Celtic have had a largely positive start to the season in Brendan Rodgers’ second tenure in the managerial post at Celtic Park. History tells us that success has always been a certainty whenever Rodgers has operated in Scotland, but many supporters began to worry following the club’s exit from the Viaplay Cup at the first time of asking.
An injury crisis hampered the options available at Rodgers’ disposal in the early stages, but despite some setbacks Celtic have come out the other side better off, currently sitting eight points clear at the summit of the Scottish Premiership.
As expected, Rodgers’ return to Parkhead hasn’t come without drama and controversy, but it has produced some incredible moments on the pitch already after just four months of the season.
Rangers 0-1 Celtic // 3rd September 2023
There was a lot of scrutiny coming from the media and from supporters on Celtic’s start to the season. Fans were unhappy with transfer business, the performances in the league weren’t as free-flowing or dominant as the football played under Ange Postecoglou, the team had exited the Viaplay Cup in the second round against Kilmarnock, and the squad was hampered by injuries, particularly in defence.
Everything was pointing towards a defeat for Celtic at Ibrox, but the team dug in and put in a gutsy display to get the job done, with standout performances from Liam Scales and Gustaf Lagerbielke in defence aiding the cause.
It was a fantastic finish from Kyogo Furuhashi in first-half stoppage time that secured the win on a day when the character and resolve of the side were the most impressive aspects of the victory.
Motherwell 1-2 Celtic // 30th September 2023
The strong mentality that Brendan Rodgers is instilling in this Celtic team was evident at Fir Park back in September. It was a slow and tepid performance from Celtic, but it seemed like Luis Palma had dug the team out of a hole as he grabbed his first goal for the club with a cracking finish in the 87th minute.
After the highest of highs, Celtic fans were brought back down to earth when Blair Spittal pulled the Steelmen level in the 95th minute, sparking a pitch invasion from the home fans, who thought they had grabbed a point from the champions.
The drama wasn’t to end there, however, as in the 97th minute Matt O’Riley was on hand to prod home the winner at the back post and set off absolute pandemonium in the away end.
It so easily could have been two points dropped in Motherwell, but the mental toughness and resilience saw Rodgers’ side through.
Celtic 6-0 Aberdeen // 12th November 2023
Celtic recorded a comprehensive and dominant win over the Dons just before the international break.
It was the most complete performance of the season so far as Celtic dismantled the opposition thanks to some starring performances from Luis Palma and Yang Hyun-jun.
Celtic were eager to bounce back from a mid-week humbling in Madrid and they did just that as Yang grabbed his first goal for the club to open the scoring.
Kyogo Furuhashi added the second soon after but the scoring spree really kicked on in the second half as goals from David Turnbull, Palma and a double from the bench for Oh Hyeon-gyu saw Celtic return to form in style against Barry Robson’s side.
JAMES MCKENZIE // Follow James HERE