Points and £1.5m left on the table


It was a strange game.  Celtic were so far ahead in the opening 20 minutes it was hard to comprehend how Shakhtar Donetsk managed to win so impressively in Leipzig last week.  Our ‘hosts’ soon edged their way into proceedings, scored, and for the remainder of the first half, made Celtic look second best.

At halftime I suspect both teams would have settled for a point.  The second half was significantly less open than the first.  Shakhtar seldom threw men forward and Celtic cut down opportunities for a counterattack.

Had Shakhtar won, our chances of progressing in the competition would have been effectively wiped out.  A draw means we remain very much in control of our own destiny.  The disappointing aspect is, that a win, which should have been achieved, would have almost certainly guaranteed European football of one type after Christmas.

There is also the dirty little subject.  A win was worth £1.5m more than the draw; our potential income pot shrank a little in the Warsaw air.

It is remarkable how Greg Taylor has grown this season.  Repeatedly last night he dragged his body up and down the field, often accepting possession in tight spaces, before mining a way out.  The courage he showed in possession is enormously encouraging.

Sead Haksabanovic was thrown in for his first start; a brave decision by Ange Postecoglou.  The manager will feel justified as Sead played an important part in Celtic’s goal.  Still, Celtic steadied when Daizen Maeda replaced Sead at halftime.  He mitigated the risk from Shakhtar’s left flank; had he started, with Haksabanovic making a late cameo, Shakhtar would have found it more difficult to exploit the space they scored from.

Celtic improved again when Liel Abada replaced the exhausted Jota near the end.  Perhaps bringing Abada on 10 minutes earlier would have made a difference.

Shakhtar’s goal was a consequence of the gameplan, not just a misjudgement in midfield.  Callum McGregor tried to nick an opposition pass 40 yards from goal and missed.  He was out of position and the orange and black shirts snapped up a gear.  Celtic’s play is all about trying to nick a pass in midfield.  It works domestically, (remarkably) worked for a period against Real Madrid and was very effective during the opening 20 minutes last night.

This plan is also energy sapping.  At 25 minutes, the tank needed filled and we suffered until the break.  We need to manage our tempo more carefully.

Later, there was concern until Real opened the scoring on the 80th minute in Madrid.  That win may be just as important as Celtic’s point, come the end of the group.

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  1. Coneybhoy- you’re not alone, keep talking to friends, family, and the good Bhoys on here,all tthe best.HH

  2. ERNIE LYNCH on 15TH SEPTEMBER 2022 8:07 AM



    Maybe for the players Angeball is too much like a high wire act without a safety net, and without the cushion of an early goal their nerves get fraught and that’s why they lose their composure in front of goal.





    Reasonable argument, apart from the fact that we got an early goal I suppose.




  3. IMO we have lacked a wee bit of composure, when we have a final pass,or attempts at goal,hopefully it will come.

  4. Would have taken a draw before a ball was kicked but oh, the chances to win!



    We’re still in it Leipzig games are soooo important.

  5. The huns will get a pass from UEFA for the singing nonsense, but should get hammered for attacking Napoli players doing their warmdown.

  6. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Well we are definitely getting there. We have a clear identity and coaching and recruitment to fit. The overall play is pretty finely-tuned now. At CL level it’s about being clinical at the key moments. That will come with experience.


    But to be disappointed with an away draw in the Champions League shows how far we have come in such a short time.


    Just goes to show what can be achieved when you get someone with vision and ambition. If only others at the club had the same mindset……

  7. Impressive Butchers Apron Tifo last night,but why was Desperate Dan featured on it. ?


    It’s a mystery

  8. Pingback: Points And £1.5m Left On The Table - Celtic News

  9. Not too sure UEFA will turn a blind eye to their staunchness.They hate being disobeyed.They would have known that this order would not have been popular,but issued it anyway.


    The uproar against the GB was worldwide on the Palestinian display,but still issued a fine.

