Celtic Lost 2-0 to Feyenoord in the Champions League on Tuesday Night
Posted by atmatem3 on September 22nd, 2023
Celtic may still have trouble winning away in Champions League away games, but their performance against Feyenoord in Rotterdam could give fans hope ahead of next Tuesday's return leg in Malmo.
Rodgers' side looked in control against Dutch champions even without key defenders such as Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki and Nat Phillips who were all absent.
Fraser Forster has seen his share of challenges in the Champions League competition and now knows first-hand. Even top goalkeepers such as Tim Krul or Brad Guzan may come unstuck. Fraser Forster now knows this firsthand.
At Feyenoord, Forster made an error which lead to Feyenoord's first goal and also missed opportunities and was responsible for another goal which ensued later.
Celtic have settled for a 2-0 lead, which may suffice on Tuesday evening; however, their defense was often inadequate as they attempted to reach for balls they couldn't reach and were dispossessed inside their own half on numerous occasions.
Though Forster may have reached his limit too soon, it seems he has reached a point where it would be wiser for Parkhead Club to look elsewhere for their goalkeeper needs this summer - Benoit Gigandet and Switzerland international Benjamin Kevin Siegrist have both been identified as potential replacements.
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Celtic Park have struggled against top seeds in recent seasons in terms of defending in the Champions League. A 2-0 loss against Feyenoord Rotterdam did not bode well and there were moments of confusion that will concern Rodgers.
Celtic's central defenders who started against Feyenoord all tend to depend heavily on their right foot for defense - in some cases completely. Kris Ajer, Nir Bitton, Christopher Jullien and stand-ins Stephen Welsh and Hatem Abd Elhamed all favor using only their right feet when it comes to play; only Hatem Abd Elhamed seems capable of contributing with both feet at times.
Gustaf Lagerbielke from Elfsborg will bring an alternative perspective and left-footedness that could prove crucial in strengthening Celtic's defensive options and pass angles when building attacks from the back. After impressing in pre-season, he will sign a long-term deal at Celtic.
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Celtic showed good control against Juventus despite missing key players (Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki, Nat Phillips and Carl Starfelt). Two defensive errors caused by players jumping for balls they couldn't reach resulted in goals which effectively altered the course of this matchup.
As Celtic prepare to face Malmo in the second leg of their Champions League playoff, those errors could prove costly. If Celtic defenders can avoid making those same errors next week, an away victory in Sweden should be within reach.
McGeady was beloved among his fellow Celtic supporters for many reasons, not least of all his immense talent on the pitch. Although there were occasional flaws in his game, you would still pay to watch him as his ability to see passes other players could not made him an instant crowd pleaser and his four league titles a record among club records were an extraordinary testament to this fact.
On Tuesday night, Celtic's inexperience in the Champions League proved costly as they failed to create any clear chances in front of goal and fell behind after Lee Casciaro scored at De Kuip for Lincoln Red Imps.
Experience was also key in two costly mistakes made by the Scottish champions; Gustaf Lagerbielke and Odin Thiago Holm received red cards for reckless tackles that should have been avoided.
Mats Wieffer had just scored on an attempted pass from Mats Wieffer when an accidental lunge from this player, made by one of their team mates, caught Mats Wieffer high up his shin and caused significant injury to him - this reckless challenge ultimately decided the outcome of the game.
Rodgers faces an acute defensive crisis ahead of next week's trip to Lazio due to the absence of Lagerbielke and Holm, with Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki, Nat Phillips all being injured while Carl Starfelt's departure also sapping experience from their defence. Liam Scales may need to partner the inexperienced Tomoki Iwata against one of Serie A's leaders - something Carl Starfelt could do effectively had he been around
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