Celtic 0-2 RB Leipzig: “I’m hurting, we’re all hurting right now,” Taylor rues missed chances

Greg Taylor admitted that even he got in on the act of Celtic players missing great chances to score in the Champions League after his follow up effort after Matt O’Riley had hit the post came off the bar, meaning that in this campaign Celtic had now hit both posts and the bar at the Lisbon lions end of Celtic Park, quite remarkable really. Fine margins and all that.

“I probably could’ve caught it a bit cleaner, but it came off the bar and then it doesn’t fall for us. But that’s what this level is, we’re a bit deflated to be fair,” the Scotland left-back admitted in the media room after the match as reported in Daily Record.

“I thought we were looking good at that spell and again for periods right throughout the game. Maybe they started the night stronger and finished a bit stronger, but certainly that middle chunk we were right in that game, which is the sickening part,” Taylor admitted.

Celtic though gave RB Leipzig early encouragement by missing a glorious opportunity in the opening seconds of a match which on another day Celtic could have won. Since the free-flowing victory over theRangers at the start of last month Celtic have stuggled in front of goal and not just at Champions League level. A 2-0 defeat at St Mirren, hanging on against Motherwell, with Callum McGregor having to take a red card for the team in the closing moments to secure the points and relying on an own goal and a 95th minute get out of jail strike from Giakoumakis at Perth on the weekend all point to a team making but not taking their chances.

And at Champions League level that is fatal, as Greg taylor noted last night. “It’s just the elite level, I’ve said it before, we need to be that bit more ruthless at both ends and we’re not quite there yet. We have played well within the game. Everyone in the stadium can see that.

“There’s a team playing our football, we’re not deviating away from that at all. Every boy out there, the subs who came on, gave their absolute all for this club.

“That’s one thing I definitely want to say, the work the boys are putting in – defence, the whole group – is tremendous. We’re desperate for success, we wanted to show that we belong at this level. We really do.

“The fans who come with us home and away, we want to give them a night that they go home thinking ‘That was a right good Celtic team and a strong performance.’ But we’re just not there yet.”

The tough scehdule of fixtures meant another injury last night with Liel Abada not making it to the interval. Both Callum McGregor, Jota and Carl Starfelt presumably would have all been in the side had they been fit. “That’s why we have a strong squad. You see Matty coming, plays the six, and he’s outstanding,” Taylor noted.

 Amadou Haidara chases Matt O’Riley during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Celtic FC and RB Leipzig, at the Celtic Park , on October 11, 2022. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

He added: “The boys up front Daizen creates a few massive chances and works his absolute heart out to the last minute. But that’s part of football. There are going to be injuries, but we don’t look for excuses. It’s not something we do. We just try and improve.”

Celtic may be out of the Champions League but a win against Shakhtar Donetsk and a draw in the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium at the start of next month might see us go through to the knock-out rounds, if RB Leipzig can get their own personal revenge on the Ukrainians who won 4-1 in Germany, a freakish result that turned out to do Celtic no favours.

 (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

“Two games to go and it’s going to be difficult. Of course it is. We need to beat Shakhtar first of all and then see where we’re at come the last game.

“It’s easy for me to say we’re not far away from the first win because we’ve not done it yet. I’m hurting, we’re all hurting right now but all we can do is keep going and try to improve.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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