Gordon Strachan has suggested during BT Sport’s coverage of the Scottish League Cup final (broadcast on 8/12; 17:29) that Ryan Christie emulated David Beckham by producing a brilliant ball in for Celtic’s winning goal at Hampden Park.
The Hoops are celebrating their 10th domestic honour in a row after a dramatic victory over Rangers. Steven Gerrard’s men dominated the large majority of the game. However, there was no way past Fraser Forster – even when Rangers were given a penalty.
And Celtic made the Gers pay for their inability to take their chances. Connor Goldson fouled Odsonne Edouard around 35 yards from goal. Christie took the free-kick and curled a delicious ball towards the edge of the six-yard box.
Christopher Jullien – who did appear to be in an offside position – was there to volley home for the game’s only goal.
And while the focus will, understandably, be on Forster’s heroics and Jullien’s winner, Strachan suggested that Christie proved why he is one of the Hoops’ star men with the assist for the match-winner.
“This is the bit that becomes hard, taking the free-kick because we’ve seen in the last half hour when people have got into positions where they cross the ball, Rangers overhit it,” he told BT Sport. “The whole world’s watching this boy. ‘Can I deliver a great ball? Yes I can’. The top players, that’s a Beckham sort of thing where right at the moment where you need a great delivery, he sticks a great delivery in.”
Christie is enjoying another outstanding season. And it is no surprise that he delivered when Celtic needed to make the most of their opportunity.
No player has provided more assists in the Scottish Premiership this season. And he has already scored 17 goals of his own in all competitions.
It is an unbelievable return for a midfielder. So it is little surprise that Strachan felt compelled to compare the Celtic man with one of arguably the best set-piece takers of all-time on this occasion.