3 takeaways from Celtic’s Champions League defeat in Rotterdam

Celtic got their Champions League group stage campaign under way with a defeat in Rotterdam against Feyenoord in what was a chaotic contest.

Despite coming out of the game with zero points and two red cards, there was still plenty of positives to take from the game as Celtic provided an encouraging first-half performance with Brendan Rodgers having his side well organised and ready to compete against last season’s Eredivisie champions.

There were definitely some things Celtic could have done better as well, but here are A Celtic State of Mind’s 3 takeaways from last night’s frustrating defeat at the hands of Feyenoord:

Inexperience stood out

The aforementioned pair of red cards can be attributed to a lack of experience from the offenders. Both players were making their maiden Champions League appearances and it was incredibly clear to see.

Gustaf Lagerbielke, already on a booking, had the easy option of just shepherding the ball back to onrushing goalkeeper Joe Hart, as highlighted post-match by the manager, but instead he bundled over the opponent and gave away a cheap penalty, which Hart made a brilliant save to keep out.

Just minutes after coming on, Odin Holm put in a clumsy but dangerous tackle which was rightfully deemed to be a red card.

Both players are inexperienced at this level and cost the team dearly with some rash decision-making, but it must be used as a learning curve rather than a stick to beat them with.

Key players didn’t step up

Whilst some will point fingers at some of the usual scapegoats in the Celtic squad, many of the club’s most important players didn’t have their greatest games.

Japanese pair Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate being at the top of their game last night would have been vital to any chance of success in Rotterdam, but both were off the boil.

Kyogo just wasn’t involved in the game enough, being starved of service but also failing to create goal scoring opportunities for himself over the course of the contest. The 28-year-old will have to step up his game in the Champions League very soon, however, with breaking his scoring duck in the competition being a perfect starting point.

Hatate didn’t look himself either, giving away possession on numerous occasions and clearly lacking in match sharpness as he was substituted from the field just before the hour mark.

With more game time, Hatate should hopefully be back to his best for the visit of Lazio to Parkhead in the next Champions League group stage fixture.


Liam Scales has secured his place

Many fans needed to see a top performance against a team of the calibre of Feyenoord to fully trust Liam Scales as a starting centre-back for Celtic. A decent display in Rotterdam has resulted in many supporters fully buying into the resurgence of the Irishman’s Celtic career in recent weeks.

Just like at Ibrox, he didn’t shy away from the occasion, showcasing a warrior-like mentality, especially when the team went down to nine men. He won his aerial duels well and is doing his best to make that position his own before the return of Celtic’s long list of currently injured centre-backs.


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