Celtic Cure Madrid Hangover with Thrashing of Aberdeen
After our 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid at Celtic Park a few weeks back, the supporters were buoyed by a performance that had the Spanish giants on the back foot for much of the first half. That positivity was zapped a few days later though, with a drab 0-0 draw at Easter Road.
So off the back of a 6-0 defeat to Atletico in Madrid on Tuesday night there was some trepidation about the extent of the European hangover this time around. Aberdeen were also on European duty though, and picked up a 2-2 in Greece against PAOK on Thursday night - and boy did it show!
Celtic started the game brilliantly, immediately on the front foot with sharp build-up from Yang, which led to Kyogo stinging the palms of Kelle Roos before O'Riley sclaffed the rebound over. But that was a sign of things to come for Aberdeen. Shortly after, Luis Palma - the star of the show - worked space down the left-hand side before drilling a cross straight onto the head of his teammate Yang on the other side.
The South Korean winger was instrumental again just 7 minutes later, as he weaved inside to release Matt O'Riley down the right-hand side. O'Riley lifted his head to pick out Kyogo - whose sublimely timed movement left Stefan Gartenmann helpless - to tap home from close range. Celtic closed the 1st half to upbeat applause from an otherwise subdued home crowd.
The second half didn't quite garner the same intensity and the head knock suffered by Kyogo caused concern and delay in equal measures. Slobodan Rubežić saw yellow as the Japanese striker saw stars. After concussion checks, he was replaced by Oh from the Celtic bench.
And it was the South Korean who would win the Hoops a penalty to spark the game back into life. A lengthy VAR check was required to see Jack Mackenzie's indiscretion as Willie Collum eventually pointed to the spot. Up stepped Luis Palma to banish the Celts' recent penalty woes and make it 3-0.
You could've been forgiven for thinking the scoring was finished there but in the 10 minutes of added - due to Kyogo's head injury and another medical stoppage for Yang - Celtic found another three goals. The first of which was a trademark strike from David Turnbull - who replaced Odin Thiago Holm early in the 2nd half. Then came a double for Oh, first nodding past a helpless Kelle Roos following the most sublime trivella cross from man of the match, Palma - before capping a lovely counterattack with a calm finish to make it 6.
The European inquests will continue but this was a perfect tonic back in the land of domestic football. Parallel universes, indeed!