Celtic’s Champions League campaign began on a sombre note, following a defeat to Feyenoord in Rotterdam.

Matt O'Riley Celtic
Soccer Football – Champions League – Group E – Feyenoord v Celtic – Feyenoord Stadium, Rotterdam, Netherlands – September 19, 2023
Celtic’s Matt O’Riley in action with Feyenoord’s Quinten Timber REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

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.

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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.

With Celtic preparing to face Livingston this Saturday, here are five key takeaways from the game:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Rodgers is ruining the good work big Ange did . He plays Kyogo but the rest of the team back pass most of the game . Taylor is nowhere near Celtic class let alone Champions league level and he’s not alone. Another embarrassing night in Europe but not to worry we have Ā£74M in the bank. Liewell will get a good bonus this year again. How sad.

  2. Firstly it has to be said that that is the worst referee and var performance I have ever seen. For the penalty the Feyenoord player is pulling Gus’s shorts, the ball is going through to Hart and Gus spreads his arms and the player throughs himself to the deck. It was bad enough it was a pen but to send him off and then for var to uphold it is an absolute joke!

    The ref gave us 2 yellow cards first half then Johnson lifted the ball over a player and was taken out which was a stone wall yellow but got nothing. From that point on it was clear the ref was a homer. Also the ref was responsible for making the game a joke.

    That being said Hart didn’t set the wall up correctly for the first goal. Totally at fault!

    Holm sending off was a studs up which can’t be done any more although he was only on for 9 mins.

    However it has to be said that Gregg Taylor is a waste of a position, I said it before, picking him is like we are playing with 10 men. I watched about 20 cross field balls go to his area and he is nowhere near their player. When Scales gets the ball he is never offering himself for a pass, when he gets the ball he can’t play a pass to a team mate and never helped the defence, played a pass to Palma or done anything to deserve a place in the 25 man squad. The sooner CCV is back and we can play Scales at left back the better. We have also given the young 17 year old left back a new contract. Start bleeding him in now to the first team, he fits the home player rule and after watching Taylor for years, he can’t be any worse than Taylor!

    Rodgers wanted a left back and keeper, well we should have got the quality Croatian keeper and the French left back like I said, but Lawell (the Banker) wants money in the bank. Shows you how much he knows now!

    Lots to be positive about though. We are better in Europe already under Rodgers as apposed to Ange. Better shape, style and technical know how and if it weren’t for the ref for the pen and Holm for his card we may have gotten a point.

    A must though is Taylor has to be binned!!!!

    • Can’t disagree about the ref. There were a list of misdemeanours. He was clearly fulfilling the instructions from his eufa masters as were the VAR and assistants. the ball out of play that Maeda stopped and wouldn’t cheat over? the penalty on Palma 5 mins before a far more minor confrontation that saw Lagerbielke sent off…and I can’t be arsed going over his incompetence/cheating. This is why its years since I have watched any eufa or fifa tournaments and only watch Celtic and League of Ireland games…and Celtic are an addiction with hopeful thinking that some day these custodians will be gone !

  3. Simply not good enough to play football at this level – too many youth “projects” in the team and too few seasoned players of quality. I’m slightly surpised it didn’t end with a cricket score for Feyenoord given that they spend money of decent players while Celtic shop at Mothercare for bargain buys. Ange Postecoglu had Celtic playing really good football last year, always threatening, although extremely unlucky. Rodgers has destroyed that superb team and turned them into a disjointed pub team. Hatate, McGregor and Maeda are shadows of their former selves from just 12 months ago. Lawwell is the spectre at the feast, the man who has returned to destroy Postecoglu’s legacy by hoarding the funds again. And it has to be said that Rodgers has gone along with it. Ange wouldn’t have gone along.

  4. A wee reminder.
    When Ange arrived, we failed to qualify for the CL. More failure in the Europa led to eventually being outclassed home & away v Bodo Glimt in the Conference League, the away leg, Ange bizarrely decided to field a weakened team.
    In the CL last season, we finished 30th out of 32 clubs, couldnt beat a poor Shahktar Donetsk side over 2 games & lost 3-1 twice to a Leipzig side who Sevco knocked out of the Europa just a few months earlier.We lost 8-1 on aggregate to Real Madrid.
    We have been rubbish in Europe, particularly the CL, for years now.
    Having to include 8 Scots in our squad when our Academy is a total failure will make it even harder in future.
    Ange couldnt leave quick enough, yes, he brought us domestic dominence again but he failed dismally in Europe along with all the other Celtic managers of recent years so let’s not pretend otherwise.

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