Every Celtic fan enjoyed the relief of Tom Rogic’s last gasp winner at Kilmarnock on Saturday but the aftermath was very different.
Throughout the second half the clock ticked down to the possibility of Aberdeen being top of the Premiership table for at least a fortnight ahead of Celtic’s next game at home to Hearts.
There was little coming from Ronny Deila’s side as Kilmarnock dealt comfortably with the visitors laboured approach of pushing the ball down the flanks then squaring it back across midfield.
Leigh Griffiths barely got a look at goal and when that happens the signs are ominous.
There was plenty of possession, the passes almost all found Celtic players but there was a lack of penetration in a performance similar to the recent draws with Hamilton and Dundee.
Out of nowhere the outlook changed. Taking Callum McGregor’s pass onto his left foot Rogic let go with a thunderous shot that Jamie MacDonald didn’t get close to.
From the technical area, on the pitch, behind the goal and in pubs across the land the relief was obvious as the hoops moved four points clear of Aberdeen.
In many circumstances a win like that would be hailed as the sign of champions, a team that wins ugly and knows what is needed when the title race gets serious.
Celtic don’t generally operate in the environment enjoyed by others. Their spending power and Champions League aspirations bring in other elements to the thought process.
In years to come not many fans will remember the detail of the 90 minutes before Rogic scored- especially if the Champions League anthem is back at Celtic Park next season.
That’s the nature of a league campaign, it’s 38 results that decide who comes out on top with highs and lows along the way.
Saturday’s result was greeted with universal relief, none more so than from Ronny Deila who rediscovered his roar and more at the final whistle.
Over the last six weeks no Celtic manager has come under more scrutiny. Being ten matches away from a double hasn’t healed any of the scars of failure in Europe, a look back over the last ten matches sees to that.
The faults and complaints are too numerous to mention, every critic has their own favourites but with a four point lead and a game in hand the Premiership title is within reach.
Debate can be fierce but it underlines the passion and importance that supporters place in Celtic.
With the boredom of an international break putting things on hold for ten days use the comments below to debate the state of Celtic- is your glass half full or half empty- is the title in the bag or more European despair looming?