Celtic 1 - 0 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 3:00 PM at Celtic Park, Glasgow
Attendance: 50,014
Referee: Steven McLean
Celtic Inverness CT

Goalscorers
Joe Ledley (16) None.

Team Managers
Neil lennon Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Fraser Forster
Daniel Majstorovic
Kelvin Wilson
Charlie Mulgrew
Scott Brown
Joe Ledley
Adam Matthews
Victor Wanyama
Georgios Samaras
Gary Hooper
James Forrest
Ryan Esson
Kenny Gillet
Josh Meekings
Steve Williams
Johnny Hayes
Nick Ross
Graeme Shinnie
Greg Tansey
Claude Gnakpa
Richie Foran
Shane Sutherland

Bench
Lukasz Zaluska
Cha Du-Ri
Patrick McCourt
Ki Sung-Yueng
Kris Commons
Pawel Brozek
Anthony Stokes
Jonny Tuffey
Ross Tokely
David Proctor
Thomas Piermayr
Gavin Morrison
Owain Tudur Jones
Sam Winnall

Substitutions
Ki Sung-Yeung => Gary Hooper (73)
Kris Commons => James Forrest (82)
Thomas Piermayr for Josh Meekings (85)
Owain Tudur Jones for Shane Sutherland (90)

Bookings
None. Richie Foran (28)
Steve Williams (50)
Graeme Shinnie (77)
Owain Tudur Jones (90)

Red Cards
Daniel Majstorovic (60) Steve Williams (78)
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 133 apps -
Steve Williams 3 apps -
Josh Meekings 10 apps -
Kenny Gillet 32 apps -
Johnny Hayes 93 apps23 goals
Graeme Shinnie 45 apps1 goal
Nick Ross 72 apps3 goals
Greg Tansey 27 apps3 goals
Claude Gnakpa 3 apps -
Shane Sutherland 56 apps3 goals
Richie Foran 121 apps29 goals
Thomas Piermayr (sub) 19 apps -
Owain Tudur Jones (sub) 4 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Shane Sutherland (21 years 116 days)
Oldest Player:Josh Meekings (2013 years 196 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 91 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Sam Winnall (21 years 28 days)
Oldest Player:Owain Tudur Jones (2013 years 196 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 36 days
Domestic Players:18 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Ten a side but Celtic hold on:

Inverness put up sterner resistance this week and could have snatched a point, but chances fell to Nick Ross and he was unable to make the keeper work. Both sides were reduced to 10 men as Majstorovic and Williams went for early baths and it was Joe Ledley's 16th minute tap in that settled the game in favour of on form Celtic.

With the Pars losing heavily to Rangers and Hibernian and Aberdeen sharing the points it turned out to be not the worst Saturday we have endured this season and we remain eight points ahead of bottom club Dunfermline.

Pointless day out

Terry Butcher's Inverness made a fantastic transformation to their performance since a week ago, when we succumbed rather easily at home to Celtic before our home crowd in the Scottish Cup.

Instead of letting the big bhoys secure an easy home victory, the Highlanders grew into the game, looking comfortable, playing fast paced football on the floor and playing fearlessly with the mindset of having nothing to lose.

Esson was back at number 1 and Steve Williams was deemed fit enough to start ahead of Ross Tokely and David Proctor who were both on the bench. Claude Gnakpa and Shane Sutherland were thrust into the action from the off as Gregory Tade stood down with an injury.

Inverness really showed their class and proved that Terry Butcher has built them into a formidable force away from home. Each chance showing why they have scored more, or the same amount of goals than half the scottish premier league, and won the same amount of games as Aberdeen four places above them.

Ryan Esson made some tidy saves having been put back in the team, with Cup keeper Jonny Tuffey sitting this one out, and Inverness were finding good attacking positions and areas but constantly not finding or being able to get a shot away, Nick Ross probably having the best chances.

However Celtic finally penetrated the Caley Jags defence when Scott Brown threaded a ball wide to James Forrest who in turn placed a lovely and inviting ball right across the box and into Joe Ledley's path and he simply could not miss.

Normally teams crumble, especially at Parkhead, but with new signing Claude Gnakpa getting into the game a bit more with the whole midfield working up and down the pitch as a unit, it was a surprise to the home fans how Inverness simply did not capitulate, and in fact had a really good spell of pressure near the 1st half interval.

Mulgrew had tested Esson a couple of times from distance but Ryan was up to the task and the whistle ended a competitive first forty-five.

Half Time 1-0

If inverness had played well in the first half then they played exceptionally well in the second, chances from all angles being fired into the box with seemingly no one getting onto them, or again being able to put the decisive finish onto it.

Gnakpa fired a close range angled drive into the side netting when he should have done better and Nick Ross found himself ahead of the strikers a couple of times but was unable to produce a finish from great positions.

Majstorovic was sent off with 30 minutes to go, as last man after taking down Hayes in a prominent position. The away fans thought it was on a plate for them but inevitably after Steve Williams was sent off for the visitors after being sold in the corner by Samaras, Celtic could finally see out the game much easier.

Full Time 1-0

At the end of the day this was another pointless day out for Inverness, but we can hold our heads up better after making Celtic toil for their points and if we had maybe bothered to field a striker we might have managed to sneak a point or three. It was maybe unfortunate that our best chances fell to young Nick Ross, who through no fault of his own, found himself in the strikers role, but a finisher he is not and the chances went abegging.

We still managed to edge further ahead of the relegation favourites as the Pars goal difference took a battering, and with the proverbial six-pointer coming up next weekend we could all but banish any fears of relegation for another season if we can see off Dunfermline in Fife. I for one won't be holding my breath though as we have failed to get the better of the Pars over ninety minutes three times this season, and relied on you've been framed bloopers by Chris Smith to enable us to match them on a couple of occasions.

Thanks to sotonict for the report.

Match report written by sotonict



Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 26 21 2 3 53 18 35 65
2. Rangers 26 19 4 3 51 15 36 61
3. Motherwell 25 12 6 7 33 29 4 42
4. Hearts 26 10 6 10 31 23 8 36
5. St. Johnstone 25 10 5 10 33 32 1 35
6. Dundee Utd 25 7 9 9 38 39 -1 30
7. Aberdeen 26 7 9 10 27 30 -3 30
8. Kilmarnock 25 6 11 8 29 36 -7 29
9. St. Mirren 26 6 10 10 25 36 -11 28
10. Inverness CT 25 7 5 13 30 41 -11 26
11. Hibernian 25 4 7 14 24 45 -21 19
12. Dunfermline 26 4 6 16 28 58 -30 18