CELTIC have a powerhouse in Dedryck Boyata and his absence during the Champions League qualification was apparent. The Scottish side failed to get to the main stages of the competition and many thought it would have been a different story if Boyata had played.
Now they have entered the Europa League, the Belgian is performing at a high level and showcasing why the team desperately needs him. Celtic’s defence looks a lot tighter now he is back playing, keeping seven clean sheets out of their last eight games.
The player had refused to play, trying to force through a move to another club. This comes on the back of a great World Cup campaign, where Boyata played an instrumental part in Belgium’s progress to the latter stages.
These types of performances always attract attention from larger clubs and it looked like he was destined to leave during the summer.
He has grown and matured over the last two years and having played at the World Cup, alongside world class players, it really shows in his technical ability.
He has formed a great defensive partnership with Jack Hendry and Jozo Simunovic, proving pivotal to their success. over the years Celtic have conceded poor goals in the Champions League and Brendon Rogers is hoping his upgraded defence will put a stop to this.
The Celtic boss is not the type of man to park the bus against bigger oppositions, so having a finely tuned defensive unit is key to progressing now that they are in the Europa League.
Last night saw Celtic take on Red Bull Salzburg in Austria. The Scottish side fell short where they lost 3-1 in Group B of the competition, disappointing Brendon Rogers.
This was supposed to be the test he was looking for to showcase his newly tightened defence.
The Austrian champions had gone behind from a Odsonne Édouard goal after two minutes, but things failed to go to plan for Rogers. James Forrest was shown a red card and gave away a penalty to help Salzburg seal the win in the second half.
It was a high paced match with Salzburg pilling on the pressure after going behind. They managed to draw level when Hannes Wolf played a clever ball to Israli Munas Dabbur, who casually shot past Craig Gordon.
Things then got worse for Celetic, as Minamino got his side’s second on the hour mark, just before Forrest fouled Ulmer to give away the penalty. Overall, the Austrian’s played a better game and the win puts them top of their group.
Celtic can only hope for a better display against RB Leipzig in a couple of weeks’ time.