Scottish champions Glasgow Celtic saw off Hamilton Academicals on Sunday afternoon, with the winning goal scored by the controversial figure of Dedryck Boyata, and fans offered a mixed reaction to his appearance after the game.
The Belgian defender angered Bhoys supporters when he reportedly refused to play in their Champions League second leg tie away to AEK Athens, a match the Glasgow giants were beaten in and saw their chance of mixing it with the elite of Europe ended.
A row broke out after he declined to feature in that match citing injury, and having missed out in matches since then, Brendan Rodgers was happy to recall the man wanted by Fulham in the summer, in the match at Celtic Park on Sunday.
The Bhoys produced a pretty laboured performance against the Accies, and needed the centre-back to pop up from close range to score the only goal of the game.
His lack of celebration after putting his side ahead shows that there is still a bit of hostility between himself and the Celtic faithful, and more time is going to be needed before the relationship between the two parties is patched up.
Some Bhoys fans held up a banner prior to the victory suggesting that Boyata was not fit to wear the shirt, but based on the performance on Sunday, the same could be said about many others.
The win sent Celtic up to second place in the Scottish Premiership table ahead of a huge week for the club. It begins on Thursday evening when they look to navigate their way into the Europa League group stage, before the first Old Firm derby at Celtic Park next weekend.
Their fans will want 100% commitment from everyone in the Hoops shirt for those matches, which will test the relationship between themselves and Boyata further. Based on the reaction of the supporters after the Hamilton game there is a mixed feeling regarding his future at the club.
Here are some of their posts:
Read a lot of stuff on Boyata today. Personally don’t blame him at all. I tell the people on my team to always look after themselves and their own careers and don’t think Boyata did anything different. We might not like it but we’re fans.
— Paul O'Donnell (@GothicBhoy) August 27, 2018
I support Boyata. Not happy with club supporters public display of animosity and disrespect @boyatafacts
— Paul Moore (@Paul88420040) August 27, 2018
I don’t know if anybody is ready to hear it but Celtic are a much better team with boyata. We don’t look like we have any ambition to bring any1 in so he plays
— Steven D (@Dinobhoy86) August 27, 2018
Players support of Boyata is telling. Surely they lost out on bonuses etc by not making CL yet they're backing him. No idea what really went on but issue far from black and white IMO.
— Joe Quinn (@chiefinkorea) August 27, 2018
Although there’s been lots controversy surrounding him Boyata was class today. If he stays and plays consistently this season he’ll lose his “bombscare” tag, I feel comfortable with him on the ball now and defensively. Ajer on the other hand 👀
— Reece (@RH67__) August 27, 2018
Boyata is divisive. That's a fact. So is 3 points. And Brendan picking arguably his strongest 11? I'm no 1. Just an opinion?
— Stuart McCallion (@stuballs89) August 26, 2018
The boyata debacle highlights 2 things:
It's worrying he's our best defender
The rest of our squad are not cutting it if we're relying on him to score a winner v Hamilton Accies
— Maximus Aurelius (@MaximusAureli13) August 26, 2018
See these celtic fans trying to slate the boyata banner they need to have a good look at themselves. This guy refused not once but twice to play for our club! No one said anyone had to boo the guy but to actually cheer him is an embarrassment.
— ConradGates (@ConradGates) August 26, 2018
Today, Boo Boyata if you wanted too or cheer him. You pay your money. After Brendan and Scott Browns comments today I’d say what ever happens it’s case closed. Either side of the argument have made their point. Time to focus on backing the team @CelticFC #COYBIG
— Mark Brown (@Mark1Brown1090) August 26, 2018
It's actually crazy how much better we were at the back with Boyata
— Connor 🇮🇪 (@fatwolverine67) August 26, 2018