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Reaction To Celtic – Can You Imagine If Your Team Played Like That At Home?

The finish for Scott McDonald’s goal was perfect, slotting in to the right place at the right time to get away from the defence, and applying just the right amount of pressure to allow the ball to rise over Ben Foster’s head, before dipping under the crossbar. It was a goal worthy of collecting a point, you might argue. But Celtic’s performance in this supposed ‘Battle of Britain’ isn’t anything to write home about.

After scoring, Celtic defended with their lives. Away from home, United had 74% possession of the ball, which is a statistic even more impressive when you imagine the crammed space United had to work in. The Hoops packed in to their own half, trying to close down any space they could, at the cost of retaining and keeping possession themselves, or going on the attack.

Celtic had a passing completion rate of just 57% and committed more than double the amount of fouls United did. It was truly dire. Whilst they should be applauded for only conceding one goal, and it’s job done as far as they are concerned, collecting a point, it is alarming to see a side play that way on their homeground. United often go away from home and control the tempo of the game, but it has been some time since I’ve seen us dominated the play to the degree we did last night.

It was good practice for us though, this much can be said, with United having to work incredibly hard to break them down. This practice probably won’t come in to play at the weekend, with Arsenal more likely to come at us and allow us more room to attack, but there will be plenty of other occasions this season where we will face entirely defensive-minded teams.

Ryan Giggs saved us with a few minutes to go though, after I’d been slagging him off all match and incredulously reacted to every substitution that didn’t involve him, much to our relief.

“With so little time to go I suppose we’ll settle for draw but with the way we played and our tempo in the second half, we probably deserved to win,” Giggs said. “It was a disappointing first half for us but the performance in the second half was much better. We came out and worked really hard and kept them pinned down. We knew chances would come. We knew we just had to keep the crosses and the one-twos going, keep the tempo up and it would come. It’s always worth following up a shot like that with the ball moving all over the place. I just gambled and it fell right onto my head.”

Gordan Strachan, Celtic manager, concedes that despite a late goal, his team were lucky to pick up a point against a side that steam-rolled them for close to 90 minutes.

“We were a bit fortunate,” he said. “We tried our best and in the end it was too much. We needed something to hang on to and keep us going. We can be hard to beat and we’re not the greatest but we’re incredibly strong.”

What did you think of the result and the performance?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Red-Manc says:

    oh just seen it, ‘f*ck the pope and the ira’ errrm thats a response to all the sectarian songs celtic were singing when them came to Old Trafford, they didnt sing them that much in the ground but outside of all the pubs/shops they were singing songs celebrating the IRA bombings in Manchester. celtic and rangers are terrible when it comes to things like that! you lot are the worst offenders so dont go round calling people scum, sort yourselves out first.

  2. Bradford Bhoy says:

    to the Man U fan above who said Celtic fans cant blame Man U for marketing themselves correctly,we dont.On that I’ll just say your success is down to your league and not just your boardroom as the financial reward wouldnt be there,you are not the gravy train just a club riding it.
    In the 60s Celtic were by far and away the most successful in Britain right through Jock Steins tenure,Man U perhaps had the single “Best” player in the world but as a team under Stein,nobody in Britain came close,to an extent it was our own complacency that saw us not win the EC in 70 and believe we were heavily cheated out of reaching even more EC finals in under Jock Stein.
    Back to the future. Have to agree with the Bhoys and most of the gracious Man U fans re the gulf between the two clubs this CL but there are one or two who have prawn sarnies stuck in orifices.Ive always liked Man U and extend a warm hand to their true fans,good luck in the EPL and CL,Rooneys a wee cracker,respect!

  3. timorousbeastiebhoy says:

    We’re addressing our own issues thanks. Sectarian songs against man u ?? Chants from traveling support are hard to control. I think your chants were out of order, but I can’t even be bothered delving into the tired argument, but please don’t band us together with rangers, if you know your facts the comparison is an insult.

