Leigh Griffiths passed the 50-goal mark for Celtic last Friday against Dundee United. Craig Cairns takes a look at the striker's career and maps where his goals have come from this season.
Griffiths signed for Neil Lennon’s Celtic on the final day of the transfer window in January 2014. He made a strong start to his Celtic career, scoring seven goals in 14 appearances between then and the end of the season.
Once Neil Lennon departed, however, it took Griffiths a while to win over his new manager Ronny Deila. Manchester City loanee John Guidetti was preferred for the first half of the 2014/15 season and although Griffiths made a number of appearances, most were from the bench.
Griffiths’ patience and hard work in training were finally rewarded when Guidetti’s form dipped and he has never looked back. Between January and the end of that season Griffiths scored 16 goals in 21 appearances, including two hat-tricks.
This season he has continued that form, scoring 27 goals in 32 appearances, including five braces and a hat trick.In fact, he has scored seven goals in his last three games and nine in his last five. Since December 2014, he has not gone more than two games without a goal.
Griffiths likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender – eight of his goals this season have come from through balls - but he is just as dangerous getting on the end of crosses – 10 of his 24 goals have been assisted from wide areas. He also pulls out the odd peach, including this one in the League Cup at Tynecastle:
One area he has improved under Deila is his aerial ability. Griffiths may not have scored many headers recently, but he began the season by knocking in a fair few, something largely absent from his game previously.
He has scored Celtic’s first goal on 13 occasions and 12 of those have been the first goal of the match. Seventeen of his goals have come in the first half, with eight coming in the first 20 minutes of matches.