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  1. #1
    Old Codger Hibstorian Jonnyboy's Avatar
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    This is how it feels (Celtic 11 01 21)

    What with all the hullabaloo surrounding this game Iíve decided thatís for another day and that Iíll focus entirely on tonightís game. Celtic had made a raft of changes, forced on them of course, but when you have a 29 man first team squad, losing 13 of them doesnít quite hurt as much. For their part, Hibs had a few forced changes too with keeper Matt Macey making his debut, whilst Boyle was missing with an ankle knock, his place wide right going to Drey Wright. Stevenson and Mallan also dropped to the bench with Doig and Hallberg their replacements. Doidge also dropped to the bench with Murphy coming in to form part of a midfield five.

    Hibs started the game well and in the first five minutes created three decent half chances for Murphy, Nisbet and Hanlon but none of those were converted. A few minutes later, a quite wonderful ball from Murphy set Nisbet free on the right. Kevin strode into the box but, I felt, rushed his effort a bit and Hazard saved easily. For their part, Celtic looked a bit disjointed but had a decent chance when Turnbull hit a low shot, but it didnít really trouble Macey.

    Good possession saw Hibs have lots of the ball but that final pass seemed to be lacking. For their part, Calum McGregor went charging through the middle before throwing himself onto the ground about twenty yards from goal. There was no contact from a Hibs player, but referee Steven McLean failed to punish the obvious simulation. Young Cameron Harper was next to try his luck, but his left footed drive crashed into the side netting. Moments later, Rogic let fly but Macey was equal to the challenge and saved comfortably.

    Celtic were settling a bit now and enjoyed some possession, but they were pretty toothless up front. A coming together in midfield saw Soro booked for a clumsy charge on Gogic and as the Hibs players reacted it was amusing to see Gogic protecting the Celtic man by putting his arm around him.

    With half time fast approaching, Matt Macey showed his ability between the sticks, saving first from Soro and then from Laxalt. Both saves needed him to be both alert and mobile, getting good hands on the double efforts. Right on the whistle, a lovely chip over the top by Turnbull saw McGregor deep in the Hibs box but the Celtic man made a hash of his contact with the ball which sailed harmlessly wide. The effort reminded me of Lewis Stevensonís at Ibrox a few years ago but of course Lewis scored from his.

    Talking of Lewis, the wee man appeared as a second half substitute after Doig had apparently suffered a tightening in his calf. This appearance clocked up 500 for Lewis and he went on to have a fine second half.

    Celtic started the half on the front foot and created a couple of chances but neither Rogic nor McGregor troubled Macey. We were only five or six minutes into the half when Jack Ross replaced Wright with Doidge, Hibs reverting to a diamond, matching the set up of their hosts. A few minutes later Hibs were camped in the Celtic box but as Soro broke free he was clearly tripped by Hallberg who earned a booking in the process.

    Just past the hour mark, a sublime pass from Newell found Hallberg free inside the Celtic box but the Hibs man couldnít direct his shot past the advancing Conor Hazard. Seconds later, Stevenson picked out Newell at the angle of the Celtic box and Joe tried to steer an effort at goal, but it deflected off a defender for a corner. About five minutes later, both sides made changes with Henderson replacing Rogic and Mallan replacing the now injured Joe Newell.

    The sides then exchanged chances with Johnston at one end and Nisbet at the other failing to beat the respective goalkeepers. With ten minutes left, Hibs replaced the tiring Hallberg with Stephen McGinn and sadly the Hibs manís first contribution was to trip a Celtic man some twenty yards from goal. Macey set up his wall but a stunning effort from David Turnbull zipped up and over that wall and into the top corner with Macey unable to get across to make a save. It was a stunning free kick and only after Iíd watched a couple of replays did I realise that only one Hibs player in the wall didnít jump and the free kick went straight past where that member of the wall should have been jumping. Take nothing away from the finish though, it was a beauty.

