3 big talking points from Celtic’s “humbling” defeat in Madrid

Celtic stumbled their way through a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano last night.

It is becoming an all-too-familiar story when it comes to Celtic in Europe, particularly when visiting the giants of European football, which inevitably results in Celtic being routinely dismantled.

Callum McGregor described the performance post-match as “humbling” and “embarrassing” as the team looked a far cry from the side that took the fight to the Spaniards at Parkhead just two weeks ago.

There was a lot to take from last night’s performance, mostly negative, and here are A Celtic State of Mind’s three takeaways from a disappointing night in Madrid:

Costly errors again

Costly errors are an apparent constant when it comes to Celtic in Europe. They have played their part in every Champions League game so far this season, with two red cards costing the team in Rotterdam, a slack moment from Cameron Carter-Vickers leading to Lazio’s winner, and Greg Taylor being caught out at home to Atletico Madrid which led to the visitors getting a penalty.

It was no different last night as an early red card for Daizen Maeda meant it was a monumental task to try and take anything from the game. The rest of the team didn’t help themselves, as avoidable mistakes allowed Atleti to keep the pressure on Celtic for almost the entirety of the game.

Poor start to the game

If Celtic were to take anything from the game, they had to start on the front foot. That was one of the keys to Celtic’s success the last time out as they took a draw from the home fixture against Atleti. First, it was Kyogo Furuhashi who put Celtic ahead after just four minutes, and the Hoops went on to go back in front just three minutes after Antoine Griezmann’s equaliser, with Luis Palma firing Celtic back ahead.

It was the complete opposite last night as Celtic were faced by wave after wave of attack, even with 11 men on the park, conceding the opening goal with six minutes on the clock after a combination of errors from Joe Hart, Alistair Johnston and Callum McGregor.

The game was perhaps still up for grabs but Celtic weren’t offering supporters much hope, and the red card to Daizen Maeda capped off a terrible start to the game and effectively killed off any chances of a Celtic fightback on the night, with the team instantly entering damage limitation mode.


Completely overwhelmed

It would have been hard to go toe-to-toe with Atletico Madrid, even with 11 men on the park, but Celtic really didn’t help their case at all with the midfield as well as the full-backs being consistently bypassed with relative ease over the course of the 90 minutes.

Nahuel Molina and Rodrigo Riquelme got lots of joy out of the wide areas as they breezed past Greg Taylor and Alistair Johnston without much of a fuss, and the midfield couldn’t seem to keep a hold of the ball for any more than 10 seconds, leading to periods of sustained pressure for Atleti that completely turned the tide in the favour of the Spaniards for the majority of the game as well as limiting any potential chances for Brendan Rodgers’ side.


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