On the day that Celtic will lift the Ladbrokes Premiership trophy, for the fifth season in a row, regular contributor Craig Cairns takes a look where the Hoops' goals have come from this season.
The methods through which Celtic’s goals have been created this season show the style of football Ronny Deila tried to implement, even though the Norwegian’s time at the club will soon come to an end.
No fewer than 39 of their 86 league goals have come through either short passes, cutbacks or through balls, displaying their ability to work the ball into the box through possession football.
As well as this, Deila likes his full-backs to push on and support attacks. Mikael Lustig has provided eight league assists this season, with Kieran Tierney – whose development is one of Deila’s biggest success stories – managed six, despite not being the first-choice left-back for the entire season.
The abundance of central midfielders at Celtic has been well documented, which may be the reason why Deila has rotated them so often. This has led to the assists being shared out pretty evenly among them. Tom Rogic has seven, Stuart Armstrong and Stefan Johansen have six, Callum McGregor and Gary Mackay-Steven have five and Nir Bitton has four. Kris Commons, who hasn’t actually featured much recently, has still managed to chalk up eight league assists over the course of the season.
One thing that stands out from the goal map is the 15 goals Celtic have scored from outside the box. Bitton is responsible for two of these – both of which have come from over 30 yards – while Rogic has scored four of them.
His last-minute winner at Rugby Park in March was not only his best strike of the season, it is arguably Celtic’s most important goal of the season. Going into that weekend of fixtures, just one point separated the champions from Aberdeen. The Dons’ defeat to Motherwell, coupled with Rogic’s last-minute wonder strike, put some clear distance between the sides which proved vital in the eventual destination of the league trophy.