Champions League - Match Day 4

I wonder will this thread get as heated as the Match Day 3 one? ;D

Very professional job from Celtic today despite not playing that well. Big Jan and Tommy G were not in the squad which to all intents and purposes means they’re both out for Wednesday night. I thought it was a wise move to leave King Kenny on the bench as we’ll need him to lead the line with the trademark incredible workrate of his and the cameo off the bench today will ensure he’s fit and fresh.

That’s 9 wins in a row now so confidence should remain high though Benfica have an excellent record at home in Europe. Porto beat them 3-2 last night with a very late goal so hopefully that will have rocked them a little. It’ll be extremely tough but with the way things are going I am very hopeful.

Today’s ratings:

Boruc - 5: Was disappointed he let the goal in under his body. Also came out for the corner at the end and didn’t get there. Strikes me that he sometimes lacks concentration in the bread and butter league games and doesn’t apply himself as well as he does in Europe and against the huns and the diet huns.

Telfer - 8 (MOTM) : The renaissance continues. Solid in the tackle, cut out danger with the minimum of fuss, got forward in support of Naka and even played some quality crossfield passes. Has been a revelation of late.

Caldwell - 6: Started well I thought but had a bit of a shocker for the last 20 mins of the first half. Was caught out by Naismith for his effort that hit the bar and was unsure on a couple of other occasions. Was much better in the second half despite being upset that his mistimed tackle on Fernandez caused what looks like a serious injury. (Fair play to Fernandez on Setanta saying he knows the type of player Caldwell is and that he’s positive it was a total accident. He said it was just one of those unfortunate things that happen in football and he said Caldwell came to see him at half time to check if he was alright. I know Caldwell came in hard but Fernandez just toe ended the ball away from him and it was just pure bad luck that Caldwell caught him as his leg planted in the ground. I was a bit dismayed by Scott Booth and Craig Burley almost intimating that Caldwell intentionally set out to ‘do’ him. He’s never had this element in his game at all and has no history of being nasty or malicious).

McManus - 6: Not his best game either. Was adequate without ever being really commanding. Allowed Nish to run off him for the goal and gave away a lot of free kicks in the air. Still don’t think that either Caldwell or himself have done anything alarming to merit being dropped but needs to maintain the standard he has set so far this season with Balde coming back to fitness.

Naylor - 7: Another solid defensive shift today. Got around on the cover a couple of times and snuffed out any potential danger on his flank. Not as prominent going forward as in previous games but continue to be impressed with this guy.

Nakamura - 7: At the heart of Celtic’s best passing football. Is a joy to watch at times but like many others today it was not vintage Naka. Dispossed (illegally imo) in the build-up to their goal and was caught in possession a few other times too but a quality free kick to equalise and a few other sublime bits of class.

Lennon - 7: Not as dominant as he has been of late but upped it considerably in the second half. Led from the front in what was quite a battle in the midfield trenches. Suffered somewhat from having Pearson playing beside him but gradually wore down the Kilmarnock midfield pairing. Won’t be happy with his defending for their goal though.

Pearson - 6: Probably best suited to coming off the bench when the game has been stretched with his direct running style as he lacks the tactical nous and range of passing to play in the centre. Can see why Strachan wanted to rest Sno before Wednesday though with the youngster having played a lot of games lately. Still a valuable squad player imo but would consider offers for him in January. Fluffed a very good chance in the first half.

Maloney - 7: You can tell he’s still searching for his full match fitness and sharpness but that said he lit up the game on several occasions with flashes of skill. Excellent work for the winner and having played 5 or 6 games over the past 6 weeks I believe he’s almost ready to return to the peaks of last season. The move up front in the second half allowed him more freedom to express himself and he could be an option up there on Wednesday night.

Jarosik - 5: Again, I was seriously underwhelmed by this guy. He had 2 nice pieces of play where he put Pearson in after rolling the centre back and played a nice blind pass which ended up with Magic having a strike on goal. On the whole he just appears to lack urgency, desire and is far too loose and careless in possession. It was no surprise to see him called ashore at half time.

Zurawski - 5: Overall I have been disappointed with Magic this season and was again today. The inability of Celtic to get their passing game going with Pearson playing in the middle and Jarosik’s off key performance didn’t make it easy for him to get into the game but he had little worthwhile to show for his 65 minutes on the pitch.


