Celtic battled their way through a stubborn Raith Rovers side Sunday with a 3-0 away victory to book their place in the quarterfinals of the Scottish Cup.
A win is a win at the end of the day, but it certainly wasn't comfortable or as easy as the scoreline shows. Raith]s game plan was to sit back and counter - it frustrated Celtic and their fans and worked a treat in the first half with Neil Lennon's side being poor in the final third.
But despite Celtic's failure there, Celtic dominated possession as expected against the First Division side and it finally paid dividends in the 56th minute.
After seeing a penalty claim waived away minutes earlier, Kris Commons was felled in the box once more - in the exact same area, by the same defender, Simon Mensing - and this time the referee awarded a spot kick.
Thankfully this time round, Charlie Mulgrew was kept away from the penalty and Commons stepped up to fire past David McGurn to give Celtic the lead and put them in the driving seat. That goal was followed by scores from James Forrest and Mulgrew.
Celtic fans will welcome the return of Forrest as the side has been lacking creativity - and been too predictable - down the right in the past few matches.
While Forrest is deemed a good player and not a great one, in my opinion he brings something different to the attack that has been lacking of late and will help Celtic to see out the remainder of the SPL and Scottish Cup campaigns.
Celtic can sit back and relax just a bit safe in the knowledge they are still battling in three competitions, and the only ones dancing tonight are those Celtic fans revelling in Sunday's victory and rivals Rangers’ defeat to Dundee United Saturday.
It is certainly a good weekend to be a Celtic supporter.
Ambrose's trip extended
On another note, it looks as if Celtic will have to do without Nigerian defender Efe Ambrose as the African side defeated Ivory Coast 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the African Nations Cup to reach the last four. The event is set to end Feb. 10. Two days later, Celtic play Juventus at Celtic Park in the Champions League in the round of 16. If Nigeria reach the finals, Celtic will have to deal with the Italian giants without Ambrose, a major blow to Celtic’s chances of getting anything out of the two-leg tie.