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Celtic: Stephen Welsh on top form in the Old Firm

Celtic had a real opportunity this weekend to give their fiercest rivals a reminder that they’re still here.

This has been a torrid campaign for the Hoops and it didn’t get much better on Sunday afternoon, as they drew 1-1 at Parkhead.

It’s not often an Old Firm derby has little on it but because of the circumstances, this was one that was lacking in drama and ferociousness. Scott Brown wasn’t his usual bullish self and Alfredo Morelos’s discipline was near perfect.

It was a tale of two headers as Mohamed Elyounoussi’s diving leap opened the scoring before Morelos netted a tap in for the equaliser.

Elyounoussi was particularly vibrant and deserved his goal. He was playing off the wing but found himself in a central position to score a clinical header from a few yards out.

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It was an inch-perfect assist from Odsonne Edouard, who delivered the cross, but besides the Frenchman and Elyounoussi, they lacked much in terms of attacking threat from other sources.

Unfortunately, it was yet another defensive mishap that cost Celtic. It’s been the story of their season to date and on this occasion, it was Jonjoe Kenny at fault.

His back pass went out for a corner from which Morelos scored and he didn’t cover himself in too much glory with his marking either.

Yet, if we are searching for positives we need to look no further than Stephen Welsh. When Christopher Jullien was ruled out for nine months, the Bhoys needed someone to step up.

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Welsh has been that man. He is still relatively inexperienced but he’s struck up a fantastic partnership with Kristoffer Ajer that provides hope for the future. He has rarely put a foot wrong during his Celtic career and he was convincing once more on Sunday.

The 21-year-old was near flawless defensively, winning 85.7% of the duels he competed in. That meant the centre-back prevailed in two tackles, one interception and three clearances.

On top of that, Welsh didn’t make a single foul, nor was he dribbled past by a Rangers player. On a day where his partner to the right, Kenny, looked out of sorts, the young centre-back managed to keep things watertight from his perspective.

Welsh was assured in possession, completing 90% of his passes while he even found room to make one of them a key pass which led to a shooting opportunity.

The central defender has only recently come into the team this year but he rose to the task of an Old Firm derby with ease. Long may his form continue.

AND in other news, Celtic must ruthlessly axe £15k-p/w “enigma” this summer, Lenny hated him…

Article title: Celtic: Stephen Welsh on top form in the Old Firm

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