It must be a matter of some mystery to the rest of Europe how a club which has such a tremendous fans who produce an atmosphere of the kind that is hard to parallel in world football, can nevertheless always be relied upon to fail so dismally in Europe.
This was a totally sub-standard performance with so many players performing way below what they can do.
Once again in Europe, it was the basics that were lacking, particularly misplaced passes even from Scott Brown who had one of his worst ever games for Celtic, and how it hurts to have to criticise the much loved “Broonie”! But “Broonie” was not the only one, and the second half in particular was a very frustrating experience as Valencia simply kept control, and Celtic never really looked like getting a goal with Oliver Burke, Callum McGregor, Scott Sinclair and Ryan Christie all well below what we know they are capable of.
The two central defenders, if we ignore their part in the second goal, just about deserve pass marks, but poor Emilio looked out of his depth with frequent errors.
The Romanian referee tended to give every decision against Celtic, and the first goal might well have been flagged for offside, but blaming a referee is always a poor excuse, and the real fault lies once again with this massive inferiority complex that Celtic have about Europe.
Valencia are way above St Johnstone and Hibs as opponents, but it is surely up to Celtic to raise their game and at least to put up a respectable performance. Last night’s performance was, frankly, a severe disappointment to all the fans, and I hope that the players realise this!
Once more, we must pay tribute to the Green Brigade for their sustained enthusiasm throughout the 90 minutes, even when very little was happening on the field to encourage them. A support like that deserves an awful lot more than that.
The Europa League, unless something remarkable happens, is now gone. All we can hope for is a game that does not embarrass the club, and something for our travelling support to get happy about.
Of far more importance is Kilmarnock on Sunday. It will be a severe test for Brendan Rodgers and the squad. Can we bounce back? It is a key point of the season.
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