Opinion: Inexperienced Celtic deserve patience in Europe but cannot afford it in the League

It was a humbling night at Celtic Park tonight as Bayer Leverkusen left with a 4-0 win. The German side were well drilled, took their chances and made few mistakes. The fact that it was a defeat and a defeat by four goals probably doesn’t reflect the chances that Celtic had. Lukáš Hrádecký made some excellent saves and was good value for his clean sheet. Ultimately, silly mistakes cost Celtic but at this level, it is to be expected.

Celtic went into the interval 2-0 down thanks to goals from Hincapié and Wirtz. The first goal was particularly poor with David Turnbull suffering from a horrible mistake in the Celtic box before Bakker cut the ball into the path of the forward, who made no mistake from close range.

The second was a 3v2 after Celtic lost the ball in the Leverkusen half. The fullbacks were caught high and out of position, allowing Leverkusen to cruise into attack and punish us.

The response at the start of the second half was impressive. Celtic attempted to carve an opening. Again, Hrádecký stood firm. Turnbull attempted an impressive pass which was cut out before Leverkusen switched to attack in a flash. Cameron Carter-Vickers was adjudged to have handled the ball, resulting in a penalty to the visitors. Hart was sent the wrong way and Hilario wheeled away in celebration. As fans streamed for the exits, Adil made it 4-0. At this level, mistakes are punished and that is to be expected.

Piero Hincapie of Bayer 04 Leverkusens shot goes in off of Adam Montgomery of Celtic during the Europa League Group G match between Celtic and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Celtic Park, Glasgow Photo by MB Media

This Celtic squad is inexperienced, they deserve the crack of the whip in Europe. However, there can be no quarter for any more slip ups in the League. Three wins, three defeats and one draw puts Celtic in 6th place heading into the weekend. Aberdeen sit one place below but they’ll be up for the game, knowing that they are in a rut themselves.

Ange Postecoglou has spoken about this being a progression and that is to be appreciated. We have witnessed what his teams can offer going forward this season but injuries and transfers have meant that the Australian boss has yet to have a full squad to pick from. Ideally in the coming weeks, he will be able to welcome back Forrest, Jullien, Juranovic and begin to work towards a run of positive results.

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About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

1 Comment

  1. So….if there are any more slip ups the manager goes? To be replaced by Kennedy/ Strachan till the end of the season? You think the board are remotely interested in financing a new manager to a tune of 8 or 9 players? Everybody writes this “ no quarter stuff so they can get away with saying “ I never said I wanted him sacked”. 🤦🏻‍♂️