What Celtic critics said as Chris Sutton and Stan Petroff share similar concerns after defeating Bayer Leverkusen
It takes a lot to get critics to sing the same hymn sheet after a big game.
Hoops progress 2-1 with 82 minutes on the clock like Angie Postecoglou His team sought their first ever win in Germany.
But their defensive flaws came to the fore once again after Leverkusen twice lost them late in a heavy defeat.
Celtic have averaged two goals in a single Europa League match, but have now conceded more goals than any other team in the competition.
And a few scattered Postecoglou submarines – emptying his entire front line Kigo, Guetta and James Forrest – they don’t seem to be helping his side’s cause.
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This is what the critics have said.
“It’s clear to everyone – including the fans and certainly the manager and his staff – but his philosophy will not change.
“Even when he changes his wide players and the attacker, he puts the players in those situations thinking they might do something from an offensive point of view.
“I don’t know if he took them off because they were tired because they were still doing their job defensively so he must have thought they could do something else.
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“But once Celtic made those changes – taking off the wide players – they didn’t feel comfortable.
“Kigo almost pissed off the press at times and they looked a little insecure when and Nir Bitton went off with a head injury is another crucial player outside the squad in this defensive role.
“Maybe James McCarthy found it a little more difficult to get into the game late and when you look and analyze the goals.
“In Leverkusen’s third goal, Florian Wirtz shouldn’t have been allowed almost space and time to get on the ball and pick his passes – he should have been locked out.
“When it’s 2-1 with eight minutes left you have to try to see it. It’s very frustrating.
“Joe Hart saved incredibly and was very good and somewhat defensive.
“Changing the first three really changed things. We talk about Celtic defensively but the defense starts from the front.
“The pressure on three guys up front throughout the game was excellent until they came out.
“Jota was not in the game as much as we usually see in terms of dribbling but his discipline of playing on the defensive side, winning mistakes and carrying the ball on the field.
Mickey Johnston came over and was eager to impress, hook the others up. There was one chance if he had raised his head he could square a cult night.
“Groups were a problem for them throughout the game but they defended relatively well from open play.
“Some of Joe Hart’s saves have been amazing and they will be disappointed because they didn’t go away by at least a point but they were in a good position to win the match.
“Celtic’s biggest issue was the substitutions. James McCarthy was very slow to respond to Leverkusen.
“He wasn’t quick enough on the knockout. I was thinking ‘Can Celtic still hold out?’ with his point at the last game.
But defensively it was found that they wanted to defend themselves in European competition.
“The way it ended was disappointing. Anthony Ralston had some difficulty in the second Leverkusen.
“Celtic was negligent in scoring the first goal. They had an earlier warning when Robert Andrich ran away from Anthony Ralston and got him again.
“It was a good header but it was an easy goal from Celtic’s point of view. They did a good job to come back. They didn’t create much open play and got the chance after a poor challenge from the goalkeeper in Kyogo.
“The second goal was a great finish. Kyogo was smart and Jota was exciting in a Celtic shirt.
“What a finish from Josip Juranović for the penalty. Fantastic. Really neat. They are back in the game without playing well.
“Joe Hart has been fantastic all season. He made a real difference. But not just his saves – look at the way he hits the ball and that’s how they scored the second goal.
“It was the first time Celtic had re-pedaled Bayer Leverkusen. It was a great finish from Jota.