It was a freezing cold night at Ayrshire and Rugby Park was the venue where Brendan Rodger’s Celtic travelled away to the home of the Killie, Kilmarnock FC. With Rodger’s men having travelled across the globe for international duties, the manager opted for a bit of freshness and changes, of course, were inevitable.
Defender Dedryck Boyata made his first appearance in over 7 months at the back whereas Callum McGregor had to shift unusually to the left back region as Tierney still is battling for fitness and these were the two changes made by the Northern Irish manager. Leigh Griffiths was the notable absentee at the top having not recovered completely from the tightness in his hamstring.
It was the visitors who started the match on the confident foot but sooner, the home side grew in confidence and found their groove but just as someone would have expected Kilmarnock to draw first blood, it was the sucker punch delivered by Stuart Armstrong after Moussa Dembele’s through ball found him. A clinical first-half strike was all that was needed for the Celts as they went thirteen clear at the top of the table.
The second half was just a performance where another fighting display at the back saw Celtic hold on to another clean-sheet despite the home side being terrific and stretching the game all the way.Sviatchenko put in another good shift at the back and Gordon claimed another
Sviatchenko put in another good shift at the back and Gordon claimed another clean sheet. Here’s how The Bhoys have been rated after another well-earned victory.
GK : Craig Gordon – 6.5/10
Handling looked to be impressive whole night and ball control with his feet was another level! A clean-sheet is another major positive.
RB : Mikael Lustig – 6/10
Had a tough night against Taylor but it was a composed performance again from the Swede. Conscientious as ever.
CB : Dedryck Boyata – 5/10
First start in over 7 months so rustiness was evident. A decent performance and he had to force a clearance off the line. Much to work upon and improve for the defender.
CB : Erik Sviatchenko – 8/10
Showed once again that he has a tremendous ability to read the game well. Was hardly troubled throughout the night, though.
LB : Callum McGregor – 6/10
Tierney’s absence meant that McGregor had to unusually shift to the left back region but he too was not so tested. Had a fantastic chance at the beginning of the second half but didn’t take it.
CM : Scott Brown – 5/10
Had a very uncomfortable night where he was booked for persistent fouling. He needs to up his game again after an ineffective display.
CM : Stuart Armstrong – 7/10
A fire burst run but a cool as ice finish! A crucial sucker punched was delivered at the right time by Armstrong. He was kept in check by McKenzie for a good portion of the game, though.
CAM : Patrick Roberts – 6/10
Played as a CAM rather than a winger tonight and he never looked at ease as a compact midfield made him less effective.
RW : James Forrest – 6.5/10
Fought hard to find any sort of space on the right all night but struggled to deliver any killer ball.
LW : Scott Sinclair – 6/10
Looked to be quick as usual but a bad pitch as well as a very alert patrol of Kilmarnock on the right meant that he was kept in check. A frustrating night for the forward and he was very harshly booked.
ST : Moussa Dembele – 6/10
A very compact defence meant that he had very little to operate upon but he still managed to grab an assist after playing a through ball for the goal. A team player for sure!
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