BT Sport
BT Sport
New Balance Logo
Dafabet Logo Magners Logo
BT Sport
  • Back
  • Show All
  • First Team
  • Reserve Squad
  • Academy
  • Women's Team
  • Commercial
  • Match Reports
  • Tickets
  • View
CelticTVTreble bookAIK EuropaRescheduled HeartsThird Kit Buy NowBetfred v Dunfermline
  • Rogic marks return as Celts thrill at Firhill

    Rogic marks return as Celts thrill at Firhill

    By: Mark Henderson on 09 Aug, 2015 14:25

  • Ladbrokes Premiership
    Firhill, Glasgow
    Sunday, April 9, 2015


    (Rogic 28, Commons 63)

    TOM Rogic scored on his first competitive Celtic start in almost two years as the champions cruised to a dominant 2-0 victory away to Partick Thistle.  

    The 22-year-old has endured a torrid time on the treatment table in recent seasons but he showed that class prevails, skilfully slotting in the opening goal at Firhill with an instinctive flick.

    That put the Hoops in charge at the interval and it was the least they deserved after a completely one-sided half in which the Thistle goal led a charmed life.

    Kris Commons sealed the three points in the 63rd minute, capitalising on some hesitant defending to chip goalkeeper Tomas Cerny and ensure the visitors maintained their 100 per cent start to their league defence.

    Rogic, who last started for the Bhoys in a League Cup clash against Morton in 2013, replaced injured captain Scott Brown as Ronny Deila made three changes to the team that enjoyed European success away to FK Qarabag on Wednesday night.

    Commons and Leigh Griffiths were also restored to the side among the attacking positions, with Gary Mackay-Steven and the suspended Nadir Ciftci dropping out. Mikael Lustig captained the side in Brown’s absence.

    Roared on by a huge travelling support, the Hoops made a purposeful start to the match, carving out their first chance inside the first two minutes.

    Emilio Izaguirre was sent scampering down the left on one of his trademark overlapping runs and the Honduran’s inviting cross was headed over by Griffiths at the far post.

    Johansen, operating in a deeper midfield role than his normal No.10 position, then picked out Stuart Armstrong with a sumptuous pass over the top. The midfielder attempted to tee-up Rogic but the midfielder was crowded out at the crucial moment.

    Armstrong turned provider again moments later, finding Commons on the edge of the area. He evaded the clutches of his marker before forcing Cerny into a low save.

    The Hoops were bossing proceedings, and even when Thistle did manage to venture forward they were nearly caught out on the counter. Only a barge on Rogic halted a promising move down the right, with Griffiths bringing out another stop from Cerny from the resultant set-piece.

    On the 10-minute mark, a Celtic corner fell for Nir Bitton. His shot took a deflection and was almost seized upon by Griffiths, the spin of the ball taking it back into arms of a grateful Cerny.

    Armstrong dragged a shot wide of the near post as the pressure continued to mount on the hosts, who were struggling to maintain any concerted pressure as a result of Celtic’s high-intensity pressing game.

    The premature departure of the influential Armstrong in the 20th minute didn’t disrupt the momentum of Ronny Deila’s side.

    Another excellent cross from Izaguirre found Griffiths in the middle. The striker took a touch and squeezed a shot in on goal from an acute angle, but Cerny was across quickly to thwart him.

    The Czech keeper was beaten shortly after, but the post came to his rescue when van Dijk lashed in a low shot from long-range.

    But he could nothing to prevent the Bhoys making the breakthrough just short of the 30-minute mark as the unrelenting pressure finally told.

    Tenacious play from Izaguirre allowed Callum McGregor to scamper down the left. His centre was met by Griffiths, who teed-up the onrushing Rogic, and the Australian internationalist’s instinctive volley found its way into the corner of the net.  

    Wave after wave of attack continued unabated towards the Thistle goal as Celtic looked to inflict further punishment before the break.  

    An audacious piece of skill from van Dijk saw the Dutchman leave Liam Lindsay for dead on the byline and raised massive cheers from the Hoops faithful. Electing to shoot from a tight angle, his attempt smashed into the side-netting.

    Rogic blasted over after another intricate passing move, before the home side finally offered some kind of response as half-time approached, though the nearest they came to threatening Craig Gordon was a half-hearted penalty claim, when a cross hit the back of Mikael Lustig from close-range.

    Alan Archibald’s side emerged with greater vigour at the restart and the introduction of new signing Mathias Pogba in the 50th minute also saw a change in tactics.

    For all their endeavour, however, a cross-shot from Callum Booth was their only effort of note in the this spell as Celtic gradually resumed the ascendency.

    And in the 63rd minute they ruthlessly doubled their advantage through the direct approach. There looked little danger as Commons pursed Bitton’s long ball over the top with several Thistle defenders, but the 31-year-old reacted quickest to dink the ball over the advancing Cerny and claim his first goal of campaign.

    A Griffiths thunderbolt saw Cerny called into action to prevent his side going 3-0 down, before van Dijk made a vital interception from Booth’s cross to deny Pogba at the far post.

    The Bhoys threatened to add to their tally in the closing stages as they continued to trouble the hosts with some slick interchanges around the box.

    At the other end, Pogba came closest to handing the Jags a glimmer of hope as he sent Amoo’s cutback wide of the near post.

    But Celtic’s grip on the three points never looked in doubt as they comfortably saw the game out and took the acclaim of a vocal away support at the final whistle

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, van Dijk, Izaguirre; Bitton, Johansen; Commons (Henderson 87), Rogic (Mackay-Steven 64), Armstrong (McGregor 20); Griffiths
    Not Used: Bailly, Ambrose, Scepovic, Janko

    PARTICK THISTLE (4-2-3-1) Cerny; Miller, Hendry, Lindsay, Booth; Bannigan, Osman, Welsh (Fraser 75); Lawless (Pogba 50), Stevenson (Amoo 66) Wilson
    Not Used:  Scully, Seaborne, Doolan, McDaid

    Website Man of the Match: Virgil van Dijk

    Most Read

    • Celtic v aik europa league play-off tickets on sale now

      Celtic v aik europa league play-off tickets on sale now

    • Delight as Emilio Izaguirre rejoins Celtic

      Delight as Emilio Izaguirre rejoins Celtic

    • Celtic FC Esports take part in the 2019 CWL Championship

      Celtic FC Esports take part in the 2019 CWL Championship

    • Manager: We must all accept responsibility for Euro defeat

      Manager: We must all accept responsibility for Euro defeat

    • Euro heartache for Celtic against Cluj at Paradise

      Euro heartache for Celtic against Cluj at Paradise