Sunday 18 November 2018

Fit-again Dembele says Celts' focus turns to Killie

Celtic’s Moussa Dembele. Photo: PA Wire
Celtic’s Moussa Dembele. Photo: PA Wire

Moussa Dembele’s assessment that Celtic are “simply the best” would not have gone unnoticed by crisis-struck Old Firm rivals Rangers.

While the French striker was scoring a double in a commanding 3-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Wednesday night, to take them three points clear of the Dons at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership, there was more woe at Ibrox.

A 1-1 home draw with lowly Kilmarnock sparked discussions over manager Pedro Caixinha’s future among Rangers board members.

The Ibrox club turned up for their Betfred Cup semi-final game against Motherwell at Hampden Park on Sunday with Tina Turner’s song, Simply The Best, the club’s unofficial anthem, blaring out of the team coach.

After the Gers’ 2-0 defeat, BT pundit and former Celtic striker Chris Sutton said: “They won’t be playing Tina Turner on the coach on the way home, will they?”

And, after his second brace in two games, French striker Dembele said: “It was a great win away from home and we showed that we are simply the best team in the country.

“When we are 100 per cent fit and 100 per cent ready and give our best no-one can beat us in the country.”

After coming off the bench to score twice in the Betfred Cup semi-final against Hibernian, Dembele was given a start by boss Brendan Rodgers for the first time since the 2-2 home draw with Hibernian at the end of September.


The 21-year-old striker, back to full fitness following a hamstring injury earlier in the season, set up Kieran Tierney for a spectacular opening goal then helped himself to goals either side of the break as last season’s treble winners turned on the style to extend their unbeaten domestic run to 61 games.

Moreover, the champions moved to the brink of equalling their own British domestic unbeaten record of 62 games from Willie Maley’s side of 100 years ago, which can be achieved against Kilmarnock at home tomorrow.

Dembele looked forward to the visit of Killie and said: “I am fit. I just had to wait for my chance to play.

“Every time the gaffer gives me a bit (of game time) I try to give my best and I scored two goals. I am happy for the win first but the two goals also.

“I always try to be in the box. Last night I got two goals but now we look for Saturday.

“The whole team contributed and that is our strength.”

Rodgers is pleased to have Dembele and Leigh Griffiths both vying for a starting berth up front.

He said: “Moussa got his goals, he’s still working on his fitness.

“I’m at the stage where I look at him and Griff and whoever I play they’re ready.

“Griff has run himself into the ground and been brilliant so it’s nice for him to have that rest.

“It’s important with so many big games you can put that player in and he contributes.”

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