Celtic’s Champions League campaign began on a sombre note, following a defeat to Feyenoord in Rotterdam.
The game seemed poised for a draw at halftime, but a free kick during injury time upended Brendan Rodgers’ plans for the second half.
Celtic faced further challenges past the hour mark when Gustaf Lagerbielke received his second yellow card, resulting in a penalty. Goalkeeper Joe Hart stepped up with a crucial save, keeping the Hoops in contention.
However, the situation deteriorated as Holm was given his marching orders a few minutes later for a high, studs-showing tackle.
Feyenoord then seized the opportunity to increase their lead.
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) September 19, 2023
With Celtic preparing to face Livingston this Saturday, here are five key takeaways from the game:
- The Opening Goal Misstep
- Celtic unexpectedly found themselves trailing at halftime. The free kick that led to the goal was average at best. A misjudgment from Kyogo, who jumped away from the ball, and poor positioning from Joe Hart allowed the ball into the net. It was amateur from the Hoops. Such lapses are costly at the Champions League level.
- Inaccurate Passing
- The Hoops’ passing lacked precision, particularly in the first half. Hatate and Taylor frequently misplaced passes, piling pressure on the team. Sharper passing might have carved out scoring opportunities.
- Questionable Summer Transfers
- Questions linger about the summer transfer activity, especially regarding the positions that urgently needed strengthening. It’s perplexing to see Greg Taylor and Joe Hart still in the starting lineup, considering their underwhelming performances in preseason and subsequent games.
- Missed Opportunity
- Despite their solid setup, Feyenoord appeared vulnerable under pressure and didn’t seem particularly threatening to Celtic. With more assertive play, Celtic might well have secured at least a point from the encounter. You feel if Ange Postecoglou was still manager, Celtic would’ve left with at least a point.
- Silver Linings
- Not all was bleak for Celtic. Matt O’Riley was dominant in midfield, while Liam Scales displayed his usual resilience in defence, even if he often reverted to passing back to Hart. Alistair Johnston’s consistent performance proved invaluable, with his defensive prowess and robust challenges.
Celtic lost the match, but it wasn’t a poor performance from the Hoops. They’ll certainly fancy their chances in the home picture on matchday 6.