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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Celtic 2-1 Rangers tells the Nakamura tale

Yesterday evening borne the Old Firm derby between Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers. Didn't know that? Well, it did, at Parkhead and with Celtic four points behind Rangers and having played two games more, this was a crucial home victory to keep within distance of the title.

And with big games one hopes to see big goals. England had two Grand Slam weekends already with Liverpool and Man Utd matching up and Chelsea and Arsenal doing the same afterwards on the same afternoon. By some coincidence the first weekend brought a single goal in both matches and then three goals in both matches in the second weekend! So there were big goals there.

Last night there was one in the Old Firm derby, the opening one and it was something of a screamer of a shot that had it been in the Premier League, it would not cease being repeated. I'm glad to have glimpsed it from two angles. Celtic's Shunsuke Nakamura has a superb touch and shot with his left foot. Video clips of his efforts are publicly available for viewing to verify that fact. He reminds me of having the touch of someone like Wayne Rooney and the application of former Everton specialist Kevin Sheedy, who had for me one of the sweetest left foot deliveries in the game.

Gary Caldwell found Nakamura in central midfield with twenty minutes gone and the Japanese international let fly a shot from some 25-30 yards that from a side angle looked stunning and then from the angle of view seen by his keeper Artur Boruc, the shot was practically identical to that by Roberto Carlos in Le Tournoi, Lyon, June 1997 against France. The ball curved towards the right and then equally turned to the left over Rangers keeper Allan McGregor that just left McGregor with no chance, I kid you not:

Courtesy of 'shosoin'

Rangers replied ten minutes after the interlude through Nacho Novo with a sharp ball across keeper into the far corner but fifteen minutes later Carlos Cuellar was straight red-carded for handling what was another superb Nakamura left foot strike from an angle that again beat McGregor with a dip and would have gone in but for Cuellar's hand. The resulting Scott McDonald penalty was saved by McGregor but Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink stole the points in injury time with a close range nod after McDonald headed back across into the box.

That goal gives Celtic some hope of catching Rangers with a gap of now one point. The other Celtic goal is my contender for Goal Of The Season. You won't, I hardly doubt in the Premier League, see a goal like that again. Then again, perhaps that was also said after Carlos' goal!!



Blogger T said...

Thanks Redsman for posting the Nakamura goal - an amazing strike from a very good player. Wouldn't have known about it if not for your post.

I wonder sometimes that very good players who play in Scotland like Nakamura and before him the great Henrik Larsson are somewhat not maximising their potential and exposure by not playing in a more elite league.

4/17/2008 10:48 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

It's a good point. In the reverse former Wigan man Lee McCulloch was p;aying reasonably in the Premier League until when he joined Rangers where he has been quite an integral clog in their mechanism since his arrival. Nakamura has interested me for some time since joining Celtic. His adaptation on the wing along with his left foot touch is the kind of flair that I would love to see for an EPL side.


4/18/2008 9:40 pm

Blogger T said...

Liverpool, Redsman?

4/20/2008 5:53 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

With such contributions, I wouldnt mind!


4/20/2008 7:49 pm

Blogger T said...

Ha ha ha!

If only that could be guaranteed I would want him at Arsenal too!!

I have seen very little of Nakamura but whenever I do see him - for Celtic in Champs League and for Japan in last World Cup - I have been impressed and I have thought would be more suited to the Premier League than perhaps Japan's most famous player of recent years, Nakata, who didn't shine that brightly at Bolton.

4/20/2008 9:29 pm


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