Celtic lost their third match of the season against Livingston on Sunday as they failed to win their third consecutive away match in the Scottish Premiership. Celtic have not exactly had a great start to the season. They ended up losing 1-0 away at Livingston and it was the opposition’s first league win of the season. On the other hand, Postecoglou’s side have managed to pick up only 9 points from their first 6 league games, which has left them sitting in sixth.
No team has scored more goals than Celtic in the season so far. They have scored 16 goals till now while the second-highest scoring team is Hibernian with 12. But on the other hand, no team has conceded fewer goals either. While the defence has been a problem for them in some of the matches, they have conceded only 4 goals till now, the same as Dundee United and St Johnstone. As a result, their goal difference is at least twice as good as any other team.
Celtic dominated the game throughout with the opportunities they created. David Turnbull attempted five shots on goal and had three of those shots on target. The xT timeline indicates the number of times the Celtic players created a threat for the Livingston defence but they failed to convert any of the chances they created.
The shot map shows us that Celtic attempted more shots on goal from positions outside the box. Celtic failed to keep their shots on target fired most of the shots they attempted from inside the box off target. The five shots that they managed were saved by the opposition keeper. Most of these shots were comfortable saves and did not cause him much trouble. Celtic need to be more effective in front of goal and need their players to be more clinical in order to convert the opportunities they create.
Celtic appeared to be desperate to score a goal in the second half of the game as they continued to dominate possession of the ball. They flooded the penalty area with crosses from both flanks but none of the players inside the box were able to get the all-important touch to find the breakthrough. Liel Abada and Joao Filipe attempted nine crosses each but none of their crosses found the desired outcome. Celtic lacked the creative spark from their midfielders as well as wide players to find the right pass in the penalty area.
Celtic were defensively stable for most of the match but there were lapses in concentration of the defenders when they were not aware of the attack that was coming in from the Livingston players. They conceded the goal in the first half in a similar way when a quick Livingston cross was not dealt with by their defenders and Shinnie took the perfect first touch to lash home their winner for the game.
Celtic have not been terrible defensively in the season as they have only conceded four goals in the six matches they have played, but they have lost each time they have conceded a goal. Celtic have not been able to respond when the opposition scores the first goal and have lost all their games in similar fashion. There have been two types of performances by Celtic this season, one is the team that scored 12 goals in two league matches at home while the other side looks helpless in the final third and are unable to break the deadlock.
Celtic’s next game is against Raith Rovers in the Scottish League Cup. The Hoops will not only be looking to get a win but also rediscover their form and momentum as well.