(Ramirez 56 and Ferguson 61)
(Jota 16 & 62 and O'Riley 20)
Celtic started off extremely well as usual and had 72% possession in the first half which was a big increase from the 60% first half possession in the previous game at Pittodrie.
However as per some recent games the possession tailed off dramatically in the 2nd half and unlike the Rangers game (where Rangers were almost allowed the possession) this game was more of a case of Celtic losing a bit of control. The 2nd half possession was only 54% and this drop of 18 percentage points was similar to the Rangers game (54% 1st half and 36% 2nd half) and the Hearts game (71% 1st half and 46% 2nd half).
Celtic lined up with;
- Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt and Taylor
- O'Riley, McGregor and Hatate
- Abada, Maeda and Jota
With 2 changes from the Motherwell game and O'Riley and Jota coming in for Rogic and Giakoumakis.
Giakoumakis, Bitton, Forrest and Rogic came on as subs for Maeda, Hatate, O'Riley and Abada.
Ralston had the most touches again at 114 and Jota had an incredible 72 touches for a forward. Only 5 short of McGregor's 77.
Jota's heat map shows how much he was up and down that left wing including tracking back to help out defensively.
40% of our attacks have come down the left side this season (27% central and 33% right) and when Jota was out injured that reduced to 36%. It was 47% on the left versus Hearts for Jota's first game back, 44% versus Rangers and 47% again versus Aberdeen.
Jota scored 2 goals from an xG of 0.85 and for xA Abada was effective again with 0.62, O'Riley contributed again with 0.37 and Ralston had 0.18.
This season 54% of our xG has come in the 1st half and this game was no different with 57% coming in the 1st half.
Celtic's 1.36 xG was the 4th joint lowest of the season with Motherwell away in October and behind the 2 Hearts away games, Livingston away and Motherwell away in October.
Some other interesting observations in the stats;
- 46% of the game was played in the middle 3rd of the pitch which is the 2nd highest of the season after St Johnstone at Home (48%).
- Only 27% of the game was played in Aberdeen's defensive 3rd and that is 2nd worst of the season behind the 26% at Ibrox.
- Celtic had 166 final 3rd passes and that was 55% of the combined game's final 3rd passes which is the lowest % of the season and well behind the average of 68%.
- Celtic only had 3 corners which is the lowest of the season.
- Celtic only had 17 crosses in the match which is the lowest of the season (average is 29).
- Aberdeen had 83 long balls during the game which was the most we have faced this season with the joint 2nd most being 80 and included the previous game against Aberdeen at Pittodrie).
- Celtic only won 31% of their tackles which was 2nd worst of the season and well behind the 62% season average.
When you add in that our xGD was 0.91 and our 4th lowest of the season you can deduct that this game was a very difficult one for the team but one the team showed real character in when again scoring quickly after conceding.
That's Joe Hart (and Carter-Vickers) still not conceded a single goal in the last 20 minutes this season (for league games). This gives the team confidence they can hang on if the opponents are putting the pressure on late in the game.
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