McGeady - 7: Was visibly getting back into his stride the longer he was on the pitch. Was good in the build up for the winner and showed some good flashes of skill. Did enough to suggest he’s over his injury setback and merits a start on Wednesday imo.

Miller - 7: Excellent cameo from Gerd Miller. His movement for the goal was class as it was throughout his 25 mins on the park. Nice to see him getting his rewards now after his initial barren spell.

Sno: Not on long enough. Won a few important tackles though.

Strachan - 8: Agreed with his decision to rest Sno and Miller with Benfica in mind. His substitutions were spot on and positively affected the game and continues to prove he possesses the ability to change things during the game. Thoroughly impressed with him this season.

As for the team on Wednesday, I think you leave yourself a bit open away from home with 2 attacking wide players in a 4-4-2. Having played 4-4-1-1 at Old Trafford I would be in favour of Strachan doing similar again. Miller obviously gets the nod up front after his heroics 2 weeks ago and I would play Maloney off him as he’s clever enough to drop into good positions and can drop into midfield when required. He can also interchange with Aiden and Naka when they come infield and I’d be confident that the pace, movement and passing ability of these bhoys will hurt Benfica on the break. The back 4 stays together and Sno comes back in beside Lenny to add solidity to the midfield:


Telfer, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor

Nakamura, Lennon ©, Sno, McGeady



I am thoroughly looking forward to this game.

Interesting selection Bandage. Sitting in the airport on my way to Lisbon in a journalistic capacity for tfk.

I hadn’t given anything other than a 4-4-2 much thought and don’t have much time to consider your formation properly but I think I’d stick with the home formation (and possibly team). I don’t think that Maloney, McGeady and Nakamura would necessarily get through more defensive work than Maloney, Magic and Nakamura. Magic covered a hell of a lot of ground defensively in the home match and I’d be inclined to stick with him. I’ll consider it further on the flight over there.

Ratings bang on for the game but I think you might be a touch harsh on Jarosik again. He was playing up front and he created our only real chance of the first half. He can be frustrating but he’s effective, in a lazy, languid sort of way.

Its was a good solid performance by the Hoops, especially because the lads had one eye on wednesday. We didn’t really get out of 2nd gear until the goal went in and then just piled on a wee bit of pressure.

I agree with on you Jarosik bandage, hasn’t impressed thus far in the season.Don’t think he is effective at all.

For tomorrow i’d go with the same team as you have mentioned above. Its frustrating that Vinegar is out again. However I predict that we will get a at least a point. Where are you watching the match bandage?

Also best of luck to JFK making his comeback in the reserves against Motherwell after 2 and half years away from the game. Lets hope he comes through it without an problems.

Im absolutely delighted for JFK. I can only barely begin to imagine the depths of despair he went through during his 31 months out. Hopefully when he gets a dozen or so reserve games under his belt hell show signs of being able to perform as well as he did when putting Barcelona to the sword. But its a tough ask I would be gutted though if he cant make a living from the game - even if its not at Celtic - after what was a horrific tackle from that prick.

Rock, I know Magic did a lot of running in the home game but Id still look to Maloney to play in the split striker role. I can see us going that way again like in Manchester. At least this time someone with a bit of skill, trickery and invention will be in the position (Maloney) instead of that useless streak of pish (Jaroshit).

Pagey, Im likely to be in work until after 7pm tomorrow so Ill probably watch it in the 51 where I watched the last game. I will be wearing the same sharp grey suit, white shirt and Celtic tie combination and plan on standing at the same part of the bar and getting the game put on the same TV due to my superstitious nature. I also plan on getting disgracefully drunk as before too. Give us a shout if you fancy it.

John Kennedys first Hoops appearance since the dismantling of the Huns on March 28 2004:

They won 2-0. Prolific young Irish striker Cillian Sheridan got both. A name to watch out for.

Great to have JFK back.

Excellent we now have the UEFA accreditation. If all goes well tomorrow night I might use our pass to check out some of the potential last 16 opposition early in the new year.

Big Evander Sno has just been called into the senior Dutch squad. Get it right fooking up you Trevor Stevehun!

