SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Fri 9 December, 2016. Kick Off: - 19:45
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow
Tickets for the Ladbrokes Premiership clash against Celtic at Firhill are on sale for home fans. All home fans will be located in the Colin Weir and North Stands for this fixture.
Thistle fans should note that ticket sales will close at 3pm on Friday 9th December.
Prices for this fixture are as below:
Adult – £25
Conc. – £17
U16 – £5
Tickets can be purchased at ptfctickets, over the phone (0141 579 1971) or in person at the Firhill offices.
Any tickets purchased after 3pm on Wednesday 7th December will not be posted out. These tickets will be available for collection from the Firhill offices only.
Disabled fans in wheelchairs are eligible for a concession ticket with a nominated career able to accompany them to the game free of charge and will be located in the North stand. Ambulant disabled fans are also eligible for concession rates and a free carer ticket but can choose to sit in either the North Stand or the Colin Weir Stand.
Thistle fans with a season ticket can use their season cards in either the Colin Weir or North Stands where there will be handheld card scanners. This means that, if you are a season ticket holder, you don’t need to do anything else – simply turn up as usual and use your season card at the Colin Weir or North Stand turnstiles.
Away fans – Celtic Football Club has been sent the full away allocation for this fixture and will be handling the sale of all tickets. No away tickets will be sold by Partick Thistle.
Alan Archibald knows that Friday night’s opponents will pose the toughest challenge yet for his team as the Ladbrokes Premiership champions look to continue their unbeaten campaign. Despite the tough task facing his team Archibald is confident the players can create problems for Celtic, despite their dominance so far this season. He spoke to ptfc.co.uk to give his thoughts ahead of the clash.
“It will be the toughest challenge we’ll face this season but we need to make sure that we get our fans at our backs nice and early. We know we have the quality to get at Celtic and cause them problems but we need to go out and show that right from the first whistle.
“You saw it with Motherwell last week in terms of their fearlessness and going and getting at Celtic, they scored goals and showed that there is a way to get some joy against this side. Concentration is going to be absolutely vital for us on Friday night and we need to make sure we keep ourselves in the game and don’t throw away any easy goals.”
Thistle have already come so close to beating the blue side of the Old Firm this season and this is something the manager and the players take heart from going into Friday’s fixture.
“We took the positives from the Rangers game but there are lessons to be learnt from that experience as well. The players have to know that they can’t switch off, even for a second, especially when it comes to games against the better teams as they will punish you.
“Having said that if we get a similar performance on Friday as we did against Rangers the other week then we hopefully won’t be far away. People talk about our record against Celtic and there’s no getting away from that but it isn’t something we fixate on, we just look to get out there and win the game.”
Tomas Cerny came through last Saturday’s draw with Hamilton Accies unscathed and Archibald is delighted to have his number one back between the sticks.
“It is great to have Tomas back. It has been a testing time for us with regards to keepers – we’re on to our fourth one this season which I can’t remember ever happening before. We took the decision to give Tomas as long as he needed to rehab the injury and it’s great to have him back. There was a concern that, if he required an operation, his season might have been over but, hopefully, we can really work hard with him over the winter break and that will be the issue sorted.”
Finally, the gaffer filled us in on all the other injury news.
“It’s just the same really with regards the long term injuries, Gary Fraser has done a bit of jogging this week but Bannigan and Scully just continue their rehab. We have seen some progress with Mustapha Dumbuya though as he has started taking part in some light training with the first team which has been great to see. That being said, he has been out for a while now so we’ll need to just be patient and make sure he is a s strong as possible when he does return to action.”
Few people expected Thistle to take anything from this game and so it proved.
Thistle matched Celtic for much of the first half but Celtic were able to find an opening goal with half-time just 7 minutes away.
Still in the game at the break Thistle were undone by two goals in the opening minutes of the second half.
Liam Lindsay raised hopes with a super header on the hour mark and minutes later Sean Welsh saw his header correctly ruled out for offside.
