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Live updates from Ross County's Premiership match against Celtic


By Andrew Henderson

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Ross County host the reigning Premiership champions at the Global Energy Stadium including, for the first time this season, a small number of supporters as a maximum of 300 home fans will be allowed through the turnstiles to watch their team in person.

Full time thoughts

That is one of the stranger results you are going to see this season. Ross County looked the more dangerous side for most of the match, but somehow came away losing by five goals.

The difference in the end was that Celtic were clinical in front of goal, while the Staggies lacked a final ball at times and were denied by some impressive saves by Vasilis Barkas.

Having said that, this Celtic team look fragile defensively right now. County showed that they can be got at, and other sides will presumably make the most of that on other occasions.

For County, there were plenty of things to be encouraged about, if not the quickfire final goals when their heads dropped. There was some really nice play, but Billy Mckay's injury could prove a major issue with Lee Ewrin having left the club, interest in Ross Stewart and Oli Shaw yet to get off the mark for the club. It would not surprise me to see Stuart Kettlewell try and dip back into the transfer market to strengthen his attacking options before next Saturday's trip to St Johnstone.

Full time: Ross County 0–5 Celtic

90' Three minutes added time at the end of this second half.

88' Things have eased off the last few minutes with the result not in doubt. County are moving the ball well when they have it, but that has not really been an issue all afternoon.

80' Shaw denied a first Ross County goal

When it is not your afternoon, nothing goes your way. Oli Shaw took a central free kick about 20 yards out from goal, hits it well, and hits the post as the woodwork denies him a first goal in Staggies blue. Pretty much sums up County's afternoon.

79' Double change for County too, as Gardyne and Vigurs are replaced by Charles-Cook and Kelly.

77' Brown and McGregor come off for Celtic's final changes, with Ismaila Soro and David Turnbull coming on for his debut.

76' Celtic make it five

There really is no rest for the weary. Moments after County come inches away from scoring themselves, Celtic go up the other end and make it 5–0. Kilmala this time does find the net, almost adding insult to injury at this point.

74' Penalty appeal from Stewart

Ross Draper connects with a corner and forces a fantastic save out of Barkas, but Stewart is there to follow up with a powerful shot that gets blocked. He is adamant that it came off a hand, and there are stsrong appeals from some of his Staggies teammates who are close too, but Andrew Dallas waves them away and says no.

72' Edouard and Ntcham come off for Celtic now, being replaced by Christie and Elyounoussi. It does not get any easier for County!

70' Celtic look like they are going to make it five as Patryk Kilmala goes around Laidlaw, but Iacovitti gets back in time to clear it off the line!

66' Ajer makes it 4–0 to Celtic

Things go from bad to worse for County as they concede a fourth, this time to Ajer who pops up at the back post for a simple finish. The Staggies need to be careful to keep their heads in the last 25 minutes or so here, and maybe for that reason Ross Draper is on for Tillson.

62' Substitution for Celtic, who take off Ajeti and replace him with Kilmala

60' Duffy scores on Celtic debut

Alex Iacovitti gets caught in possession trying to move up the park, but Donaldson covers him to concede a corner. McGregor takes it and swings it right into the six-yard box – Laidlaw cannot come for it through the crowd of players in front of him – and Shane Duffy rises highest to head home a debut goal from close range and make it 3–0 to the visitors.

56' Tillson gets booked for a challenge on Brown, he may have won the ball but I think his studs were up so it is probably the correct decision.

49' What a chance for County

As with so much of County's play this afternoon, a move down the left flank creates another opportunity. This time the ball sat up really nicely for Stewart to hit towards goal from around the penalty spot, but Barkas gets down to make an important stop.

48' A slip from Donaldson lets Edouard move forward with the ball just inside County's half, it is eventually McGregor who shoots but Laidlaw holds on well.

46' Andrew Dallas gets the second half under way!

Half time thoughts

The staggies can count themselves really unlucky to be two goals behind at the break, it is not reflective at all of their performance so far. They have created the better chances, and possibly even seen more of the ball – they certainly look the more dangerous side when they have it.

They have been undone by two set plays, which will be really frustrating for Stuart Kettlewell, and the mistake by Ross Laidlaw for the second is something he had no way of accounting for. Celtic have been clinical, and at the end of the day that is the difference in top flight games so often, but it has been an encouraging display from County.

Things did seem to go a little flat after Billy Mckay was forced off with an injury, so it will be interesting to see if Shaw – who still has not scored for the Staggies – can step up and have a similar impact in the second half.

