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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Scottish League Cup
Wed 29 October, 2014. Kick Off: - 19:45
Celtic Park

Celtic
26
Craig Gordon
3
Emilio Izaguirre
5
Virgil van Dijk
8
Scott Brown
9
John Guidetti (Stefan Scepovic 63)
10
Anthony Stokes (Leigh Griffiths 58)
21
Charlie Mulgrew
22
Jason Denayer
23
Mikael Lustig
25
Stefan Johansen
42
Callum McGregor (Mubarak Wakaso 45)
 
Subs
24
Lukasz Zaluska
2
Adam Matthews
4
Efe Ambrose
12
Stefan Scepovic
28
Leigh Griffiths
32
Mubarak Wakaso
33
Beram Kayal
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Daniel Seaborne
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
James Craigen
8
Stuart Bannigan
11
Steven Lawless (Kallum Higginbotham 57)
14
Christie Elliott (Jake Carroll 64)
16
Jordan McMillan
18
Abdul Osman
19
Nathan Eccleston (Kris Doolan 59)
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher
9
Kris Doolan
10
Ryan Stevenson
13
Frederic Frans
15
Kallum Higginbotham
17
Jake Carroll
23
David Wilson
 
Subs
24
Lukasz Zaluska
2
Adam Matthews
4
Efe Ambrose
12
Stefan Scepovic
28
Leigh Griffiths
32
Mubarak Wakaso
33
Beram Kayal
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher
9
Kris Doolan
10
Ryan Stevenson
13
Frederic Frans
15
Kallum Higginbotham
17
Jake Carroll
23
David Wilson
Match Preview

Celtic v Partick Thistle – 29th October 2014

As everybody associated with Partick Thistle looks forward to a League Cup quarter final against the league champions, Thistle boss, Alan Archibald knows that a place in the semi finals is well within the Jags’ reach.

“I think everyone is writing us off because it’s against Celtic but it’s a great opportunity for the lads. We said that after the last round when we battled to a win over St Mirren – it is a real chance for this football club to go out and get to a cup semi final.

“We certainly believe in ourselves and know that, if we play as well as we know we can, there is every chance that we can get our name in the pot for the semis. A decent cup run is long overdue for this club and we’ve certainly emphasised that with the boys during training this week.”

It is clear that the headline writers, along with many Scottish football fans, are looking at the possibility of an Old Firm semi final but Archie is out to spoil the party.

“I think some of the media have already written us off and a lot of people seem to already be looking forward to a Celtic Rangers tie in the semi final but we don’t accept that. We know we have a chance of making a semi final, you only have to look at Morton last year to see that it is possible and we’ll certainly be taking hope from that.”

One of the big advantages that Celtic have over Thistle is the size of squad which makes it difficult to know exactly how they are going to set up.

“Unlike a lot of teams, you rarely know what you’re going to get from Celtic. They change formation from game to game and have a lot of different high quality players to call upon. I don’t think the manager knows his best team yet so all of his players will be out to prove a point.

“I was at the game between Kilmarnock and Celtic at the weekend and the way Killie took the game to Celtic was very encouraging. I think before the red card they went out and matched them, that is exactly what we need to be looking to do. We can take heart from what Killie were able to do as well as what teams like Motherwell and Hamilton have managed against them already this season.”

There won’t be too many changes from the Thistle team that drew with St Johnstone at the weekend.

“We’ll be much the same as Saturday, Sean Welsh and Gary Fraser both played in the Development League on Monday. Kallum Higginbotham might make the game but it really is too early to tell at this stage, we’ll see how he reacts after training and take it from there.”

Match Report

Celtic v Partick Thistle – 29th October 2014

Thistle made the short journey across the city to face a Celtic team, in the middle of a busy schedule, hoping to progress to the semi-finals of the League Cup. Alas it was to prove a fruitless trip which did not pass without the odd hint of controversy. Thistle gaffer, Alan Archibald, made a couple of changes to the team which had drawn 0-0 with St Johnstone. Nathan Eccleston replaced Kris Doolan after his goalscoring exploits against St Mirren while Frederic Frans dropped to the bench being replaced by Dan Seaborne who was free from his suspension. It was a large and hopeful Jags support who made the journey and made plenty of noise throughout the game.

The home side kicked off, with the Jags defending the goal backed by the noisy away support hemmed into the corner. It was Celtic who were the first to threaten from a corner but Fox caught Denayer’s header easily after three minutes. Thistle hit back when Stuart Bannigan collected a loose pass in midfield from the home side and drove forward before firing just over the bar from 25 yards. Bannigan then did well in midfield to create space and move forward finding Eccleston who bamboozled Denayer before his dangerous cross was scrambled clear by the Celtic stoppers. Shortly after, the home side missed a glorious chance when slack play allowed McGregor to fire a great cross into the box and pick out Stokes who headed wide from only six yards out. Thistle hit back as Osman found Eccleston whose lay off to Craigen saw the midfielder fire narrowly wide.