Absolutely gagging for this match tonight. See you down in the 51, i’ll be the one in the away Celtic jersey with Miller 9 on the back. Hail Hail

A shocking performance by Celtic tonight. Bar the two individual errors in the first half they didn’t play terribly - in fact they’d an excellent spell for 15 minutes before half time - but what was most disappointing was the insipid second half performance where they failed to threaten at all.


Boruc - 6: No chance with any of the goals. Other than that was adequate.

Telfer - 5: Not directly responsible for any of the goals but wasn’t up to his recent standard either. Gave the ball away on occasion, let down by his touch on others and some misplaced crosses and passes.

Caldwell - 3: Not totally blaming him for the 1st goal but the suspicion is he could have hooked it clear rather than poking it or else diverted it away with his left foot. Shocking for the 2nd goal though and also nearly caused a calamity in the 2nd half with a slack pass on the edge of our box. An evening to forget.

McManus - 6: A game effort characterised by a lot of tackles, blocks and interventions. Never in full control back there but equally wasn’t to blame for the malaise around him.

Naylor - 7.5: All action display. What a revelation. Prominent in attack and defence.

Nakamura - 5.5: Never got on the ball enough to dictate to them. One or two nice flashes but not involved enough to hurt them.

Lennon - 5: A poor night by his recent high standards. Didn’t boss the midfield battle at all.

Sno - 7: Very impressed with this child again. Has a big future in the hoops ahead of him. Good range of passing and a bit of dig too.

Pearson - 5: Fluffed the 2 best chances in the first half. Tried hard as usual but as before it’s patently clear that he lacks the ball playing ability to really figure positively for Celtic. A surprise inclusion.

Maloney - 5: I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say it was more a lack of match fitness than a lack of effort that accounted for his extremely under par performance. If he’s still playing like this in 6 weeks time then he can fook off to some mediocre English team like Petrov did. That’s not a criticsim either - I’m a big fan of his - just an observation.

Miller - 5: No supply, isolated up there on his own but tried hard without joy.


McGeady - 6: Lively without really threatening to unhinge them.

Magic - 5: Not on long enough to really have an impact plus the result was decided by then anyway.


Strachan - 4.5: Players seemed inhibited and unsure of the tactics and formation. Initially wasn’t too averse to the idea of Pearson starting assuming it was a 4-5-1 with Maloney and Naka on either wing but once kick off came it appeared we were playing a 4-4-2 with Pearson on the left. The thought then was would McGeady not be a better option than Pearo on the left? After they got the early goals Maloney swapped with Pearo and we changed to a 4-4-1-1 and then you had Pearo playing in the ‘hole’ where either McGeady or Maloney would have been best suited. I think he thought Maloney dropping deep to gather possession and carry it forward would allow us to gain a foothold in the game but Shaun had a shocker and Pearo looked all at sea in his attacking role. Much to dwell on for the upcoming games with Bobo available now at the back. Let’s not forget either that Wilson, Gravesen and Vinegar Hill are all injured and will give us more options come Manchester United at home.

Overall, very disappointing as I said but we still have a 2 point cushion on 3rd place with 2 games to go. Not sure whether ManU getting beaten tonight will have an impact on their approach in Glasgow. Seeing as they’re not already through now I presume they’ll put out their strongest side. I would welcome that as it would really focus our minds to the task. Better teams than them have been sent packing, tails between their legs from the east end of Glasgow. I expect Celtic to roll them over to seal their place in the last 16.

Ironically Newstalk had Tommy Gemmill on last night before the game reminiscing about setting up one and scoring another in Lisbon in 1967. Guess Caldwell now has the same claim to fame.

Did anyone watch the Arsenal game last night? What a display from the Gunners, easily some of the most beautiful football I’ve ever seen, ever. Some of the passes young Cesc was picking out would take your breath away. They’ll will be disapointed with the scoreline but it was just one of those nights, they came incredibly close on several occasions but it wasn’t to be. Once that young team gets more ruthless in front of goal I think they will be unstoppable.

agree with most of that. very disappointing display. went into the game with the wrong attitude in my view. we are never good when we look for a draw from a match which was what i thought we did yesterday (whether intentionally or not). i was particularly disappointed in maloney. he did not seem to give a shit about the match and his workrate was very poor. he seemed to feel sorry for himself throughout the game. first time i have seen him sulk so willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. overall it was a very disappointing night. have to be a big improvement to beat man u in a few weeks

You post the original at 1.41 and then edit at 4.50? get a fookin life bandage…or does sam last a bit longer these days?

