Celtic 1 (Elyounoussi 23)
Rangers 1 (Morelos 38)
We lined up with the same team from the previous game which is only the 6th time we have done that this season. We've had 40 different starting 11's from 46 games and no starting 11 has played three times.
- Kenny, Welsh, Ajer and Laxalt
- Christie, Brown and McGregor
- Edouard and Elyounoussi
Forrest, Rogic, Griffiths and Soro came on as subs.
The line up was as I had predicted in my preview while Rangers had a couple of differences to my preview (with Balogun coming in at right back and Hagi playing wide right up front).
I'm not a fan of Elyounoussi and Edouard as a partnership as both are similar and neither is a penalty box goalscorer but they actually linked up well together. This was evident at our goal which was well worked with an excellent run and cross from Edouard and a great headed finish by Elyounoussi.
To be honest I would like to see more of Elyounoussi and Ajeti up front to see if that could be a possibly partnership next year and whether it is worth it to bring back Elyounoussi permanently. Edouard continues to frustrate me with his wrong decisions and lethargic movement (at times). He should have scored from Kenny's cross as he had enough time to position himself for it.
Elyounoussi had 4 shots (all in the box) and Edouard had 3 shots (2 in the box). Elyounoussi had 2 key passes (both in the box) and Edouard had 2 key passes (none in the box).
Ajer had only 57 touches in the match and this is a 30% drop from his previous 11 game average and his lowest of the season so far (league games). Laxalt again was prominent in the game with 91 touches which was the most of any player and his average for the last 4 games is 89.
Brown only had 65 touches and this was down 34% on his previous 3 game average.
Turnbull was disappointing for me also. He lacks pace and dribbling ability so more needs to be expected in terms of chance creation and goals, especially when playing in the No.10 position. He did have another 5 key passes and his key pass stats for the season are good but only 1 of those 5 were from open play. I'd expect more goals from him as well.
I would give my man of the match award to Elyounoussi.
Although the performance was an improvement there was no evident energy and enthusiasm that should be expected from a team who have lost their title and now only have the honour of upsetting an unbeaten league campaign as an objective.
Some Rangers fan media were saying before the game that they are susceptible to conceding goals from crosses which is something I hadn't picked up on before so it was interesting to see that we did indeed score from a cross ball.
Our performance in this game was better than the previous two games in my opinion however I just didn't feel the energy and passion ... and didn't see a disappointment in failing to beat Rangers again. We are almost just happy that we scored against Rangers and didn't get beat again.
The good points though were that we had 16 shots at goal, 8 on target, 11 shots in the box, 730 touches, 460 accurate passes, 85% passing accuracy, 10 corners and 214 final 3rd passes which were all the most of any game against Rangers this year. Previous bests (by either Celtic or Rangers) this year were 13, 5, 7, 674, 376, 78%, 6 and 166.
Rangers had 23 clearances which was the most and 36% of the game was played in Rangers final 3rd (the most in these 3 games). Our passing was also a bit sharper at 1.35 touches per pass with the previous best in these games 1.40.
Our 1.4 NP xG was also the most of any team this season in our games against Rangers.
So some pleasing stats but they do not take into consideration the energy just wasn't what I'd expect and it has to be considered that Rangers were just playing not to be defeated. An objective which they achieved.
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