While Celtic were clearly the better side Thistle could have had a life line had referee Thomson awarded a penalty for an apparent fouyl on Azeez by Gordon at the edge of the box. Azees received a yellow card just to add to his frustration.
The Celtic win was secured 2 minutes later when McGregor completed the scoring.
Welsh lifts a free kick into the Celtic box but Gordon is off his line to claim the ball.
Griffiths puts the ball into the side netting as Thistle can't wait for the full-time whistle.
Any hopes of a Thistle comeback vanish as McGregor side foots the ball home.
Azeez gets in behind the Celtic defence and hits the ground inside the box as Gordon comes out to meet him but receives a yellow card rather than the penalty he is looking for.
Barton makes a block to deny Dembele.
Dembele on for Roberts.
Final change for Thistle with Ade Azeez replacing Kris Doolan.
Cerny makes a magnificemnt save to keep out a Griffiths effort.
Thistle think they've pulled a second goal back. Booth swings the free kick over and Welsh bullets home a free kick but strays just a fraction offside and the flag goes up.
Thistle free kick on the left hand side.
Thistle pull one back as Lindsay is on the end of the free kick and loops a header past Gordon and into the net.
Thistle have a free kick deep inside the Celtic half.
McGregor and Christie replace MacKay-Steven and Rogic.
Ryan Edwards ad Stevie Lawless come on for David Amoo and Chris Erskine.
Thistle have a mountain to climb as Celtic make it 2-0 early in the second half. Armstrong finds the bottom corner with a shot from the edge of the box.
Thistle have amountain to cl;imb as Celtic make it 2-0 early in the second half. Armstrong finding the bottom of the net with a low shot from the edge of the box.
Celtic have a free kick on the right in from the touchline and in line with the penalty spot.
Celtic hold a narrow but deserved half-time lead.
Celtic take the lead when Armstrong is on the end of a low Griffiths cross and knocks gthe ball home from inside the 6 yard box.
Decent chance for Griffiths but he knocks his shot wide.
Ziggy Gordon collects a yellow card.
Amoo gets into a decent position on the right but his cross is too close to Gordon.
Another ball in behind the Thistle defence causes problems. This time Cerny needs to come out os his box to clear the ball.
Erskine has a half chance for Thistle but he doesn't make clean contact with the ball and his shot is dragged wide.
Celtic play a ball in behind the Thistle defence but Cerny is swiftlynoff his line to gather the ball ahead of Griffiths.
Thistle counter attack and Doolan gets a glimpse of the Celtic goal but his shot at the edge of the box is blocked by a defender.
Griffiths is starting to find a bit of space and he gets the Thistle goal in his sights at the left corner of the box but he drags his effort well wide of goal.
Amoo and Gordon try to link about down the right but Gordon's pass is too strong and Celtic have a goal kick.
Lindsay is on hand to clear after Griffiths is able to find a bit of space in behind Barton.
Celtic are able to open up the Thistle defence for the first time but Cerny is able to save Griffiths' low shot.
Celtic deal easily with a Gordon long throw.
The free goes tamely wide of Cerny's left hand post.
Celtic have a free kick 35 yards from the Thistle goal and right of centre.
Brown is able to play a ball into the feet of Griffiths but Lindsay is there to snuff out the danger.
Celtic make a mess of the corner and Thistle clear.
Erskine's corner is too deep and even although Barton is able to nod the ball on Celtic clear with ease.
Amoo earns Thistle the game's first corner.
it's been a tame opening 5 minutes but Thistyle have settled fairly well on a blustery night.
Celtic have the game's first effort on goal but Armstrong's shot from 20 yards goes way off target.
Thistle get the game under way and are shooting towards the north stand in the first half.
Thistle welcome Celtic to Firhill for our last home game before Christmas.
The TV cameras are here as Thistle look to record a famous, and long overdue, win against the current Scottish champions.
In hoping to achieve that win Alan Archibald has made two changes to the side that drew at Hamilton last weekend.
