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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Well done Celtic

Football fans often get a bad press, but Celtic’s delirious support showed the world how incredible it can be to love the beautiful game.

I pity anyone who hasn’t shared that love, that raw outpouring of emotion, and the unity that football offers.

Granted, you get a fair share of idiots – a 13-year-old Millwall fan has been banned for racially abusing Bolton’s Marvin Sordell – but those morons are, thankfully, the minority.

Being a football fan is, more often than not, frustrating, but when it’s good, it’s incredible.

Watching those in green and white hoops wildly celebrate Tony Watt’s match-winning strike against Barcelona was spine-tingling.

Celtic had just 16.4 per cent possession against the best team on the planet, and won.

Some would argue that Barcelona didn’t have their first-choice defence but Celtic manager Neil Lennon was without the services of four key players.

Barcelona enjoyed the luxury of bringing on World Cup winners David Villa, Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique from the bench.

Celtic only had 18-year-old Watt, of Coatbridge, but he was the difference.

If Carlsberg did birthday celebrations, Celtic’s 125th bash would top the lot.

SWAPPING shirts at half-time?

Andre Santos should have been concentrating on his game rather than trying to snatch Robin van Persie’s shirt when Arsenal met Manchester United.

The Brazilian full back has been a terrible buy since joining the Emirates.

It was embarrassing, considering how awful he was playing, to accept van Persie’s top, and he rightly came in for criticism from boss Arsene Wenger.

REFEREE Peter Rasmussen failed to give Manchester City a match-winning penalty when Mario Balotelli was hauled the deck.

It was a definite spot kick, and Blues boss Roberto Mancini demonstrated his anger at full-time.

But the Italian shouldn’t point the finger of blame at the official; he should be poking himself in the face with it.

You cannot gift teams a two-goal head start in Europe, but City did that.

City should be beating teams like Ajax with relative ease, but they aren’t because zonal marking in the penalty box does not work.

You saw Yaya Toure twice lose his man, and Siem de Jong did the rest.

There is no doubting that, man-for-man, City have the better squad, but matches aren’t won on paper, and schoolboy defending has cost them a place in the knock-out stages of this year’s Champions League.

BEING Scotland boss is a thankless task at the best of times.

But Craig Levein didn’t help his cause.

A disastrous start to World Cup qualifying, coupled with the inability to persuade Steven Fletcher back until critical levels were met, meant it was time to go.

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