For all Celtic are being criticised for their shoddy work in front of goal, it was Shakhtar Donetsk who missed the most glorious chance of this or any season. They passed up an additional chance that was at least the equal of Kyogo’s effort that went straight to the keeper.
We knew the script Shakhtar would follow in advance: defend deep, seldom venture up field, then break with devastating pace. Mykhaylo Mudryk was almost worth the entry money alone. Josip Juranovic did well to get goal-side of him on 58 minutes but the Ukrainian no. 10 cut inside before unleashing a devastatingly good shot from inside the D. The warning signs were there from a break down the Shakhtar left a few moments earlier.
Most of Celtic’s effective work came from their own left, where Greg Taylor and Sead Haksabanovic caused problems, especially in the first half. Haksabanovic demonstrated his crossing ability when he whipped in a ball on 34 minutes. Leil Abada again showed his predator’s timing by arriving in front of goal. His shot deflected for Giorgos Giakoumakis, who made no mistake from 7 yards.
Kyogo should have put Celtic ahead soon after Shakhtar equalised after Giakoumakis slipped a ball through to him, but last season’s sharpness seems to have slipped for our talisman.
Although Abada was key in Celtic taking the lead, we were not as effective down the right until James Forrest came on, on 65 mins. From that point, Shakhtar were more than happy to defend deep to protect their point and hope for chances on the break.
Matt O’Riley was again very impressive in the deep mid position. He and Reo Hatate both tired with around 20 minutes to go. The delay in bringing David Turnbull on until the 84th minute was odd, David’s energy tidied up what was previously an exhausted central midfield.
Lots of questions for another day as we take stock looking in the European mirror.