Kris Commons scored Celtic's second goal against Rangers
Kris Commons has a figure that suggests he is not opposed to the notion of the consumption of the odd pint of Guinness. He chose the dregs of April to toast his first goal of the season.
His deft chip over Allan McGregor gave Celtic the second goal in the 3-0 victory over Rangers yesterday but also highlighted that Commons, in form and in shape, can have a vital part to play for Celtic.
The player's departure has been much predicted but he seemed happy yesterday to be in the fold at the champions. It is difficult to support this impression with his words. His goal was greeted by his verdict that it was "alright". An influential performance, playing in the hole behind two strikers, was similarly rated as "alright".
He was more expansive about his improved form in a season that had previously been marked most conspicuously by his absence from the first team. "I am one of those guys who if they get suspensions or niggly injuries, it takes four or five games to get going. I have been lucky to have a good run in the side and I feel like I am getting to where I need to be. For me to get a run in the team and start to show glimpses of what I was like last season, was very pleasing," he said.
He also disclosed Celtic had set their sights at half-time on a rout as they walked off 2-0 to the good. "We wanted to go on and score four or five goals but we put so much effort in over those first 60 or 70 minutes that we maybe ended up taking our foot off the gas a little bit," he said.
The victory pushed Celtic 21 points clear at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League but Commons insisted it had a more personal significance. "We had a lot to answer for with them beating us twice and us only having won one," he said of the season's record in the Old Firm matches. "We answered a few critics – they do not have the winning hand over us and we have won the title. I would not have liked winning the title with them having won more Old Firm games than us."
Commons was keen for the fixture to continue, with Rangers facing both the threat of liquidation and the possibility of leaving the top flight. "If we didn't have a Glasgow derby, it would be devastating for Scottish football. From a fan's point of view, what other game do you look at if Rangers are not in the SPL? They are the biggest games in Scotland, if not Europe, when you consider the fanbase and the people who want to watch it on TV. It makes up every single thing that is good about Scottish football."
This was said with the relish of a man who had realised that the biggest fixture had afforded him the sweetest moment of the season.