7 Things We Learned As Celtic Dazzled Against Dundee

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Last night’s demolition of Dundee was the type of performance and result that we’ve been crying out for all season and it’s a game which could have a significant impact for Brendan Rodgers and his side as they now head into the final 10 games of the title race.

From the moment Cameron Carter-Vickers crashed home a 7th minute header the Bhoys never looked back as they went on to completely dominate the Dens Park side.

The comeback win against Motherwell on Sunday was vital, but it was then equally important to follow that up with a statement win against Dundee.

And that’s exactly what we witnessed.

With Hearts at Tynecastle up next the confidence will now be coursing through the players.

Ahead of that one though, let’s take a look at what we learned from last night’s goal fest.

 

  1. Celtic Are A Different Machine With CCV

Cameron Carter-Vickers Powers Home The Opening Goal Against Dundee
Cameron Carter-Vickers Powers Home The Opening Goal Against Dundee

Cameron Carter-Vickers has played a combined total of 90 minutes over Celtic’s last two fixtures.

In that time on the pitch Celtic have sored 9 goals and conceded none.

The US international is a colossus at the heart of our defence and put simply we’re a completely different side when he plays.

The assurance he provides for those around him has a huge impact and though keeping the ball out of our net is his speciality he’ll have been delighted to open the scoring last night with a rare goal.

Brendan Rodgers’ sensibly took him off after 60 minutes and he’ll now take his place once again against Hearts at the weekend.

 

  1. Maeda Has Been Mugging Me Off

Daizen Maeda Celebrates His Goal With Matt O'Riley
Daizen Maeda Celebrates His Goal With Matt O’Riley

Following the win at Motherwell I was critical of Daizen Maeda’s technical abilities for what I saw as two big missed opportunities at 1-1 in the game.

I stand by that but as we’ve seen so often from the Japanese forward there’s a mental resilience there that just allows him to dust himself off in preparation for the next opportunity that comes his way.

That opportunity landed on the half hour mark last night as he expertly rolled the ball back across the on-rushing Joe Shaugnessy with the sole of his right boot before curling a beautiful left footed effort beyond Trevor Carson into the far corner.

If you’re reading Daizen, all is forgiven!

  1. Acting Like Wide Bhoys

Greg "Goals" Taylor Celebrates With His Team-Mates
Greg “Goals” Taylor Celebrates With His Team-Mates

Much of Celtic’s problems this season has stemmed from a lack of consistency from our wingers, combined with a habit of our wide players consistently cutting inside.

All of a sudden that’s changed. And to dramatic effect.

Of the 10 goals we’ve scored in the last two games 8 have been provided by either a full back or a winger.

This new found width, as well as an eagerness to cross early when suitable has paid massive dividends and provides great encouragement for what may lie ahead.

The oft criticised Greg Taylor has a goal and three assists in the last two games, whilst the revitalised Alistair Johnston picked up two assists v Dundee.

And Yang? He’s getting a section of his own.

 

  1. Tomoki Iwata – The Metronome


The Japanese powerhouse has found his opportunities fairly limited since arriving at Celtic Park in January of last year, yet he’s barely put a foot wrong any time he’s given a chance.

Unfortunate to pick up an injury against Feyenoord after a run of 3 consecutive starts, the midfielder has worked his way back into the side and showed against both Motherwell and Dundee how pivotal he can be.

He has all the physical and technical attributes required to operate effectively in that defensive midfield role, which in turn frees up Callum McGregor and Matt O’Riley to do their thing.

Only Yang prevented him from picking up the Man of the Match award and he must now be a certainty to start again at the weekend.

 

  1. Yangaldinho Continues To Impress

Yang Tussles With Owen Beck On Another Impressive Showing From The Winger
Yang Tussles With Owen Beck On Another Impressive Showing From The Winger

In his early appearances in the Hoops the South Korean winger showed glimpses of the talent he undoubtedly has, but it’s only since returning from the Asian Cup that Yang has really stepped up his performance levels.

In the four games since returning he’s been our best option in the wide areas as his pace, power and fast feet have caused no end of problems for opposing fullbacks.

Liverpool loanee Owen Beck was given a torrid time last night as Yang drove at the young defender in wave after wave of Celtic attacks.

And after providing the assist for goal No.7 he left the pitch on 75 minutes to a standing ovation before going out to deservedly pick up the Man of the Match award.

Arriving in a summer transfer window which can only be described as underwhelming, we’re all now being fully whelmed by the young winger.

 

  1. The Celtic Fans Will Play Their Part – They Always Do

Bhoys Celtic Display Their Message After The Final Whistle
Bhoys Celtic Display Their Message After The Final Whistle

On the final whistle two large banners were draped from the Bhoys Celtic section of the ground displaying two simple messages:

“Write Our Own Story” and “Fight It Out Til The End”

The former is in reference of course to the manager’s words at the weekend as he bit back against the tedious narrative that continues to be peddled by the mainstream media.

The latter is a galvanising message that must be taken on by the whole fanbase as we prepare to dig deep in our efforts to retain the Scottish Premiership title.

Support from the stands can’t be taken for granted when standards slip below a certain level, and Brendan Rodgers has spoken often of the need for players to give  fans something to get excited about.

They done so from an early stage last night with Celtic Park was crackling throughout the whole match – none more so that the roar that erupted as the ref sounded the half-time whistle and the (then) 6 goal Celts headed in for the break.

  1. DK Living The Dream

It Was A Special Night At Celtic Park For Daniel Kelly
It Was A Special Night At Celtic Park For Daniel Kelly

Half-time saw the manager take the opportunity to rest Callum McGregor and to give 18 year old midfielder Daniel Kelly his Celtic league debut.

Playing out 45 minutes in place of the skipper would have been more than enough for most but then going on to curl a ball from the edge of the box high into the net for your first senior goal in the Hoops is something most of us could only ever dream of.

The youngster looked comfortable amongst a team of international footballers and the hope will be that we now see more of him between now and the end of the season.

We love nothing more than seeing one of our own make it in the first team and for young Kelly – who later revealed he had various friends and family in the crowd – it’s a night he’ll rightfully be proud of and one he’ll never forget.

Tune in now to the latest episode of The Celtic Exchange Weekly as we cover all things Celtic as the title race gathers pace!

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