45' Half time score: Ross County 0–2 Celtic

31' Injury concern for Mckay

Mckay is going to have to be replaced by County here, he has gone down needing treatment and a quick decision is made to bring on Oli Shaw in his place. It seemed fairly innocuous, only going down at the break in play, so it could be muscular from that last sprint.

30' Close for County! Mckay breaks down the left and fires a high cross towards the back post. Stewart sees it all the way and connects, but it goes all the way across the face of goal, where it is out of reach of Tillson who was making a run into the middle.

24' Good work from Reid on the left going forward allows the youngster space to cross into the middle. Mckay is there, and he connects, but there is not enough power on his effort to trouble Barkas.

20' Celtic go two in front

That's really unlucky for County, who have played well since going behind. Ntcham's free kick from the left is not cleared, and Ajeti is there to hammer towards goal. It just squirmed under Laidlaw, who will feel he should have done better, but it's 2-0 to Celtic.

18' Gardyne cuts in from the left, and the ball works it's way along the edge of the area to Randall who hits it towards goal. Barkas did not look overly panicked, but the effort also did not look too far away. Fans starting to get behind the Staggies here!

15' Vigurs hits the woodwork!

Iain Vigurs took a free kick wide on the right wing and curled it into the box. It looked a dangerous ball, and though nobody could get on the end of it Vigurs' ball went all the way through and bounced back off the post! Bit of encouragement there for County, who have actually had a decent amount of the ball since going behind.

12' Ajer booked for Celtic after a late challenge on Gardyne as County tried to break forward. There are gaps in defence here for Celtic, but County have to take advantage. The offside flag has caught them out a couple of times already.

8' I barely even had time to look at how the sides are shaping up before that goal. Celtic have gone with a back three, Duffy slotting in on the right side with Jullien in the middle and Ajer on the left, with Frimpong at right wing back and Forrest on the other side. County have a few options with the players they have lines up with, it seems like without the ball it's a 4-5-1 with Gardyne and Stewart on the wings. With the ball, it almost seems like two up front with Gardyne in behind, with a midfield three of Tillson, Vigurs and Paton as the team's pivot point.

3' Penalty Celtic... and it's scored!

Edouard showing his worth straight away this afternoon. Tillson bring down the forward inside the box, referee Andrew Dallas points to the spot straight away, and Edouard steps up himself to stroke the ball into the corner. Laidlaw guessed the wrong way, but it was an accurate striker anyway. 1–0 to Celtic!

1' We have kick off in Dingwall

10 minutes to kick off – we have fans!

It has been six months since the Staggies faithful were allowed to cheer on their side in person, but 300 of them are here today. It was a great moment they applauded the Ross County squad on to the pitch to warm up. Here's hoping we get some good entertainment for them after going such a long time without being here.

300 Ross County fans were allowed into the stadium to watch the club's Premiership match against Celtic.
300 Ross County fans were allowed into the stadium to watch the club's Premiership match against Celtic.

Teams

It's two changes for the Staggies as Josh Reid comes in to the starting line-up for the suspended Carl Tremarco, while Keith Watson and Ross Draper drop to the bench as Jordan Tillson and Harry Paton come into the side. That most likely means a move back to a back four after Stuart Kettlewell tried out a three-man defence at Livingston, while he has opted for the mobility of Draper and Tillson over the physicality of Draper.

Celtic meanwhile make four changes, welcoming Odsonne Edouard back into the starting 11 after injury, while centre back Shane Duffy makes his debut after joining on loan from Brighton. Albian Aketi and Jeremie Frimpong are the other new faces in the team, with Greg Taylor, Hatem Elmahad, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Ryan Christie all dropping to the bench.

Ross County: Laidlaw, Randall, Gardyne, Mckay, Vigurs, Iacovitti, Tillson, Paton, Donaldson, Stewart, Reid.

Substitutes: Munro, Morris, Draper, Shaw, Watson, Charles-Cook, Kelly, Wright, Mackinnon.

Celtic: Barkas, Jullien, Duffy, Brown, Ajeti, Ntcham, Edouard, Frimpong, Ajer, McGregor, Forrest.

Substitutes: Bain, Taylor, Kilmala, Soro, Turnbull, Christie, Elyounoussi, Elhamed, Welsh.

Ross County's squad warms up ahead of their Premiership match against Celtic.
Ross County's squad warms up ahead of their Premiership match against Celtic.

Read more football news here.



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