    At this point I was gutted and shouting at my TV that Hibs should just go for it and forget about defending. Iím claiming no credit for it but thatís exactly what Hibs done! Hazardís goal was under siege and both Murphy and Doidge saw efforts saved by the keeper. Next, Mallan struck a fierce effort that deflected off Duffy before looping over Hazard but agonisingly over the bar too. Minutes later, Laxalt stupidly brought down Paul McGinn out wide on the Hibs right. From the resultant free kick, Stevie Mallan sent in a wicked delivery which Paul McGinn met to head the ball across the six yard box. Hazard missed it and Duffy sclaffed his clearance straight to a joyful Kevin Nisbet who steered a left foot effort high into the Celtic net. It was, in my opinion a deserved equaliser.

    To their credit, both teams went for it, but Hazard kept Hibs out whilst Gogic brilliantly marshalled the troops at the other end. When the final whistle sounded, my overall reaction was one of disappointment, but I soon realised we had stopped the run of defeats, scored a goal and, most importantly, played a whole lot better than in our last two outings.

    The players

    Macey Ė A fine debut from the big fella with a few really decent saves. I particularly liked the way he dominated his box, and his handling was sound throughout.

    McGinn P Ė After a couple of disappointing performances I felt Paul was back to his best tonight. Coped well against tricky wee strikers and was excellent going forward too, especially at the death when we needed those bodies up the park.

    Porteous Ė Apart from one heart stopping moment, I thought Ryan defended really well and his passing was mostly good too.

    Hanlon Ė Sadly for me, and Iím maybe being overly harsh on the lad, but he was the defender in the wall that didnít jump. A good display spoiled for me by that one error.

    Doig Ė Josh started the game really well making good use of width on the left. It was noticeable too that the normally threatening Frimpong spent most of the first half defending.

    Wright Ė I just know heíll be getting panned for his performance again and if you restrict your view to his attacking contribution, panning him is about right but I thought he defended really well and helped Paul McGinn who often faced two opponents.

    Gogic Ė Heís had a lot of negative feedback of late, but I thought he was back to his best again tonight. He chased and harried from the first whistle to the last and pretty much negated any threat from McGregor.

    Hallberg Ė Once again, Melker seemed on the periphery of things quite a lot and for a player of his apparent pedigree I thought he wasted two more that decent chances to score tonight.

    Newell Ė Joe was on it tonight and battling for possession in a crowded midfield. A few cracking passes that deserved a better outcome from the recipient. His injury is concerning as it looked like he had maybe tweaked his groin.

    Murphy Ė That ball to Nisbet in the first half was just sublime and Jamieís overall performance showed me heís getting back to full match fitness. One or two others were in the frame, but Iíve gone for Jamie as my man of the match.

    Nisbet Ė His movement off the ball is first class but on too many occasions tonight that movement went unrewarded. I was pleased for the lad that he got his goal, and it was decent finish too.

    Stevenson Ė As usual, Lewis gave his all. Yes, there were a couple of poor crosses but in comparison to those offered by Wright for example, at least he got a cross over.

    Doidge Ė Although I donít think he got as involved as he should have, he certainly gave Duffy and Welsh something new to worry about.

    Mallan Ė I was praying for us to get a free kick roughly similar to Turnbullís in terms of place on the pitch. It didnít happen but his delivery that led to the goal was excellent as were a few of his corners.

    McGinn S Ė Poor guyís first contribution was to concede that free kick, but I have to say I think he had a point in claiming he had won the ball.

    Jack Ross Ė Reckons we deserved something from the game, and I reckon that view is spot on.

    Referee Ė Steven McLean would have trouble giving a clear and convincing argument as to why he twice failed to book McGregor for blatant simulation.
    This is how it feels


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  3. #2
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    A fine summary - thank you.

    Obviously doesn't quite tally with all the tiresome mince that was being spouted on here when we were losing though...

  4. #3
    Murphy is such a clever player and a great passer of the ball. You wouldn't have thought he'd been out for so long.

  5. #4
    Not sure I agree, as I thought Hallberg had a good game tonight, barring a couple of sublime passes from Newell, I thought he was the better if the two. Newell nearly cost us a goal in the first half.

