CELTIC experienced little difficulty overcoming Ladbrokes League One rivals Airdrieonians at Parkhead on Saturday and progressing to the last 16 of the competition they have won in the last two years.

But the fourth round fixture was noteworthy due to the appearance of two of their new recruits – Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah.

So how did Brendan Rodgers’s men look in their first game after the Ladbrokes Premiership defeat to Rangers? And did Burke and Weah live up to all the fuss?


As a Paris Saint-Germain player and the son of former Ballon d’Or winner George to boot, much was expected of Weah after Celtic secured his services until the end of the season earlier this month.

It was asking a lot of an 18-year-old who had only played 12 games of senior football to slot straight into Rodgers’ side and make an impact. But he certainly made a positive early impression after replacing Scott Sinclair at the weekend.

The United States internationalist netted just 14 minutes after coming on. What is more, he took his goal well. He ran onto a defence-splitting Dedryck Boyata through ball and slotted past David Hutton with the outside of his right foot.

Weah looks raw, but his confidence will have been boosted no end by his debut. He can build on his encouraging start and play a part in the Glasgow club’s bid to complete a clean sweep of domestic trophies for the third season running.


The opposition might only have been part-time, but this cup tie underlined, after a few subdued displays at the tail end of last year after returning from lengthy injury lay-off, that Brown is far from a spent force.

He covered every blade of grass on the Parkhead turf, made some important tackles during occasional Airdrie attacks and was quick to leap to the defence of Emilio Izaguirre when his team mate was surrounded by irate opposition players after winning a penalty in the first-half.

He may almost be 34, but his willingness to get embroiled in a shoving match showed that he has lost none of his combativeness.

Rodgers is keen for the midfielder to make up his mind about whether he wants to extend his stay at Celtic beyond the summer or join Western Melbourne in Australia soon. This game underlined he has a great deal still to give his current club if he decides to remain in Scotland.


The 21-year-old may not have scored on his Celtic debut, but he had a hand in two of his new side’s goals and did enough during the course of the 90 minutes to suggest he can contribute to their cause significantly in the coming months.

Yet, Burke, as Rodgers has stressed, is naturally a wide player and will need time to learn how to play up front by himself. When Odsonne Edouard returns, and the French striker could be back in training this week, he will be preferred in attack.

But the 6ft 2in new boy has pace and great physicality. If his new manager can develop his talents, as he has successfully with kids on numerous occasions in the past, then the double treble winners have a serious talent on their hands.


Celtic may have a few injury issues at the moment with Odsonne Edouard, Olivier Ntcham and Kieran Tierney all being sidelined. But with Bayo, Burke and Weah all joining, Tom Rogic set to return imminently and Bitton making his comeback, Rodgers won’t be short of options in midfield and attack.


Full-time teams have not done as well as the Ladbrokes League One outfit against Celtic at Parkhead this season. Ian Murray’s men contained their host in the opening half an hour and David Hutton did superbly to save a Sinclair penalty.

Had Scott Bain not made an outstanding triple save just before half-time then it would have been a far more fraught second-half for the home team.

The third tier club were well beaten in the end. But they can be proud of their efforts over the course of the 90 minutes and can take confidence into their remaining league games.

A play-off place is an achievable objective if they continue to perform so impressively.