Date: 12th July 2015 at 9:21am
Written by:

Deila

Nadir Ciftci’s debut proved to be the biggest talking point of Celtic’s 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.

Within five minutes of replacing Leigh Griffiths the former Dundee United striker won a free kick, assisted Gary Mackay-Steven with the only goal of the game and struck the keeper when put through one-on-one.

Ciftci is unlikely to start against Stjarnan on Wednesday night but would be expected to feature at some stage as Celtic look to stretch the Icelanders and put the tie to bed in the first leg.

After his blistering second half of last season Griffiths deserves to start the match but the former Hibs striker knows that a ready made and hungry replacement is lurking on the bench.

Other managers would have been scared off by Ciftci’s reputation for too many disciplinary issues but stripping them away it seems that the Turkish striker is a close fit for the role of sole striker in Deila’s Celtic template.

For half an hour on Friday night Celtic looked worryingly off the pace against opponents playing their first match after some pre-season training at St Andrews.

Towards the end of the first half Celtic started to assert themselves with the attacking midfielders finding possession and starting to ask questions of the Sociedad defence.

That continued after the break with Griffiths striking the post as Celtic pushed forward largely through Scott Brown with Nir Bitton providing the defensive security needed.

Ciftci was the second substitution (Darnell Fisher replaced Mikael Lustig at half-time) and made a clear impact while Saidy Janko made an effective debut with Virgil van Dijk getting a late run despite being suspended for the home match against Stjarnan.

Celtic: Gordon, Lustig (Fisher, min.46), Boyata, Mulgrew, Izaguirre, Brown, Bitton (Van Dijk, min.63), Mackay-Steven (Janko, min.75), Johansen, Armstrong, Griffiths (Ciftci, min.67).


Real Sociedad: Rulli, Zaldua, Ansotegi, Iñigo, Yuri (De la Bella, min.46), M.Bergara (Pardo, min.46), Granero, Hervías (Chory Castro, min.46), Canales (Zurutuza, min.73), Capilla (Oyarzun, min.63), Agirretxe (Muguruza, min.63).