Celtic v Hearts (Match Stats)
(Kyogo 7 and Giakoumakis 82)
Celtic's best spell for possession was between 35 and 40 minutes when they had 89% possession and the worst was 50 to 55 minutes when Celtic only had 22% possession.
The 15-30 minute period was the best 15 minute period with 75% possession and overall Celtic had 69% possession in the game. The first half was the best half with 71% possession.
Looking across the trends on games against Hearts this game was the lowest for xG in the last three home games at 2.62 although xGA was the lowest in any game versus Hearts in the last five at 0.15. Celtic are just not conceding chances and this measure is continuing to improve.
I mentioned in my match preview (which I do for 20 Minute Tims) that Celtic's Set Play xG was the lowest against Hearts last season at 0.1875 and this game was even lower at only 0.06. However Celtic also reduced Hearts to their lowest and lower than Celtic's at 0.02.
35% of Celtic's attacks came down the centre which was a big jump from 19% in the last game in May although 14% of Celtic's passes came from the wide forwards (Jota, Maeda and Abada) and that is up on the average of 11%. Jota actually had 10 crosses and 48 passes in the match.
Hearts had more xG in the first half (73%) and Celtic had more xG in the second half (61%) which is against the trends last year for both teams. Celtic are creating 55% of their xG in the second half this season which is against the trend for last season where it was 53% in the first half (the most of any team).
Kyogo opened the scoring for Celtic in the 14th minute when Maeda created a 67% scoring chance for him.
Giakoumakis then had three chances late on with 19%, 24% and 24% chances and he managed to convert the last one giving Celtic that much needed two goal cushion just before the end.
Hearts didn't hit the target with any of their four shots and therefore recorded a 0.0 Post xG.
Celtic's best other chances fell to Jota (12%), Maeda (13%), O'Riley (20% and 17%), Kyogo (14%), Hatate (13%) and Jenz (14%).
Greg Taylor had the most key passes with 4.
Celtic had 8 offsides in the game and that was more than any game last season and only the 3rd game over 4 offsides in the last two seasons.
It was 7 versus Dundee United in December last season and 5 versus Hearts at home in May. Last season the average was 1.8 offsides per game.
The first one was Kyogo (8 mins) and he was definitely onside as McGregor attempts the pass.
The second one was also Kyogo (35 mins) and this is inconclusive but he does look onside as you can see his white boot closer to O'Riley than the Hearts player and the ball has already travelled.
Even when the ball has travelled 10 yards Kyogo still looks onside.
The third was Greg Taylor (43 mins) from a free kick and he just looks offside but he shouldn't have been from a free kick.
The fourth was Kyogo (45 mins) as Carter-Vickers passed to Juranovic but the ball passed Juranovic and Kyogo then touched it after coming back from an offside position.
The fifth (photo opposite) was Jota (63 mins) and again this doesn't look offside to me but again very inconclusive and while he looks well onside before Hatate is about to pass by the time Hatate passes you can't see Jota or the defender to ascertain whether or not he was onside or offside.
The sixth was Taylor (66 mins) and here that Hearts defender played the ball of Hatate and it spun forward to Taylor who was in an offside position.
The seventh was Kyogo (68 mins) and again it is inconclusive with Taylor making a long pass to him. It looks onside to me but there is no way of telling with the photo I saw.
The eighth and final offside was Abada (79 mins) and there was no excuse for him. It was very tight but looked to be the right call but Abada should have known better.
Celtic lined up with the same team from the game against Kilmarnock with Hatate coming back into the squad and taking McCarthy's place on the bench.
In my preview I did mention that Hearts conceded a lot more chances than their position would suggest last year but creatively they were good.
Well this match didn't turn out like that (although McKay and Shankland never started) as they didn't create much with only 0.15 xG but they did look very good defensively.
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