LEIGH GRIFFITHS last night claimed Celtic could have hit EIGHT against Rangers in the Old Firm derby.
The Scotland internationalist smashed home the second of his side’s five goals in the 5-1 win at Ibrox, had another disallowed and saw a header come back off the crossbar.
It was part of a team performance hailed as “sensational” by Brendan Rodgers and his striker agreed with his manager’s assessment.
His only disappointment was that the visitors had not scored more goals.
“We know in that dressing- room that if we perform to our maximum, then no-one can live with us and today we showed how good a team we are,” said Griffiths.
“To come to Ibrox and perform the way we did was a real statement.
“I got a goal which was massive for me, and if I had been a couple of inches lower with the header that hit the bar, it would have been the back of the net.
“But it’s not just about my performance or my goal, it’s about the whole team’s performance, the way we played. We were very professional in the way we went about it.
“We gave Rangers limited space throughout, and for the amount of chances we created it was five going on seven or eight.For the last 10 minutes, we took our foot off the gas a little bit and I think everyone will be disappointed about losing a goal.
“We gave Kenny Miller room to drive into and he got a little ricochet.
“It was a lapse of concentration, maybe, and it gave them a lift for six, seven minutes. But we kept our heads down and kept the ball really well and got the fifth goal.
“So I think overall it was probably the most comfortable we have been against them this season, the way our tactics were set up.
“Rangers playing with a diamond to start with gave us more room on the side, and you saw in the first half how many problems we caused.
“They changed that in the second half, but we still managed to get on the ball and make things happen. We got another few goals in the second half.
“To be involved in a win like this is massive and the celebrations with the fans at full-time were amazing.
“I have had injury problems this season but I am fully fit now and it is my chance to step up and score goals between now and the end of the season.”
An end to the season which Brendan Rodgers now has serious cause to believe will end with the Treble and an undefeated domestic record.
Doing so will require his players to continue maintaining their focus game after game but, on this display, Rodgers need have no fears on that score.
“They’re right on it,” he said.
“I said when I came in my job was to build a team who could go into any stadium without fear and play.
“And obviously this is one of the great rivals for Celtic, so for us to come here and show that was so pleasing for me as a manager to see.
“We had a couple of moments, like the goal at the end, which typify what I am talking about.
“Our defenders defend forward, so be aggressive, step in, and that’s where the fifth goal comes from with Mika stepping in, winning it and then scoring like a winger or a centre forward.
“But you have to earn the right, fundamentally in any game.
“You have to defend, and how I like my team to defend is with that aggression and high level of pressing, and the players did it right the way through.
“From the first to the last minute their physicality in the game was top-class.”
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