Into the starting eleven come Chris Erskine, impressive coming off the bench at Hamilton, and David Amoo.
Ryan Edwards and Ade Azeez are the two players that drop to the bench for this game.
Partick Thistle took on defending champions Celtic for the first time of the 2016/17 campaign on a cold Friday night at Firhill. The Jags came into the game one place off bottom spot but just three points behind Kilmarnock in sixth place. On the other hand, the visitors were looking to extend their lead at the top of the table to 11 points.
Two changes were made to the team who drew with Hamilton last weekend as David Amoo and Chris Erskine came in for Ade Azeez and Ryan Edwards.
The game started slowly with the home side not giving the opposition much space to be creative. Stuart Armstrong saw an early effort fly well over the bar but that was all for the opening stages as both teams tried to gather their bearings.
The next chance for either side popped up 17 minutes in when Leigh Griffiths had a chance to hit a free-kick from around 25 yards. The Scottish international set his sights on goal but his effort bounced wide of the near post, not troubling Tomas Cerny in the Thistle goal.
Griffiths had another opportunity to open the scoring on the 23-minute mark when ex-Fulham player, Patrick Roberts, found space in behind Callum Booth. The Englishman opted to cut the ball back to Griffiths who struck a low shot towards the near post but Cerny got down well to his left to stop the ball.
Griffiths was presented with a third opportunity of the night just four minutes after his last. He found himself on the edge of the box with enough time and space to get a shot away. However, the striker dragged his shot wide of the far post.
In the 33rd minute the home side were able to muster up a rare chance through Chris Erskine. The midfielder had the ball on Thistle’s left flank and he hit a ball into the danger zone. Unfortunately for the Jags man, he saw his attempt narrowly skip past the far post.
Celtic had a chance to whip the ball into the box when Ziggy Gordon halted the Hoops’ counter-attack and was cautioned for the act. Emilio Izaguirre took the set-piece and the Honduran found Leigh Griffiths who once again was unable to bury his chance. The ball fell perfectly for the unmarked attacker but he skewed his volley wide of the target.
Alan Archibald’s side had managed to survive 39 minutes without conceding but were unable to make it to half-time with their clean sheet intact as the man who had missed four chances in the opening period, Leigh Griffiths, turned provider. He created space for himself on the visitors’ left-hand side and hit a low ball across goal. Cerny was unable to reach the ball and Stuart Armstrong lost his man making it an easy finish for the Celtic man.
The game would go into half-time at 1-0. Despite the game being generally dominated by the away side and most of the best chances falling to Brendan Rodgers’ team, the Jags would be feeling disappointed as they were so close to making it to the interval on level terms but it wasn’t to be and they would need a big second half performance to turn things around.
The teams came out for the second period and unlike the opening 45 minutes, it didn’t take long to come to life. Unfortunately for the home support, it was the visitors who were making moves.
Just four minutes after the break the Hoops doubled their lead. Leigh Griffiths stood over a free-kick on the Thistle left and played it short to Armstrong. The midfielder wasn’t closed down quickly enough and he was able to get a shot away with ease. The ball came through a number of bodies and it would have been impossible for Cerny to see the incoming attempt. This meant the Czech ‘keeper was unable to make the save and Armstrong grabbed his second goal of the night.
And Celtic weren’t going to rest on their laurels. Straight from kick-off they were hassling the Jags defence and it would pay off for them. Adam Barton intercepted a Tom Rogic through ball but was quickly dispossessed by Leigh Griffiths. The forward now had a one-on-one chance which he wouldn’t miss. He was finally able to find the net and in the process put his side three goals to the good.
There was now a mountain to climb for the Thistle men if they were to get anything from the game and they would need a quick response if they wanted to get back into the match. They almost got that speedy response when five minutes after the third Celtic goal, Chris Erskine was able to latch onto a loose ball. The number ten would then attempt a delicate chip as he spotted Craig Gordon off his line. However, the shot sailed a couple of feet over the bar.
