Declan McConville with A Celtic State of Mind – Diary of a Treble Treble

Wednesday, 1 August 2018
Rosenborg BK 0-0 Celtic
After a thoroughly professional performance at home to the champions of Norway, a goalless draw in Trondheim set up a tough tie against AEK Athens in the next qualifying round for Celtic.

During the first-half, the Hoops defended well with Craig Gordon pulling off some crucial saves to deny the home side. As the game went on, both Odsonne Edouard and Scott Sinclair came close to putting the tie out of sight but it was not to be as the game fizzled out scoreless with the first-leg performance proving to be enough.
Saturday, 4 August 2018
Celtic 3-1 Livingston
It wasn’t the fixture that was completely worrying me going into this game. Along with my dad and his friends, we had undertaken the challenge of setting up a new Celtic Supporters Club. We are very proud to say that Bertie Auld grew up in Panmure Street so felt that it was fitting to call the bus the ‘Maryhill Bertie Auld CSC’.

All went well on and off the pitch that day with Danny McGrain raising the league flag and the team coasting past Kenny Miller’s Livingston outfit comfortably. Tom Rogic started off the quest for 8-in-a-row with a looping header which was doubled by a goal from striker Odsonne Edouard. Very shortly after the break, the three points were secured when Olivier Ntcham slotted away a penalty past goalkeeper Liam Kelly. With the final touch of the match, Livingston pulled a goal back through Scott Robinson which was not enough to take anything away from Celtic Park.
Wednesday, 8 August 2018
Celtic 1-1 AEK Athens
After a very dominant performance throughout the first-half which saw Callum McGregor open the scoring from a tight angle, the Greek champions scored a crucial away goal just before the break when Viktor Klonaridis pounced upon a moment of slack defensive play from Celtic to pull the tie even. Just before the hour mark, Athens were reduced to ten men after Konstantinis Galanopoulos saw red after two yellow cards. Even with the numerical advantage, the Celts struggled to put themselves in front before heading to Greece.
Saturday, 11 August 2018
Hearts 1-0 Celtic
It was up early for the travelling Celtic support and off through to the capital for the first away day of the season at Tynecastle.

Brendan Rodgers had made a number of changes to the side, saving key players for the Champions League qualifier in Athens. Craig Levein’s side were well up for the match and at times bullied the Scottish champions throughout the game. A second-half volley from Kyle Lafferty was enough to send the Jambos to the top of the Scottish Premiership after a dominant performance.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018
AEK Athens 2-1 Celtic
After a week of reports that there was unrest at Celtic Park between Brendan Rodgers and the board, the Hoops found themselves trailing after an early goal from Rodrigo Galo. Shortly after the interval it looked as if Celtic’s Champions League qualifying adventure was over when Athens doubled their lead on the 50th minute. A late header from Scott Sinclair gave Celtic some hope but the Greek champions held on to deny their Scottish counterparts a tie with MOL Vidi in the play-off round.
Saturday, 18 August 2018
Partick Thistle 1-3 Celtic
The Hoops headed to Maryhill having to pick themselves up after failing to qualify for the Champions League. Two late goals for Celtic avoided a cup shock against the Jags to earn a place in the League Cup quarter-finals.

Leigh Griffiths had put the holders one up, but Celtic’s failure to build on this lead allowed Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo to bring Thistle level. Fortunately, there was an immediate response from Rodgers side with Moussa Dembele and Tom Rogic putting the game out of sight.
Thursday, 23 August 2018
FK Suduva 1-1 Celtic
The Scottish champions were off to a perfect start in Lithuania after Olivier Ntcham headed Celtic ahead with his third goal of the season.

However, it wasn’t long before the familiar frailties in the Celtic defence were again exposed as the unmarked Ovidijus Verbickas was left unmarked to pull the tie even. The Hoops could have taken a lead back to Glasgow but failed to capitalise on their chances.
Sunday, 26 August 2018
Celtic 1-0 Hamilton Academical  
As the teams came out the tunnel to Glen Daly’s old anthem, a banner from a section of the Celtic support criticised Dedryck Boyata for his actions in previous games where he ruled himself out saying he was injured. The big Belgian centre-half soon answered his critics just after the hour mark by scoring the only goal as Celtic beat Hamilton. The Hoops would now have to negotiate one game at home to FK Suduva to secure European football for the season.
Thursday, 30 August 2018
Celtic 3-0 FK Suduva
After a month of lows and highs, Celtic secured their place in the Europa League group stages with a very comfortable home win over the Champions of Lithuania. On the night, Leigh Griffiths scored his 100th goal for the club which was added to by Callum McGregor and Kristoffer Ajer to send the Hoops through.
Declan McConville

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