That’s strange. Unless I was sleep walking, I did not edit that.

Hmmm mystery might have to do with fact that Bandage actually wrote it at 1 minute past midnight & edited it at 4 minutes past.

Ahhhhh so it was.

Well that was very fucking disappointing altogether. Bit pressed for time today but my impressions of the game:

First of all a first class travelling support. 10,000 Celtic fans there at least and there would have been more if Lisbon had sent on the unsold tickets earlier than last week. The Rossio square on the day of the match was excellent. I won 70 euro there for hitting the statue with a steepling kick from 30 yards. Superb shot - bang in the middle of the column. Thought it might be a good omen for later.

The stadium was superb by the way. Massive with a great view from nearly everywhere and it was noisy.

Game was poor. I rang bandage before kick off when he told me the team because I couldn’t believe Pearson was selected. He’s out of his depth at that level. Nothing against the guy, I always liked him and he had some decent games for us but he was clueless the other night. Very hard to work out where he was supposed to be playing. From the start he should have been playing on the left I think but he was infield for most of the first half, leaving acres of space out there. When he switched with Maloney he at least got into threatening positions but he’s not a good enough footballer to capitalise on his energy and enthusiasm.

Maloney was awful. He looked uninterested as others have pointed out. At one stage in the second half he lost the ball and strolled back when they countered. Strachan came to the edge of the technical area to scream at him and Maloney just shrugged his shoulders back at him. I knew he was getting hooked after that. Very worrying and I hope it was a one game blip but that was very poor.

Haven’t seen the goals again other than on the big screen at the match which was hard to see so I couldn’t comment definitively on the incidents. Caldwell was having a good season though and he should recover. Very costly errors indeed but that shit happens. Though with Gravesen’s errors at Old Trafford we need to cut out that sort of lapse if we’re to progress in Europe.

Great to see the Lisbon Lions at half time. They got a cracking reception.

Roll on Man U at Celtic Park.

I saw Sheridan scoring two (or maybe three) for the Under 19’s a couple of weeks ago. I think he’s new at the club this year and Willie McStay was saying he was way ahead of expectation when he was playing for the U19’s because they thought it would take him a few weeks to settle. As it was he came in and started scoring for fun.

Also saw his goals for the reserves last night. He took the first tidily in a one on one and the second was a lovely finish from a corner that he hooked into the top corner. He looks a big guy for 17 so he looks to have great attributes to make it.

Rocko, did you go on the pilgrimage to Estadio Nacional. Some immense pictures on the huddleboard. This is what it meant to one bhoy:

'What an amazing hour i had in the stadio nacional yesterday. Our coach transfer took us straight there from the airport.

As we got there the Celtic players were just getting on their bus and leaving we gave them a huge cheer and they clapped us back.

Inside the stadio nacional the Lions were on the pitch chatting and having photos taken with people. I got mine took with Bertie Auld and told him he was my grandad’s favourite player and would be chuffed to have know i met him and wee Bertie said it was his
pleasure. I nearly started greetin.

Got a group photo of me and my mates in the goal we scored our goals into, then went for a wee sit in the celtic end and there we met this older bhoy who had just got his original 1967
ticket signed by the Lions then he was going to sit in his seat again. That was me nearly greetin again.

Just before we left i took some grass and put it in my wallet. I managed to find a small piece of masonary from the celtic end and that now sits next to my wee chunk of jungle.

I left that stadium the happiest man alive - every celtic fan must visit that place.’

Match day 5 here we come, Wednesday is now banished to the record books. I don’t think I will ever forget today. Incredible scenes. Fooking unbelievable. Just watched Strachan’s celebration there. He is loving it and so was I. Fantastic.

Didn’t go to Estadio Nacional. Wasn’t sure how to get there and was meeting lads at various times in the city centre arriving on different flights so had to hang around there.

That was a fantastic win on Saturday. Frasers was hopping at the end. To do that to them once is brilliant, to do it two years in a row is incredible. And then the huns go and lose. Roll on Man Utd at home.