  6. #5
    @hibs.net private member Jim44's Avatar
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    Good summary, Jonnyboy. I donít think Newellís injury was a groin one. It was a sneaky late stamp on the foot or ankle by Laxalt that forced him off. Poetic justice, thoí. Laxalt stupidly gave away the free kick that led to our goal.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim44 View Post
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    Good summary, Jonnyboy. I donít think Newellís injury was a groin one. It was a sneaky late stamp on the foot or ankle by Laxalt that forced him off. Poetic justice, thoí. Laxalt stupidly gave away the free kick that led to our goal.
    I thought it was his groin Jim but I would prefer you to be right given recovery from groin injury can be slow.

  8. #7
    @hibs.net private member BILLYHIBS's Avatar
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    Spot on as usual Jonnyboy

    Fine debut by the goalie and Murphy looking sharper with every game and looks a classy player

    Wright is a conundrum whatever our Scouts saw in him at St Johnstone I am not seeing it so far

    I am sure he knows that himself as he looks frustrated

    Thanks for posting

  9. #8
    @hibs.net private member Coco Bryce's Avatar
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    Good assessment apart from Wright.

    A complete waste of space. Contributed zero in his time of the pitch.

  10. #9
    @hibs.net private member PeeJay's Avatar
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    Fair summation as usual, thought Hallberg had a good game myself, I'm not impressed with Nisbett - OK he took his goal, but he needs to show more conviction, a super opportunity first half was wasted with yet another weak shot. Thought we had a really good opening 20 minutes, but you could see how difficult it was going to be for us to actually convert that pressure into goals - overall a good team performance. A loss would have been a very disappointing outcome. Our new goalkeeper made a very good impression.
    .... Die spinnen, die Briten ....

  11. #10
    Thought you might mention Newell's chest control and volley early doors JB. Worthy of a mention.
    I see BBC online "rate the player" scored Macey third bottom of the Hibs players with only Wright and S McGinn below him. Eh? I thought he was very solid.
    Gogic MoM for me.
    Agree Nisbet's movement is sometimes too good for those feeding him. Looking forward to him and Allan working together.

  12. #11
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    I agree with JBs summary. Thought Hallberg was off it last night..poor touches in crucial moments, doesnít do enough to effect the match - at one point he appeared to clear one of our crosses from the Celtic box ...donít see him getting near the starting 11 by the end of this month ..

  13. #12
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    Agree with your assessment of Gogic last night. He played a disciplined role, got in the faces of all the tic midfielders and then found a Hibs man with a pass. Itís as good a performance as he has given since joining the club.

  14. #13
    Newell I think was groin. He was doing groin stretches after it and I have a feeling he could be missing for a few weeks / miss the semi.

    Wright just does his job defensively but for me thatís a minimum expected. He needs to do more to contribute. Playing him on the right he did look more comfortable.

    Macey did fine considering only met players a few days ago - I just worry about his constant palming of the ball away - he needs to learn to hold onto to it at times.

    I wonder how we would have done 2nd half if Doig had stayed on. We definitely started the 1st half really well and that was more like a team with purpose. As the 1st half went on we went back to being average.

    We donít seem to have much luck having creative players always available. Murphy / Allan / Mallan / Boyle one or more of them is always injured. Murphy did well considering 1st game back - his form was good before injury.

    Doidge being put on bench also I felt made Nizzy play better too. Doidge form hasnít been great and itís good to bring him on to mix it up especially when chasing the game. He definitely helped with the goal.

    Overall happy - of course we had a chance to get 1st win since 2010 at Parkhead but I would take nearly all those Celtic players except the keeper in the Hibs team. The annoying part is with all the corners and crosses we didnít do enough to get more than 1 goal as thatís a major weakness for Celtic this season.

    Next 2 games massive. Need 3 points against Killie and then the semi.

  15. #14
    @hibs.net private member Viva_Palmeiras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BILLYHIBS View Post
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    Spot on as usual Jonnyboy

    Fine debut by the goalie and Murphy looking sharper with every game and looks a classy player

    Wright is a conundrum whatever our Scouts saw in him at St Johnstone I am not seeing it so far

    I am sure he knows that himself as he looks frustrated

    Thanks for posting
    Didnít someone say he had some personal stuff going on?

