ll travel to Ross County.
Here are ‘Four Findings’ from Celtic’s 3-0 defeat of Motherwell…
Following the midweek disaster, Celtic put in a quality performance on Sunday. While there was a bit of a struggle to create chances in the first half, Neil Lennon made the necessary changes to fix that and add a couple more goals.
No players played glaringly poorly and Barkas had very little to do for his second straight SPFL shutout. Callum McGregor was well-deserving of the Man of the Match award too.
Forrest’s reaction following his 40th-minute goal really said it all; it was a celebration of relief. After several days of absolute depression around the club, Celtic finally gave the fans something to be happy about other than the signing of David Turnbull.
Patryk Klimala was the first substitution at halftime. Even with his disappointing finish when he was one on one with the keeper, Klimala had a very good 45 minutes. He held the ball well and made some smart runs.
Jeremie Frimpong was the next substitute in the 62nd minute. He was excellent as well with several great runs against hopeless defenders and supplied the assist on the third goal.
Albian Ajeti was the third and final change in the 71st minute. He scored his second goal for Celtic in the 74th minute and played well overall.
Changes Are Clear
As it looks like Celtic will be getting Irish international centre half Shane Duffy on a one year loan, it is as clear as ever that Celtic need to differ to a 3-5-2 formation. With the ability to have three big centre backs and two speedy wingbacks, which worked last season, there is no reason not to give it another go after the return from break.
With four strikers that have shown the prospect of having success, playing two upfront will be beneficial in the attack. With the ability of Edouard to play as the secondary striker with Griffiths running in behind the defence, a return to this style will put Celtic into a fantastic position to break down the defence much more than they have been doing so far this season.
With the international break now upon us, Celtic will be more at ease with everything after Sunday’s emphatic victory. With Edouard scheduled to return after the break and Griffiths returning to training, Celtic are in a very good place to push on after the break with the forward depth chart numbers two to four up for grabs.
Once the break is over, Celtic will be rejuvenated and will have the opportunity to get back into the Europa League while continuing their domestic dominance.