18th May 2022; St Mirren Park, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland; Scottish Premier League football, St Mirren v Celtic; Stephen Welsh of Celtic on the ball

Celtic fell to their first league defeat in just under a year as a well-disciplined, greatly organised St. Mirren side won 2-0 courtesy of headers from Mark O’Hara and Jonah Ayunga. 

It was one of the poorest Hoops performances in a while and one that took many by surprise, although the Buddies were well worth the win, keeping Ange Postecoglou’s stars at bay throughout. Here’s how they all rated. 

Joe Hart – 6/10

St. Mirren had just two shots on target throughout the match, although it could be argued Joe Hart could’ve done better with them both. Granted, Mark O’Hara’s header came at the Englishman quickly from close range, although Hart could’ve been more commanding in his area with regards to Jonah Ayunga’s second-half goal. 

18th May 2022; St Mirren Park, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland; Scottish Premier League football, St Mirren v Celtic; Joe Hart of Celtic shouts towards a linesman after conceding the 2nd goal

Anthony Ralston – 6/10

Anthony Ralston got down the right-hand side well, although the end product in his crossing was lacking. It cannot be denied the Scotland international doesn’t match the quality Josip Juranovic brings, but he has proved in the past he can more than contribute, yet similar to his teammates, it just didn’t click today. 

Stephen Welsh – 4/10

St. Mirren striking duo Curtis Main and Jonah Ayunga undoubtedly caused Celtic’s centre-backs issues this afternoon. In Stephen Welsh’s case, their physicality was too hot to handle, and there was room for improvement when the 22-year-old was beaten by Ayunga in the air for the Englishman’s header. 

Moritz Jenz – 5/10

Along with Welsh, Moritz Jenz’s display at the heart of defence was poor. The German didn’t look the most convincing at the back; however, going forward, he had a few headers in the second half, with which he could’ve done better. 

Greg Taylor – 7/10

Greg Taylor was one of few Celtic players who actually played to a passable standard today. As ever, the 24-year-old wasn’t afraid to get on the ball and play forward, however, he was sacrificed with around 15 to play as Ange Postecoglou shifted to a back three. 

Aaron Mooy – 5/10

The Australian midfielder made his first Celtic start in the league on Sunday. Mooy kept it simple in midfield and had a few efforts on goal. He could be partly to blame for St. Mirren’s opener after he let go of his man, Mark O’Hara, who made a late run into the box. 

18th May 2022; St Mirren Park, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland; Scottish Premier League football, St Mirren v Celtic; Mark OHara of St Mirren makes it 1-0 to St Mirren in the 43rd minute with a header

Callum McGregor – 5/10

The Celtic captain started in a position further forward than his usual holding role, although he didn’t excel as much as he does when implemented there. McGregor’s intensity and sharpness of passing were missed in the six; however, when he returned there in the second half, it cannot be said he stood out. 

David Turnbull – 4/10

Coming into the starting eleven for the first time since August, David Turnbull looked slow in midfield. The 23-year-old lacked any sort of ingenuity and was replaced by Sead Haksabanovic just before the hour. 

18th May 2022; St Mirren Park, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland; Scottish Premier League football, St Mirren v Celtic; David Turnbull of Celtic on the ball

Liel Abada – 5/10

The young Israeli was kept quiet by Scott Tanser and was unable to disclose any of his pace or vivacity on the right-hand side. One wonders, though, what could’ve happened had Abada’s overhead kick in first-half stoppage time found the net. 

Daizen Maeda – 6/10

Daizen Maeda failed to really threaten the St. Mirren backline in the 45 minutes he played. Nonetheless, the Japanese showed flashes of his mercurial pace and contributed defensively at points. 

Kyogo – 5/10

The 27-year-old was starved of any real service in the attack. Nonetheless, Kyogo failed to get himself involved in the game and had the least amount of touches of any player to play the full 90 this afternoon in one of his most muted displays of the season thus far. 

18th May 2022; St Mirren Park, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland; Scottish Premier League football, St Mirren v Celtic; Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic has a shot on goal blocked by Declan Gallagher of St Mirren

Substitutes 

It was almost inevitable Ange Postecoglou was going to make some alterations at half time, and that’s exactly what the Australian did. 

Reo Hatate came on for Aaron Mooy and looked lively in midfield, willing to play some forward passes. 

At the same juncture, Jota replaced Daizen Maeda. As well as Hatate, the Portuguese was spirited in his play, although failed to make a significant difference, something he could’ve done had he played from the beginning; however that’s on the manager. 

Then just before the hour mark, Giorgos Giakoumakis was introduced along with Sead Haksabanovic. 

18th May 2022; St Mirren Park, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland; Scottish Premier League football, St Mirren v Celtic; Sead Haksabanovic of Celtic on the ball

The Greek striker didn’t seem to get any notable sightings of goal, whereas Haksabanovic caught the eye for his desire to get balls into the box and run at defenders. The wide-man, however, did seem to let his frustration get the better of him as the match went on. 

18th May 2022; St Mirren Park, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland; Scottish Premier League football, St Mirren v Celtic; Giorgos Giakoumakis of Celtic

The final Hoops change of the afternoon saw Matt O’Riley come on in midfield yet the Dane didn’t have any substantial time to affect the match in any manner. 

Today’s Celtic loss is certainly a wake-up call and a reminder that not everything this season is going to be a canter for the champions. 

Nonetheless, it is fair to say the international break is coming just at the right time for Ange Postecoglou and his players. 

It gives them a few weeks to reset, recharge their batteries and be ready to go again for the visit of Motherwell to Parkhead in 13 days’ time. 

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