Full-time: Kilmarnock 1-1 Celtic
Killie did a brilliant job of denying Celtic space, and kept the heid when things might’ve got fraught at the end. They were good on the ball too, keeping it when they must’ve been tempted to lash clear, and more than earned their point. Celtic, on the other hand, were slow, dull and tame.
90+3 min Celtic knock it three-yard passes to each other, intending this perspicacious ruse to tempt Killie into forgetting they’re defending a point. They do not, and when the cross comes in, Broadfoot heads away.
90+2 min Ntcham wellies a cross over the by-line. Celtic have been execrable, Killie have been excellent.
89 min Celtic have been a little better these last few minutes, and here’s Ntcham, driving a ball out to Bolingoli, who finds Christie, who slings over a cross for Klimala … can he get his pate to it?! No he cannot, and the ball flies over the by-line!
87 min A change apiece, Killie bringing on Kiltie for Burke and Celtic bringing on Bolingoli for Taylor.
86 min This is a bit better from Celtic, Christie barging by Burke and zooming down the side of the box to collect a return pass from Taylor; he crosses hard and Edouard tries to deflect it home, opening his body and using the pace on the bal, but he cannot, and the ref gives a foul against Christie.
85 min Celtic have been dreadful second half. Who knows whose fault it is, but going from Rodgers to Lennon is a colossal downgrade in the opinion of this idiot.
84 min Better from Celtic, Christie finding himself on the ball inside the Killie box and crossing low, but Findlay is there again to clout clear.
83 min Christie turns a chip into the box, but Findlay clears.
81 min I’m surprised Celtic haven’t chucked more men forward. It’s also not especially clear what their plan is – they’re playing like they assume something will happen for them.
80 min I’m not sure why this has taken so long – Celtic just have not looked like scoring – but finally, Ntcham is on, replacing Brown/
78 min Killie are spending as much time in the Celtic half as vice-versa, but has that given Celtic a chance to counter into space? Forrest nashes down the right and looks to cross, but Haunstrup is right there getting on his nerves, nicking the ball away as he looks to make his move.
77 min Brown slides Tylor down the left, but he crosses directly into Millen’s back.
74 min Killie are defending the edge of their box so well, again forcing Celtic into a shot from distance; McGregor’s effort is deflected behind, and the resultant corner comes to nowt.
73 min Kabamba and Tshibola combine to work the ball away from Brown, who boots the latter, earning a yellow card. Burke fancies the free-kick, but lamps it wide of the far post.
71 min Celtic are so slow in possession, with no one breaking lines or running in behind. Again, they get Edouard on the ball outside the box and again he shoots; again Rogers saves easily.
68 min “The Killie pie story is deep and rich,” says Fergus. “The club’s current sponsors are the original makers of the pie but had a meaty dispute a few years back with a much disliked former chairman, who trademarked the word ‘Killie’ – meaning the bakers couldn’t sell it as such outside of games. For a while the club sold a different Killie pi, but it was offal compared to the real deal. You can even get the actual ‘Kilmarnock Pie’ in some supermarkets now. But probably not in England…”
That does indeed seem unlikely, likewise the likelihood that my local kosher delicatessen will be into stocking them.
66 min Hello! With the ball out wide, Edouard and Findlay flirt for possession, then Edouard introduces hands to phizog. Findlay is not at all happy, but the ref gives him a free-kick and nowt else.
65 min Celtic find McGregor 25 yards out and he unfurls a curler that drifts just over the top. Decent effort, but Killie will be delighted to see another long-ranger attempted.
63 min Like now, for example! They win a free-kick 30 yards out and Burke whips over to the back post, where Kabamba is unmarked! He should go for goal because, though the angle’s acute, there’s more chance of a goal or rebound than of him nodding back across and picking out a man. but he opts for the second option and Rogers aves.
63 min Killie are doing a great job of disappearing this game. They’ve been really solid at the back, and looked to be brave in attack.
61 min Celtic are really struggling here – there’s no zip in their passing or movement, a failing encapsulated by the ball reaching Brown on the edge of the box and him having no option but to drag a shot wide.
59 min Power lifts a pass over the top for Kabamba, but it’s Kjaer with him, not Jullien, so the striker is forced wide; Millen crosses, and Barkas claims.
57 min Taylor points to where he wants a return pass and Forrest obliges, inside and running towards the by-line. Taylor catches up with it, though it looks like it’s out, and crosses low; Rogers eventually claims.
57 min I don’t think it’ll be long before we see Olivier Ntcham.
55 min Kabamba pulls wide and drills a decent ball into the middle, where Burke’s replaced him. But the touch to control is loose, and the opportunity vanishes.
54 min Edouard controls a long ball well, but Dicker is on him as he turns, and Elyounoussi concedes a free-kick by launching at the pair of them.
52 min “My normal culinary experience at Rugby Park – or BBSP stadium,” emails Bobby McDonald, “is a pint in the hotel, one killie pie pre game, one at half-time with a bovril and usually sour grapes after. Ain’t it the life though.”
I must have one right now.
51 min Edouard is warming up, turning cleverly – I think that’s his first touch inside the box – before leathering a shot that’s blocked at source.
50 min Edouard nabs half a yard outside the box, spinning to clump high over the bar.
48 min “That’ll be ‘galumphers’ I guess,” emails Dave Russell, “after jabberwocky.”
I wondered about that – my old fella was an English teacher – but I’d be surprised – and proud – if it was his own work.
47 min In fairness to that running out of petrol situation, I had just seen this goal, so swings and roundabouts.
46 min Off we go again. Killie send on Haunstrup for his club debut, as McKenzie has a calf strain. Haunstrup is a recent acquisition from Pompey, but hasn’t played since January.
Half-time email: “Oi, nowt wrong with The Riverside,” retorts Mike Ollier, “and it hasn’t been called Cellnet for years.”
The Cellnet bit was a joke, but I would also say, all things considered, the Riverside is up there, or down there, with my least favourite away grounds – not just the ground itself, though that’s part of it, but the lack of much going on around it. I did also once run out of gas on the motorway on the way home, and see Afonso Alves score twice, in the same game, while getting snowed on in April.
Half-time: Kilmarnock 1-1 Celtic
Killie will be very happy with that. You feared for them when Celtic went ahead, but they’ve stayed disciplined and focused, while Kabamba has the beating of Jullien. The second half shuold be decent, so join me a bit for that.
45 min Christie launches a cross from the right and Forrest is there in the box, hurling himself at it but flicking wide. In commentary, Andy Walker reckons if he’d tried to head it straight in, he’d have scored, and missed because he attempted a glance, but I think it was just slightly out of his reach.
44 min Killie have played pretty well here. Celtic have had a lot of the ball, but have created little – they’re playing much too slowly and look a little rigid, much more so than under Brendan Rodgers.