Alan Archibald then made two changes in an attempt to change his side’s fortunes. David Amoo and Chris Erskine were withdrawn while Ryan Edwards and Steven Lawless were introduced.
The changes seemed to have a positive impact as only four minutes after the alterations, Thistle pulled a goal back. A free-kick from about 15 yards inside the Celtic half was taken by Sean Welsh who curled the ball towards his teammates. Liam Lindsay would get on the end of the cross and the big centre-half looped a well-placed header past Gordon.
Just as the visitors had scored two goals in quick succession early in the second half, the Jags thought they had done the same when Sean Welsh headed home a Callum Booth set-piece, however, the linesman’s flag was up and the goal was chalked off.
Two minutes after Thistle thought they had scored a second goal, the away side almost grabbed a fourth. Leigh Griffiths was able to wriggle his way through two challenges before setting himself for a left-footed shot. The striker then tried to curl in a close range shot but Tomas Cerny was equal to it, excellently tip the ball behind.
In a final attempt to inject some life into his side’s attack, the boss brought Ade Azeez on for Kris Doolan and with ten minutes to go the striker was played in on goal. As he was baring down on goal he seemed to be and went down due to the contact but referee Craig Thompson waved away any appeals for a penalty and brandished a yellow card for the Englishman.
Thistle were left to rue that spurned opportunity to get back into the game as with eight minutes left of the 90, the defending Scottish Premiership champions rounded off a dominant performance with a fourth goal. Full-back, Emilio Izaguirre, was played in behind the Jags defenders and had time to pick out a ball. He lifted a soft but accurate ball in towards the centre where an onrushing Callum McGregor was making a run. The substitute had most of the goal to aim at and made no mistake in volleying home to make it 4-1.
The game would end that way as the Jags’ search for a second home win of the season continued. Despite Celtic controlling most of the proceedings, Alan Archibald’s team would be disappointed to have missed a couple of chances to really get back into the match. At the end of the day Thistle remained in eleventh spot with the rest of the teams in the league still to play this weekend.
Partick Thistle’s next fixture comes on Saturday the 17th of December against Hearts at Tynecastle with a 3:00pm kick-off.
Partick Thistle took on Celtic as they searched for a first win in five games. Unfortunately for the Jags, it wasn’t to be with the Hoops extending their lead at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership to 11 points after a 4-1 win over the Firhill side. Ptfc.co.uk spoke to the Thistle boss after the game to get his thoughts on the night’s happenings.
“I’m disappointed, first and foremost. I thought the effort was good for the first 30 minutes but I think there was a lack of belief in the final third, on our side. We lost goals in key times of the match and you simply can’t do that against a team with quality, like Celtic.”
The gaffer was unimpressed with the way his team allowed Celtic to score two quick-fire goals at the start of the second half.
“The manner in which we lost the goals was poor. The timing of the first goal was awful, just before the break and the second one was a set-play which is frustrating. I could see Armstrong in acres of space and the whole of the crowd could too, I reckon but no-one of our team out on the pitch spotted him in space and that cost us. Decision making was the problem with the third and it feels like game over at that point.”
The Jags’ boss had no quarrels over the decision to rule out Sean Welsh’s header which would have brought his side within a goal of the visitors, had it stood.
“I’ve not had a chance to see it back but I asked Sean and he thought that he went a bit too early so it seems that the officials called that one right.”
Archie was, however, disappointed with Craig Thompson’s decision to book Ade Azeez for simulation when he ran in on goal.
“There was definitely contact. Ade’s an honest lad, he’s not one to go down and on first look I think we’ll be appealing the yellow card.”
The manager thinks that if the decision had gone Thistle’s way then they might have had a chance to get something from the game.
“It could have given us that extra bit of belief to go and get something but over the course of the game, we didn’t deserve it. Celtic were the better team today if we’re honest with ourselves.”
The Jags’ next match comes on Saturday the 17th of December at Tynecastle against Hearts, going back to a normal 3:00pm kick-off.