  10. Paul67,



    Small margins again at both ends. Not sure the spectre of missing money adds anything to the game itself. That will work itself out and not sure it sits at the forefront of any of the coaching team or players minds.



    We’re getting there. Learning about ourselves along the way. I’m intrigued what an emerging Abilgard, improving Mooy, underperforming O’Riley and fitter Hatate does to the midfield mix. Getting Haksabanovic up to fitness before Liepzig is key. They’ve lost 2 of their best players before we go and are fragile in the group. We’ve got to go and exploit that and take our chances.




  11. P67 — GT was given a hard lesson yesterday.


    For the second half most of his football was done facing JH’s goal.



    He has come on in leaps and bounds but last night showed how much more in needed.


    The JJK look is never a good one for our FBs.



    CMcG — he is not a DM / pivot player.


    He really looked lost at times and offered little on field leadership.


    Big decision for AP — he is OK in the EuL but struggles in CL games we need to win.



    Finally money is there to be had.



    RBL — we need one win / one draw at the very least.


    Looking for anything less is a mug’s game as Half Man / Half poultry has proved.



    Finally Coked up zoomers / City Break CSC — the youth of today really need to get a grip.



    Self indulgent attention seekers — who were we watching last night?


    The team or the away support?

  12. Glad to see you posting Coneybhoy, I agree with Ernie,


    Go back to Doctor tell him how you were feeling last night, don’t be fobbed off,


    Take the medication & get help.



    Pieta House are outstanding they have a 24 hour free Help Line, it’s 1800 247247.



    You may not need it this morning but save it to your contacts and don’t hesitate to ring it if you ever again have dark thoughts.

  13. BIG WAVY @ 12:24 PM,



    What I’d like to see is the majority of that 1.5 Million put into the pot for win bonuses.



    If we are going to attract and keep UCL quality players then they need to earn, hopefully our players aren’t going to put chasing footballs £$€¥ as a priority, Matt O’Riley is a great example for young players, if you back yourself and work on your career rather than your bank balance it provides dividends.



    Yet, no doubt we have agents gnawing at these bhoys continually, giving them win bonuses, rather than their agents transfer bonuses is going to benefit us in the long run.



    Hail Hail

  14. I think Ange ideas of how we play in Europe,have been totally vindicated.We are terrific.The players to an extent are letting him down,not putting away enough chances,but their work rate is exceptional.Maybe Big Ollie could be used,as Mooy was when he came on,and we controlled the game again.


    The way we close down teams trying to play out is very good,especially O Rileys position.He just takes up the centre,moving from side to side,cutting of that avenue,while the front 3 press higher.It is tiring though.


    The Shaktar boss was gushing in his praise for the way we played.And not just platitudes.


    Take more of our chances,and we are a unit.

  15. TURKEYBHOY @ 12:44 PM,



    Agreed, the issue with the DM is of course how we set-up, as you say, Ange’s methods have been vindicated, is he going to tamper with that.



    The BBC had us playing a 4-2-3-1 last night, I’m not so sure we did but if we played a DM that’s the route we’d have to go down.



    It will be interesting who is first pick after the World Cup break!?



    Hail Hail

  16. MAD Mitch,



    Fekinn dry up,and get of Calums back.Funny how Ange has him in for every game,even when he can rest him.


    Think most will go with what Ange thinks,and not some trumped up Stand Builder,/ Tactician / Finance wizard / general know fek all poster on a Blog.



  17. Always funny to see the generation of buckfast-lobbing, field-invading, pitch battlers tut tut the modern version of the unruly and the mob within our ranks….



    The Michael Fagan song debuted amongst a section of our support from late 1982.



    Answers to society’s drug problem on a postcard. Blame gets us nowhere. The GB Das will be bemoaning their kids use of something or other in the future.




  18. I said before the game that I would take anything so I am in no position to complain. We could have won but we could have lost as well. That performance was better in terms of tempo and game management and I think if we can keep working on that then we can have European football after Christmas. I am concerned about Juranivic’s defending. I can see teams targeting knocking the ball in behind him. I think he needs to sharpen up. No one would ever consider comparing him to big Tony but I offer the question – is Juranovic a better defender than Ralston? Not convinced.