Celtic did eventually open the scoring after 30 minutes, when Brown went down very softly from an Osman challenge and Guidetti fired the free kick over the wall and past Fox to make it 1-0.

Controversy reigned just before half time when Bannigan slid in on Guidetti, winning the ball, however the Celtic striker’s reaction paired with his team mates’ reaction suggested otherwise and referee Clancy produced a red card – much to the astonishment of every Jags fan and player in the ground. It seemed a very harsh decision but the man in black was, unsurprisingly, not moved by the protests.

It only took a couple of minutes of the second half for the home side to increase their lead. Izaguirre fired home after a neat flick from Guidetti and it was to get worse just three minutes later. Balatoni conceded a free kick 25 yards from goal and Guidetti stepped up before once again firing a magnificent strike from 25 yards to make it 3-0. Thistle were now struggling and in the 54th minute Osman was penalised for a challenge in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Guidetti completed his hat trick from 12 yards to make it 4-0.

Higginbotham and Doolan replaced Lawless and Eccleston while Griffiths replaced Stokes for the home side. It only took Griffiths three minutes to make an impact when he got on the end of a cross at the back post to power his header past a helpless Fox who was left completely isolated. The home side were now rampant and you feared every time they attacked the Thistle goal. Van Dijk saw a curling effort go inches wide of the post before a poor back pass put Fox under severe pressure and his clearance was blocked by Griffiths with the resulting ricochet rolling into the empty net to make it 6-0.

A night that had promised so much at the start unfortunately turned into a very bad dream for players and fans alike. Nevertheless the better and more clinical team won on the night and Thistle eyes returned to the league.

Match Reaction

Celtic v Partick Thistle – 29th October 2014

Wednesday was an extremely disappointing night for everybody involved with Partick Thistle, noone more so than Jags boss, Alan Archibald. Archie spoke to ptfc.co.uk after the game to give his thoughts on what went wrong.

“We matched them for large parts of the first half, that is one of the most disappointing things – we were doing ok, dealing with their threat. They had a couple of pot shots at goal and so did we but, if you take out the goal from the free kick and the red card out of the equation there really wasn’t much in it.

“I think a lot of the game did turn on the sending off, before that there wasn’t much in the game. It took a wonderful set piece to give them the lead but I think the decision to award the free kick in the first place was maybe a bit soft. It looked, to me anyway, that Abdul has gone and won the ball but obviously the officials have seen it differently. After that, the man getting sent off totally changed the game.”

The first major talking point of the game was the red card and the incident clearly had a massive impact on the result.

“Firstly, as a manager, I didn’t think he really had to go make the challenge. I don’t think the player was going anywhere and Bannigan should have just ushered him up the pitch. The reaction from the players and the fans maybe didn’t help, but first and foremost he doesn’t have to make the challenge. Stuart was very disappointed, he sat with his head in his hands at half time but it’s one of those things and he just needs to move on.”

At half time, with the score at 1-0, Thistle still had a real chance of causing an upset an this was reflected in the half time team talk.

“We said at half time to the players that we wanted to make it compact and keep it as rigid as we could, force them down the sides. At that point it means everybody must really do their jobs because at times you will be man for man and at times you’ll be overloaded. We didn’t ever really get to grips with them in the second half at all, and that is very disappointing from our point of view.

“The goals we lost were soft, regardless of whether you have 10 men on the pitch or 11 men on the pitch. There are definitely lessons to be learnt, there have to be. When you come to a place like this and you go down to 10 men you have to stick together and be as rigid as you can but we didn’t do that, if anything we started to look like individuals. Once you get to that stage in a football game, even at the best of times, you’ve lost it.

“They’ve scored another wonderful free kick but, at the end of the day, we’ve lost silly goals and it’s down to poor decision making. Your mindset has to change when you’re a couple of goals and a man down, especially when you’re playing here.”

If there was one positive to take from the night for Alan it was the noise and atmosphere created by the visiting support who turned out in big numbers, a factor that will act as motivation for the team in the lead up to Saturday’s game.

“Our fans turned out in big numbers tonight and that really is one of the biggest disappointments for us, that we let them down – myself and the team. We’ll certainly be looking to go and put that right on Saturday at New Douglas Park.

“We’ll all be in tomorrow and we’ll have a look over what went wrong, and decide how we’re going to put it right. That’s the good thing about football, you will always get the chance to put things right within a few days, we let a lot of people down tonight and we need to make up for that.”

 

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