Perth Glory 0-2 Glasgow Celtic

-

Perth was a sea of green and white today as Glasgow Celtic were the opposition for a preseason friendly against Hyundai A-League side Perth Glory.

The Scottish giants were well represented in the crowd by thousands of Irish and Scottish ex-Pats who weren’t disappointed by their side’s performance in the comfortable 2-0 win.

For Glory the game presented an opportunity for a new look side to test themselves against top quality opposition. One of those new recruits, Irishman Liam Miller, was greeted with boos when he name was read out before the game having controversially left Celtic for Manchester United in 2004.

Even with the game thousands of kilometres from Parkhead, the strong Old Firm rivalry made its presence felt as Rangers supporters flew a plane over the stadium beforehand with a banner reading ‘Three In A Row’ as a homage to recent Scottish Premier League seasons. Glory boss and former Gers midfielder Ian Ferguson later joked that the stunt cost him a week’s wages to organise.

The first chance of the game arrived on three minutes when Gary Hooper was fouled by Jacob Burns 25 yards from goal, but Anthony Stokes’ resulting free kick cleared the crossbar. Minutes later Glory keeper Danny Vukovic did well to turn a Mark Wilson header over the bar after the Celtic full back connected well with Joe Ledley’s left footed cross.

The visitors took a deserved lead after 15 minutes when a long clearance from Glen Loovens found its way to Gary Hooper who beat the offside trap to slot home past Vukovic.

The goal seemed to wake Glory up as they began to enjoy some possession deep in the Celtic half for the first time; however the best chances kept coming at the far end as Kris Commons almost made it two with a free kick that was deflected just wide.

Glory did finally trouble the Celtic defence after 24 minutes when Miller’s cleverly dinked free kick found an onrushing Shane Smeltz but the Kiwi striker fluffed the shot with the goal at his mercy.

There was a long delay after half an hour when Beram Kayal needed lengthy treatment following a stray elbow from Glory’s Adam Hughes. The incident went unnoticed by referee Peter Green but left the Israeli bleeding profusely from a broken nose and he was replaced by Shaun Maloney.

Glory’s best chance of the half fell to Miller who battled hard for the ball on the edge of the area but his well struck half volley went narrowly over. Perth captain Jacob Burns caused tempers to flare on 37 minutes with an unnecessary reckless tackle on Celtic skipper Scott Brown who was none too pleased with the challenge.

Celtic enjoyed 63% of possession in the first half and went into the break deserving of their lead. The pitch at NIB Stadium, which as waterlogged midweek and required helicopters amongst other things to remove surface water, held up well and facilitated some good football from both teams.

The first chance of the second half came for the home side but Celtic keeper Lucas Zaluska was equal to Adam Hughes’ long range effort. Celtic doubled their lead after 50 minutes when Charlie Mulgrew rose highest to head Ki Sung Yung’s inswinging free kick past a helpless Vukovic.

The second 45 minutes was much more pedestrian than the first as Celtic continued to control most of the play. Glory struggled to get full backs Scott Neville and Todd Howarth into the game, and the decision to withdraw both Smeltz and Miller at the interval left them short of creative options.

Substitute Alex Caniglia came closest to a consolation goal for Glory but his shot went harmlessly wide after Steve McGarry’s free kick was only cleared to the edge of the area.

After the game Celtic boss Neil Lennon expressed his satisfaction at the result and said it was important for his side to have a tough hitout ahead of the start of the SPL season.

“I’m very pleased, I thought we played well,” he said. “We started the game very well and that’s what we’re looking for; a better start than we had last week but I felt that with the week’s preparation that the players would be better for it and that proved to be the case.

“We’re only two weeks away from the start of the season so we emphasised to the players that it’s not long before the season starts and we need to try and get up to speed as quickly as possible which is a big ask considering that they’re only been back 14 or 15 days themselves and have had a lot of travelling in between that.”

When asked for his thoughts on the plane carrying the Rangers banner before kick off, the Celtic boss quipped that he felt fans of the Gers may be taking just a little bit too much interest in the Bhoys.

“Well you’d think they’d have better things to do like following their team in Germany than paying a lot of money to noise us up,” he said.

“I think they’re a wee bit obsessed with us at the minute.”

Glory’s Ian Ferguson was happy with the chance for his players to test themselves against such high quality opposition.

“For them to come here was a great experience for us,” he said. “A lot of positives to come out of it as well, we’re reasonably pleased with a lot of things but still we know we’ve got a lot to work on but we’ve got 10/12 weeks to try and do that.”

Speaking about the 4-2-3-1 formation which Glory will employ this year, Ferguson was satisfied with how it stood up in its first real test.

“I thought it went reasonably well,” he said. “As much of the play as Celtic had I don’t think they really cut us open where we were all over the place apart from the ball that goes through the middle and we lose a goal.”

Celtic will head to Melbourne to take on the Victory on Wednesday in the final game of their three game tour of Australia.

Perth Glory: D Vukovic, S Neville, J Mitchell, B Van den Brink, T Howarth, A Hughes, J Burns, L Miller, M Sterjovski, T Dodd, S Smeltz.

Subs: N Young, J Risdon, A Taggart, E Berger, S McGarry, T Amphlett, J Makarounas, B Quaqua, R Vittiglia, S Mitchinson, S Fisk, A Caniglia.

Celtic: L Zaluska, M Wilson, K Wilson, G Loovens, C Mulgrew, S Brown, B Kayal, J Ledley, K Commons, A Stokes, G Hooper.

Subs: D Cervi, A Matthews, C Du-Ri, K Sung Yung, P McCourt, D Majstorovic, G Samaras, D Murphy, S Maloney.

Attendance: 15,350

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

mm
Neil Sherwin
Neil has covered the Perth Glory and the Hyundai A-League for five years and is one of Western Australia's most knowledgeable football journalists.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required