    Celtic have a huge international fan base, not as big as Man U’s which is a huge global power, but Celtic must be one of the top 10 in the world.

    I personally have seen celtic tops worn by locals in Belgium, Spain, Denmark America and Japan (before Naka played for us). So on personal experiences alone I’ve no doubt we’re well known globally. Shit a Serbian girl that sits next to me in work showed me a band that’s huge in Serbia that play all their gigs in tic tops.

    Also yes generally these days it’s 2 horse race, but the premiership is a 4 horse race, and it’s a bigger league so it balances out.

  4. Bradford Bhoy says:

    North Stand,Id suggest Pablophanque in his numbers means 80% of Celtic fans at games which justifies his comment about having the most S.C’s round the world and I take issue with your comment about glory hunting,in Scotland and N.I your more likely to support Celtic or the Rearranging Of Fixtures club,perhaps its more to do with religion but its NOT gloryhunting mate and I do think your support would fall if your success did like perhaps when Fergie retires,but besides this,respect.

  5. Red-Manc says:

    ‘Chants from away fans are hard to control’ exactly mate you seem reasonable so that arguement should be left. The chant we sang was out of order because the pope was mentioned it in, but the IRA is a terrorist organisation so having ago at them is not out of order they bombed our city of course we’re gonna av a go. If it came across i was banding you to be as bad a rangers then i apoligise because you are in no way as bad as that scum i know that. but when a section of celtic fans sing songs that are out of order alot more than we do people like Pablophanque need to think twice before posting drivel.

    I thought the banter between the two sets of fans was good last night, same when you came to Old Trafford ‘are you rangers in disguise’ was sung by both sets of fans which was funny. Both sets of fans created a good atmosphere but for some reason over 1 song a few celtic fans feel the need to get bitter?

  6. wilfred says:

    Pablophanque, I’m sure ur right when it comes to money but then again
    i guess You missed out on the business part of football..You will have to Blame the Scottish FA for not marketing the SPL …So i guess its a case of sour grapes then…

  7. DanS says:

    So many long repetative posts – bore off!

    Give Celtic their credit, they done what most teams do when they play Utd.

    Let’s move on and forget about it now. Spain here we come.

  8. luke says:

    Celtic knew they were facinga stronger side and even said so meaning they were never gonna come into the match in swashbuckling style.. i’m a United fan but credit should be given where credit is due..that was the only way they could have gotten anything from the match which shows what hard work and a small helping of luck can achieve.. More worrying is the fact that we failed to break them down and apart from our set plays werent overly dangerous with a very poor shots on target to total shoots ratio and i cant help but feel that we’re yet to hit full stride which gives rise to optimism given that our current form still took us to 3rd place in EPL..Champions league qualification is no great achievement at this stage

  9. Paddy says:

    Well said Luke, I think more attention should be paid to the fact that didn’t come away with all three points. If I was a Man U Fan (shock horror :o ) I’d be dissapointed.

  10. OTRed says:

    @Luke: who’s saying it is?

    At the Celtic fans, yes we get it, the EPL clubs are richer, you can’t compete, bla, bla, bla. I’ll admit that the only reason you parked the bus is cus you had players missing, but to whoever said Celtic parked the bus cus we were better than them, should go look at Hull City, a far smaller team than us and man-for-man, our players are probably 2ce better than theirs, but that didn’t stop them from coming at us at OLD TRAFFORD and not even in their own home.

    In my opinion, even if Celtic were put in the Premiership, i still see only a mid- table finish, maybe 7th or 8th.

  11. Danny H says:

    I thought that Celtic defended very well against the best team in the world, as the Celtic players have described Man Utd mind you that was the players who recently played against France and Italy. However on a non football point I as a Celtic and Man Utd supporter I have to say that the Rangers song sung last night by United supporters ” F*** the pope and the IRA ” was shocking. These sort of songs have no place in football and the fans involved are as bad as the idiots who ransacked Manchester last May. This has unfortunately tarnished what was a strong bond between the teams.