  19. In my opinion we were the better team and should have won and lifted the points,



    Shots on target remain an issue. Maeda, Jota, OReilly, Turnball, Giakomakis all missed chances in the second half.



    We could do with another striker

  20. Chairboy,



    Not Defensive Mid,as such,more like Mooy last night.The high press we play is intense.Ange says he does not play a DM,so I think he has plans for Ollie and Mooy.A bit higher up.I think,otherwise,why buy him.


    The workings of the great man’s mind are a mystery.All will be revealed.Maybe in Leipzig.



  21. Self indulgent attention seekers — who were we watching last night?










    Mitchy your a parody of yourself now.

  22. Obviously we did everything well last night except converting a second of our many chances.



    Shaktar beat Liepzig 4-1, last night we played them off the Park & they acknowledged just how good we were,



    We have & are making huge steps under Ange, the pride is back, still 4 games to play anything can happen but I for one am not watching European games from behind the couch anymore.

  23. Half man / half poultry @ 12.44



    The mental gymnastics of some trying to explain our poor play against a team that was a step behind in terms of class / talent is entertaining to say the least.



    RH is our class act — we need to support him and get the most out of him.


    MO’R is a huge talent — but he is 9 months out of the EFL backwoods.


    AM is on his greatest hits tour — made a huge difference to our play.



    We need these three on the park at the same time.


    If we make the step up I think wee can then great.


    Plugging away with CMcG looking lost is not the way.

  24. We’ve scored 25 goals and conceded 1 in the best league start in at least 22 years



    We’ve played well in both champions league games but scored once and conceded 4



    Our goal was an OG, we conceded goals from Vinícius Jr, who cost £38m as a 17 year old and is a world superstar, a ballon d’or winner and a £100m forward who was the best player in the EPL. SD turned down 30m for their scorer last night in the Summer



    The contrast, when we’re playing about as well as we can against couldn’t be starker.



    Our forward players will never be CL clinical finishers, they’re too far in they’re careers to make that sort of improvement to something that can’t be coached. Mudryk looked like the sort of killer that Jota, for all his considerable talents won’t be, at least at that level.



    Ange’s coaching and management has raised the level of the team so much that we’re competitive now without having to spend the hundreds of millions GvB talks about. His system is clever and different and effective enough that a team playing at home in the CL settled for a draw at half time. But to really compete we need the sort of players who scored the other goals in the champions league this week.

  25. Markie how,



    Last night he was beaten for pace by a very rapid player,who will go maybe in January for £ 30/40 million.Would Tony have caught him?


    I think Tony gets to the byeline better,and I think JJs crossing can be crap at times.I have noticed for Croatia,he plays much higher up.I like both.Would like Tony to get more game time.

  26. CC @ 1.02



    I take it you fell asleep for the last 20 minutes of the first half?


    All I saw was us offering up our glass jaw time and again to a limited team.



    Losing goals in pairs is not a good look — fine margins.

  27. Really great attacking players turn last nights draw into a win. Unfortunately we’ll need to make do with good ones

  28. Celtic 40Me,



    Yep,even Man City are getting by because of the THOR they have signed.A bargain at £ 70 odd million.

  29. Tiny Trot @ 1.00



    Waiting for your analysis …,


    Just like we are still waiting for your voting record.


    You offer nothing but moon howling and brown-nosing in equal measure.

  30. Turkeybhoy


    Thanks for the reply Mhate, always enjoy hearing your opinion


    Your points are all valid, I just feel that we are so close to getting this bang on that I may be splitting hairs. But I like both players too and wonder whether Ralston could be used in the midfield on the right in certain games. He definitley merits more game time.

  31. As far as I am aware,we did not lose 2 goals last night.Maybe I went to sleep.


    A yard over the line for the cross,and a yard offside.


    Not fine margins.

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