    Anyone with a newborn and little / no access to family support - esp if overseas will know thatís a bit of a tough gig emotionally - yes we can crack on theres no other option but it can impact folks in different ways. If your partner is having a rough time of can have a knock on effect. I have no information but in times of COVID all the little stresses and strains get ratcheted up - weíre all human. And then in comes down to good man-managements.
    "We know the people who have invested so far are simple fans." Vladimir Romanov - Scotsman 10th December 2012
    "Romanov was like a breath of fresh air - laced with cyanide." Me.

  16. #15
    @hibs.net private member BILLYHIBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viva_Palmeiras View Post
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    Didnít someone say he had some personal stuff going on?

    Anyone with a newborn and little / no access to family support - esp if overseas will know thatís a bit of a tough gig emotionally - yes we can crack on theres no other option but it can impact folks in different ways. If your partner is having a rough time of can have a knock on effect. I have no information but in times of COVID all the little stresses and strains get ratcheted up - weíre all human. And then in comes down to good man-managements.


    I heard he had a young family but he still has a job to do and you would imagine he would want to be here long term

  17. #16
    Rewatching highlights and very clear McGinn won the ball and Turnbull dived

  18. #17
    New GK does look decent. Rocky will have a job reclaiming No1 shirt if he keeps up this sort of performance. He's not at Arsenal all these years for nothing.

    Well done Macey boy

    Sent from my LG-H870 using Tapatalk

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by expresso View Post
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    Rewatching highlights and very clear McGinn won the ball and Turnbull dived
    I thought at the time that McGinn won the ball but then watched it again and thought Turnbull got his foot to the ball before McGinn did (just playing for the free kick by just kicking it away and then falling over). Maybe I need to watch it another couple of times.

  20. #19
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    Turnbulls freekick should not have counted, when it was taken duffy was in the hibs wall, thought he had to be more than a yard away or has the rule been changed....again...

  21. #20
    @hibs.net private member Seveno's Avatar
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    Shame that the referee didnít notice Duffy encroaching on the defensive wall when Celtic scored. The goal should have been disallowed.

  22. #21
    I donít think Iíve seen a winger as short of confidence as Wright. He doesnít look to beat his man and the one time he did when we were in a very promising position with lots of bodies in the box it was half hearted and Laxalt shrugged him out the way.

    He never seems to go for a 1-2 to try create space either.

    Even the basics like his touch is stinking right now, that must be confidence and not down to his actual ability.

    I think Cadden coming in will offer a lot more than him as from what I recall he is an aggressive and powerful runner, he wonít be tricky but heíll knock it past his opponent and go.

    Was impressed at how well Doig done against Frimpong last night especially after how much of a hard time he gave him last time round.

  23. #22
    Another balanced observation of the 90 mins, really enjoyed reading that!

    seen a few comments about Hallberg but i thought he played reasonably well, all our central midfielders did and put in some good corners in the first half

  24. #23
    Thought Paul McGinn was the one really trying to drive us on in the second half. It was him that won the free kick for the goal. It was him that made sure he got his head on the free kick when it came in.

    Think my frustration with this team is that not enough players do that. I think we lack that aggression (not in terms of kicking folk but in terms of trying to grab the game by the scruff of the neck).

  25. #24
    @hibs.net private member Argylehibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expresso View Post
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    Rewatching highlights and very clear McGinn won the ball and Turnbull dived
    I'm glad someone else has said that. I was screaming at the time the foul was given that he had clearly played the ball as it went 20 yards in a different direction and the replay showed that he did play it first.

  26. #25
    @hibs.net private member brog's Avatar
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    Thanks John, just catching up with this. Like you I felt Hallberg was again largely anonymous. In the 1st half I only noticed him taking corners & on one occasion failing to control the ball when he had a decent opportunity. He was more involved 2nd half but he frustrates me by not driving on when he has space in front of him. I think he has ability but not enough confidence or desire.
    I think you've been a tad harsh on Paul H for the goal. He clearly jumped, I have a still where both his feet are well off the ground. Separately the ball actually passed, swinging right to left through a gap between Paul H & Stephen McG. That gap was partially created by Duffy coming into our line from the back as the kick was taken & the goal should not have counted.

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