Match Stats (AZ Alkmaar v Celtic)
AZ Alkmaar 2
(Aboukhlal 6, Starfelt 26 OG)
AZ Alkmaar unsurprisingly brought back the talented Karlsson from suspension but it is Gudmundsson who made way for him with new signing Pavlidis keeping his place.
The only other change was new signing (from Djurgarden in Sweden) and full back Witry coming in to play left back.
Bruno Martins Indi was their most prominent player on the ball with 52 accurate passes (91%).
The introduction of Karlsson and Witry shifted AZ's play more to the left with Witry and Indi having more passes than Letschert and Sugawara. Letschert and Sugawara had the most passes in the first leg.
Celtic had one change from the first leg with Christie coming in for the injured Rogic.
Welsh had the most accurate passes for Celtic at 39 (89%) which was a lot less than the 70 he had in the first leg.
Taylor was replaced by Montgomery on 24 minutes and Montgomery had 29 accurate passes.
Edouard and Soro had 6 and 2 passes when they came on as subs.
Celtic's xG of 1.03 was the 2nd lowest of the season so far (behind Midtjylland away which was 0.24). AZ's xG of 2.05 was the highest xG Celtic have conceded this season.
Kyogo contributed to more than half of Celtic's xG with 0.55. Ralston had 0.17 and Christie had 0.10. Abada had xA of 0.55 and Turnbull had 0.23 (and 6 key passes).
Celtic's top rated players were Kyogo 7.35, Montgomery 7.29, Abada 7.15 and Welsh 7.04 although my own personal MotM was Welsh who was very commanding in the air and had great movement covering all across the back line.
The lowest rated players were Starfelt 5.48, McGregor 5.72 and Hart 5.82.
Ralston had the most touches of any Celtic player at 68 with Hart next at 67.
Our probabilities of winning the game prior to kick off was 30% and it was 76.6% chance of winning the tie. That dropped to 64.5% at half time so although it was nervy we were still favourites to qualify.
Overall possession was 53% for AZ which was just slightly more than the 52% in the first leg. AZ had 14 shots with 4 being on target and 10 inside the box while Celtic had 11 shots with 2 on target and 7 inside the box.
Post Shot xG was 0.86 v 0.85 so again AZ's finishing letting them down just like the first leg.
AZ had 341 accurate passes and Celtic had 307 and the accuracy was 74% for AZ and 75% for Celtic.
Celtic had 62 long balls which was the 2nd highest of the season (after Midtjylland away) but not as many as AZ who had 92. AZ had a 51% success rate with their long balls and Celtic had 35%.
A reminder of the dates for the Europa League Group Stages games;
September 16th and 30th
November 4th and 25th
AZ Alkmaar are a very good team and it's great to see that (even though we carried a bit of luck) Ange has got the team to a decent level so far and I can't wait to see the team once we continue to develop.
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