  12. Kman says:

    I dont know if this has been mentioned before, but we kinda played like that against Barca last season..and ended up as champions.

    after going ahead so early, UTD would have been like a wounded beast. if Celtic continued playing with attacking intent we would have ripped them to shreds, and they know that. tbh i dont know what else that team out there (considering the missing players) could have done much else to get anything out of the game.

    congrats to them on a point well earned.

  13. john boyle says:

    Celtic done very well against the best team in europe if not the World but i am very concerned that they kept alot of the pressure on themselves by making too many bad passes they must learn that to compete against the top sides you have to be skilled in this department and not punt balls up the park when you have time and space to do this
    jocks celtic proved how good scots players can be also Ajax did not have the money the big teams had and look what they did
    come on the bhoys lets hope the lennoxtown complex will bring thru the players with this and more skills and show them that we can compete with any team in the World

  14. Ray says:

    Celtic v Man u played four won one drew one lost two at the end of the day a better record than achieved by most teams in the Premiership. Let us not forget that Celts were without some of their best players on Wednesday night. Why do Man U fans react in a negative manner to the Fields Of Athenry an Irish ballad sung by Celtic and Munster rugby fans.

  15. North Stand,Tier 3,Back Row says:

    Its the same song as ‘The fields of Anfield Road’ sung by those degenerates down the road…

  16. tinter says:

    Liverpool sing a doctored version of The Fields – we sing the original, the actual song.

  17. tinter says:

    Fair play though – we react the same way when Man Utd sing Hello Hello, although it is Busby Boys

  18. Wewonitfirst says:

    to red-manc

    I didn’t call you scum, I said you might have spent £260 m on players, won the CL, EPL etc but you lack class. You seem to think it is acceptible to sing ” f*ck the Pope and the ira”

    You won’t find me or any decent Celtic fan defending the ira, so you can sing what you like about them. They don’t even exist anymore.

    Perhaps even another copy song from Engerlund national fans – No surrender to the ira. But leave out the “F*ck the Pope stuff. Leave that to the neanderthals of Rangers, Chelsea and NI’sWindsor Park.

    Man Utd are a lot better than that !

  19. Red-Manc says:

    TBH when i sang it it was only the ‘fuck the IRA’ bit that meant anything to me and i think that went for most of the other United fans singing it, ive nothing against cathlics or the religion the ‘fuck the pope’ bit was just abit of a wind up, yes not a politically correct one but we in know way were trying to indicate ‘oh are religion is better than yours’ kind of way so i dont understand why the whole chant has been blown out of proportion, maybe thats just because im not religious.United dont lack class at all, celtic have a bad record when it comes to singing songs that shouldnt be sung so that must mean you lack class aswell? well i dont actually think either of us do. United have a great youth system and our success was built on that and our history (busby babes etc) yes we are now a multi million pound team but we would never be the team we are today without the hard work put in over the years that we won with just sheer class, dont forget United havent always been dripping with money and we’ve been relegated before now and had to fight our way back to the top.

    Scottish people that support scottish teams seem to get very bitter because the SPL hasnt had the money pumped into it like the EPL did, but what you dont realise is that alot of hardcore fans of United and some other clubs dont like the amount of money in the game today, and i am one of them. ‘we hate setanta and we hate sky’ is a chant sung on coaches/pubs to and from games sometimes because sky/setanta ruin football, all of Uniteds xmas fixtures were changed for fucking tv.


  20. Ray says:

    Celtic are the number one team for me but I have always admired Man. U since the days of Duncan Edwards, Denis Violett and the great Busby Babes. I just cannot comprehend spending 30 million on any player , its obscene. People down south should look at Celtics great record against EPL teams like Liverpool, Blackburn and Man. U in Europe in recent years. It reads played 8. Won 5. Drew 1 and lost 2. Hail Hail.


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