Celtic’s season got into full swing during the month of September, which saw them play a total of six games – three Premiership matches, two Champions League outings and League Cup tie.
Celtic kicked off the month with an away game to Inverness, before travelling to Germany to play Wolfsburg. An away trip to Aberdeen – possibly the Bhoys biggest competitor for the title – followed. Cowdenbeath then started the three successive home games for Celtic, with Partick Thistle and Altetico Madrid visiting Glasgow to end the month.
Celtic’s month started with what turned out to be a tough encounter for the Bhoys, with Inverness playing very well to restrict Celtic. Things went from bad to worse for Celtic eighteen minutes in, when Izaguirre earned himself a second yellow. Despite the poor showing, Celtic found the breakthrough twenty minutes from time, through Pione Sisto, who put the ball into the back of the net.
Group G: Gameweek 1
The Volkswagen Arena witnessed a rather tactical and cagey game – often typical of the open European night – in the encounter between Celtic and Wolfsburg. The main talking point is the physical nature of the game – with many bookings and severe injuries involved. Luiz Gustavo was the main culprit for Wolfsburg, earning himself an early bath eighteen minutes in. Celtic picked up two bookings, and Wolfsburg three. Dimitar Berbatov suffered a broken leg as a result from a challenge, Wolfsburg’s Kevin De Bruyne tore his hamstring and Trasch took a severe knock that ended his Man of the Match performance.
This game would be looked as one of the most pivotal in the campaign for both sides, and as expected, Celtic came out on top; although, it was not easy for the Bhoys, with Rooney putting Aberdeen ahead before half time. But, in added time, Boyata popped up to level out the score. Kris Commons then gave Celtic the lead after the break with a fantastic long shot, which was deserved of sealing the all-important win for the Bhoys. Charlie Mulgrew then netted a freekick to give Celtic surely all the three points.
League Cup 3rd Round
Next up for the Bhoys was a cup game against Cowdenbeath, who play their trade in League One. Things started well for Celtic, with the team regularly threatening 17 year old Jaime Sneddon’s goal. Pione Sisto put the Glaswegians one up inside ten minutes, with Leigh Griffiths adding another seven minutes later. Almost straight from the kickoff, Celtic managed to get another goal, with Kris Commons netting a rebound. Ten mintues from the half-time whistle, Commons added another, with another stunning strike – his second in as many games. Turk Nadir Ciftci then added a fifth deep into the second half – his first goal for the club.
The three successive games at Celtic Park started with a visit from Partick Thistle. Things started well for Deila’s men, and it took thirteen minutes for Griffiths to find the back of the net. It wasn’t until deep into the second half that Celtic got their next goal, however, with Nadir Ciftci picking up where he left off, scoring a stunner. Griffiths then got his second, and in added time Sisto scored to make it four.
Group G: Gameweek 2:
Despite playing at home, Celtic came into the game as huge underdogs – but that didn’t seem to bother the Bhoys, with Griffiths putting his side ahead after just two minutes of play. Much to Atletico fan’s surprise, their team found themselves two down after six minutes, with Dedryck Boyata getting the goal. Sisto bagged a brace just before the half-time whistle too, one goal coming fourty-four minutes in, and the next in added time, making the break miserable for the away fans, with their side unexpectedly four down. It took just five minutes after the break for Celtic to net their fifth, with Sisto getting the match ball after scoring a hattrick. Raul Jiminez, however, pulled one back for the side from Madrid, but it was nothing more than a consolation, as the chance of a comeback was ruled out a long time ago. Despite winning unexpectedly, injuries to Kris Commons -and Scott Brown left a nasty shadow over the game.
After eight games, Celtic sit top of the Premiership, still having not lost, and therefore having the maximum amount of points available – a grand total of 24. Having scored 27, and only conceded 4, it gives the Bhoys a very healthy goal difference of +23.
In Group G, Celtic also sit top, on four points, having drawn one and won one. Having scored five, and conceded one, it gives themselves a goal difference of +4. They sit two points ahead of second placed Zenit and Wolfsburg, with the two separated by goal difference, and Atletico – the favourites for the groups – languish in last place on one single point.
Player of the Month
This month’s player of the month is right back Darnell Fisher. The 20 year old has shown real consistency and awareness beyond his years this month, and has become a mainstay in Celtic’s backline, dislodging Lustig from his perch. The award could have also gone to Sisto, who has been world class this month, but Fisher’s consistency gave him the edge.
Next Month: October
Next month sees Celtic play another five games – three in the Premiership, one in the Champions League and a cup tie against old rivals Rangers.
They start the month with a visit from Hearts, before travelling to Dundee. Zenit then face the gruelling trip to Celtic Park. Celtic then pit themselves against Hamilton Academical away from home, before playing the Old Firm derby in the League Cup Quarter Finals at Celtic Park to round off the month.
This will be my last update for a week, as I am going on holiday – so enjoy and have a good week people