No excuses, Celtic were poor and deserved nothing more than they got at Kilmarnock yesterday. Too often a new central defensive partnership looked for a forward pass and were faced with statuesque targets. Kilmarnock went man-to-man and were mostly able to keep the contest in the middle of the park until very late in the game.
Kyogo, as ever, was the exception, continually moving, dropping deep to offer an outlet despite invariably being fouled. Daizen Maeda has sufficient energy to get up and down the field all day, but we saw little of this. He and Liel Abada were often uninvolved onlookers, waiting for the ball to work through central midfield. We are left pondering if this was the plan.
One promising interchange between Matt O’Riley and Odin Holm, almost set up Kyogo, offered a glimpse of what was meant to be, if it had been replicated a few more times, the result would have been different. As we have discussed before, our midfield is young and nimble, sometimes heft and experience is required.
Yang (64 mins) and Sead Haksabanovic (75 mins) significantly picked up Celtic’s pace when they came on, credit to Kilmarnock, however, they had a lead to defend and were intent on doing so.
The goal was scored when Celtic were temporarily reduced to 10 men, Greg Taylor was off being treated for a cut, sustained when he was elbowed on the head. The referee and VAR apparently missed the incident, a clear swing of the elbow. Officials also missed a late trip on Sead Haksabanovic inside the box. It was a penalty in any other coloured shirt, but it wasn’t something our general play deserved.
Early in his first tenure Brendan Rodgers suffered defeat to Lincoln Red Imps, a setup which cost him nothing. This one will sting a tad longer and asks just as many questions.