Veteran super-sub, Veteran super-sub and arm block on the goal-line

Brendan Rodgers was certainly well pleased with his side’s performance at Celtic Park yesterday afternoon in the 3-1 win over St Johnstone. And the Celtic boss will now take full advantage of the international break to strengthen his squad by reducing drastically the injury list. That will see a much stronger Celtic side going into the title run-in.

James Forrest scores during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and St. Johnstone FC at Celtic Park  on March 16, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Veteran super-sub 

Speaking to Celtic TV after the victory the manager also praised Nicolas Kuhn who got the assist for Kyogo for the opener before the Japanese striker – looking much more like his old self – returned the compliment for the second with veteran super-sub James Forrest grabbing a well taken third for Celtic.

Unique Angle

Arm block on the goal-line

VAR ruled out three more Celtic goals for close-call offsides which is fair enough but how they decided that the referee should not decide whether the arm block on the goal-line is beyond most Celtic Supporters. Compare and contrast with the penalty awarded to Hearts against Celtic a few weeks ago and all you can conclude is that we are being refereed to a different set of rules. Or is it just incompetence?

Overall it was really good

“I thought it was a very good performance. We created a lot of chances and scored very good goals. We we right on the limit because there were a lot of stoppages in the game. For that, I give credit to the players because we were there so many times to create and score goals and sometimes VAR has to take a wee look at them. So, overall it was really good.

“We only had one little spell when I made the changes when we were a bit passive and St Johnstone got a bit of comfort in the game for five or 10 minutes but over the course of the 90-plus minutes, I thought we were very good,” the Celtic manager said to Celtic TV.

Some really good moments

“I said before the game that the speed is so important for us in order to tire out the opponent and bring it to a level that makes it difficult. I thought the players worked very hard in that aspect. We had some really good moments and combinations. We had some bright bits of play and that led to our goals and they were very good goals.”

The Celtic manager was delighted with the performance of his £3m January signing Nicolas Kuhn, who for the second weekend in a row was outstanding and this time hit the back of the net, grabbed an assist and picked up a well deserved Man of the Match award.

Celtic v St. Johnstone – Nicolas Kuhn celebrates scoring during the Premiership match at Celtic Park on Saturday March 16, 2024. Photo Andrew Milligan

Efficiency you want

“I think he is settling in really well,” Brendan said. “He is finding his strength and his confidence. Day-by-day in training you can see that and he was very aggressive in the one versus one situation and he made a great assist for the first goal. He was really creative and had good speed and he got a goal himself. That is the efficiency you want from your wide players.

Celtic go into the international break top of the league, looking down on theRangers after a St Patrick’s Day downpour in Dundee was too much for the sodden Dens Park pitch. The postponement though might have been a blessing in disguise for the leg weary Ibrox outfit.

 Matt O’Riley during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and St. Johnstone at Celtic Park on March 16, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Fingers crossed

For Rodgers though the international break is an opportunity to get players rested and others fully fit for the business end of the campaign. “Fingers crossed, hopefully, that will be the case. They will have a little bit of rest but there is still work to be done.

“We will have a game behind closed doors to get one or two up to speed. It was really good news to see Cam (Cameron Carter-Vickers) back out there today and they are working well. All being well and all the guys being back fit we can really attack this last part of the season,” Brendan said.

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