I know we had nothing up front, but Odsonne Edouard has looked more of a passenger in some games this season than Patryk Klimala and Moi Elyounoussi this afternoon. The game was lost elsewhere.
Newco’s shape allowed them to dominate space whenever we had possession. They were able to swiftly double up on Jeremie Frimpong and Diego Laxalt when the ball went wide, while they were compact enough in the middle of the field to keep Celtic from penetrating their final third.
Games are won and lost on mistakes and yet again we are talking about the defensive line at set pieces. Connor Goldson’s ploy of standing offsite in the hope that a defender would break the line and play him on, was not subtle, but it was effective. It was an excellent cross from the free kick (which wasn’t a free kick, but no excuses), Duffy was an enabler and Valarie Barkas could have done better. Questions remain for both.
Culpability was less clear at the second goal, which was well worked. With so many Celtic players in the box, you would expect one to get in the way of the drilled cross, but it fell to Goldson; teams who create chances get these breaks. It was a deserved goal (again, no excuses, but the handball!).
The last time we dominated Newco was two years ago in a 1-0 win at Celtic Park when Olivier Ntcham controlled the game and scored the winner. Stephen Gerrard learned from that day as Olivier has not had a sniff against them since.
Being ineffective up front and shaky at the back are worries enough, but the biggest concern is that we were unable to do anything to change the flow of the game. An inability to control the any part of the game is more worrying than poor defending or not attacking. It is more worrying than the result.