Updated: Mar 3
Europa League Group Stages
Celtic 1 (Griffiths 65)
Sparta Prague 4 (Julic 26, 45 and 76, Krejci 90)
Sparta Prague's first was from a corner where McGregor was out jumped then when the ball hit the post Julic reacted quicker than Brown. For their second it was a counter attack with Bitton not able to close down his man as he entered the box and then crossed but a Brown headed clearance only went to Sparta Prague. A weak McGregor tackle in the box was unsuccessful and Julic then shot past Bain but the ball wasn't in the corner of the goal and could have been saved by a better keeper.
For Sparta Prague's third it was another counter attack that left Celtic 2 at the back and Duffy was well beaten before a cross into Julic was put away. Julic was being marked by Bitton but Bitton had to go to the ball to try and stop the cross. Christie had done well to track back 80 yards (running past Rogic) but just couldn't get to Julic in time.
For their fourth Rogic isn't marking his man and that allows a pass through to the big space on the right wing that Bitton has left exposed then that same player runs past Christie to receive the ball back again and cross into the box. Elhamed is dragged closer to try and cut out the cross but was unsuccessful and this left his man free in the box which then Frimpong was attracted to and when the cross comes in Frimpong's man is left free to head into the net. Duffy is marking no-one at this time. Awful defending all round.
For Celtic's goal Griffiths played short in Rogic and followed up on Rogic's shot which rebounded straight to Griffiths to chip in.
Celtic had an xG of 1.73 while Sparta Prague had an xG of 2.57.
Celtic had 10 shots with 4 being on target. Possession was 58% with 723 touches. Celtic had 4 corners and touches in the box were 23. Total Passes were 504 with a Passing accuracy of 81%. Celtic had 19 crosses. Possession in the final third was 31% and Celtic passes in the final third were 168. (Touches, total passes, final third possession and passes in the final third were better than Celtic's performance away to Aberdeen).
Christie was Celtic's most rated player due to the stats and 1 shot, had 77 touches, 81% passing accuracy from 43 passes, 1 key pass, 1 touch in the box, 4 successful dribbles out of 4 attempted, 3 aerials won from 5 attempted, 2 tackles won from 4 attempted,, 3 interceptions and 5 recoveries.
Ajer, Jullien and Forrest were still injured. (Edouard, Rogic and Bitton come in). Celtic had an unchanged team for only second time so far this season.
Celtic lined up with;
- Frimpong, Duffy, Bitton, Laxalt
- Brown and McGregor
- Christie, Rogic and Elyounoussi
Griffiths, Ajeti, Elhamed and Ntcham all came on as subs. This was Ajeti's 6th game in a row after coming back from injury. Ntcham came on to maintain his ever present record for all matches this season.
Key notes - Celtic had more touches, total passes, possession in the final third and passes in the final third were more than the away game to Aberdeen.