Tough day at the office.
Ten man Inverness went down 3-0 in Glasgow as Celtic eventually wore us down and dominated from the time they took the lead. Nothing surprising about the result, but disappointing to have a man sent off and Liam Polworth crocked.
A tight first half saw Inverness go in at the break level. A couple of great chances for Celtic, a superb save from Owain Fon Williams and a half chance for Doumbouya produced no goals. Just after the break Scott Sinclair raced between the centre backs to knock the ball behind Fon Williams to open the scoring. Leigh Griffiths scored a tap-in after slack play from Inverness, and Greg Tansey was red carded in the move that led to the goal, having been booked in the first half. The third goal was scored by sub Tom Rogic with a deflected shot to complete our misery.
Inverness were missing David Raven, Carl Tremarco and Aaron Doran with Lewis Horner, Billy King and Owain Fon Williams coming back into the starting XI. Celtic had a pretty potent strike force on from the start with Leigh Griffiths, Scott Sinclair, Patrick Roberts and man of the moment Moussa Dembele all lining up.
The first half might have been level in score, but Celtic were mostly on the front foot, that means that we were mostly on the back foot.
Best chance of the half went to Leigh Griffiths who saw his close range effort brilliantly turned onto the bar by Owain Fon Williams. For Inverness, Lonsana Doumbouya wasted a half chance and Ross Draper headed straight into Craig Gordon. Celtic squandered a handful of chances which would not have impressed Brendan Rodgers as we kept them at bay.
Half Time 0-0
The second half was only a couple of minutes old when Scott Sinclair nipped into the box to get on the end of a smart Callum McGregor pass and he duly dispatched the ball behind the keeper.
Just after the hour, Sott Brown came off injured being replaced by Nir Bitton. A double Inverness replacement saw Jake Mulraney and Alex Fisher replace Billy King and Lonsana Doumbouya. Celtic had replaced Mikael Lustig with Emilio Isaguirre in the first half.
Moments later Griffiths got a tap-in after Fon Williams stopped Dembele from scoring, the ball breaking kindly for the Celtic striker. Greg Tansey was sent off for his involvement in that goal and there was no way back for the visitors.
The Bhoys final change saw Tom Rogic take over from Moussa Dembele with around twenty minutes left. Last change of the match had Larnell Cole coming on for the final fifteen minutes as Liam Polworth was crunched and left the field in pain.
With Inverness down to ten men, the final whistle can't come soon enough as Celtic's domination increased. It was no surprise when Rogic added a third after eighty three minutes, the away defence ran ragged by this time.
Full Time 3-0
Inverness were seldom seen as an attacking force in the second half. The same could not be said of Celtic who surged forward at every opportunity. No disgrace going down to a rampant Celtic, especially having to play for around half an hour with a man short.
There's little point going through every event on the park, suffice to say, we were second best and got away with some missed opportunities for Brendan Rodgers' side, but that's what you get at Parkhead. Tough shift for Inverness.
Although it was a bad day at the office, the overall results were favourable and we retained our top-six status for now. As is the case for most teams visiting Parkhead, damage limitation is the first choice and I don't think we can be too vexed at going down 3-0.
A couple of observations from RIG who was at the game. "The closest we came to a chance on goal was a free kick from Vigurs after Mulraney had been bundled over as he looked to break clear but I can barely remember us getting out of our half in the second 45". RIG picked out "Mckay as probably our best player (again) and I thought Polworth did well until his injury. Tansey and Vigurs were both poor in terms of their passing with Tansey especially slack at times. All in all, disappointing result but we can't realistically expect to complete with Celtic when they can start players like Dembele, Griffiths, Roberts and Sinclair". Fair enough RIG.
Anyway, nothing to see here, big team beats wee team, move along please.........