St Johnstone v Celtic (Match Stats)
St Johnstone 1
(Considine 42 OG and Giakoumakis 90+5)
St Johnstone only had 0.1 xG until the 85th minute and even then they still only ended up with 0.43. In a game of small margins that was enough to get them the one goal (in injury time) that looked like being enough to grab them a share of the spoils.
Celtic's 1.66 xG was their second lowest of the season (behind the St Mirren game) and left them requiring an late goal to secure the points. Scoring with 20 seconds to go in the 5th minute of injury time.
From 10 minutes to 60 minutes Celtic had only 0.1 xG and this is a worrying statistic for the team. Is it due to the amount of team changes? Is it due to the hangover that is still there from the St Mirren defeat? Or is the team just struggling to find their form overall?
31% of the play was in St Johnstone's defensive third and that is well below this season's average (36%) and is the second lowest this season. (Kilmarnock away at 30% was lower). Also 19% of attacks were through the middle.
Celtic lined up with 6 personnel changes and 2 positional changes. Positional changes seeing Welsh move to left centre back and O'Riley drop back from the No.10 role.
Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Welsh and Bernabei
O'Riley and Hatate
Abada, Giakoumakis and Jota
With Jenz and Taylor joining McGregor out of the squad altogether.
The bench had two goalkeepers on it which was very unusual for a league game.
Maeda, Abilgaard, Forrest, Mooy and McCarthy came on for Jota, O'Riley, Abada, Hatate and Haksabanovic.
Giakoumakis didn't have a great game with only 9 passes the whole match and only 4 of them were successful and won only 57% of his ground duels and 20% of his aerial duels. However he was there to do what he does best with 15 seconds to go and score a goal from one of only his two shots at goal. Putting away an 0.47 expected goal chance with a Post Shot xG of 0.92.
Bernabei getting the assist and the most xA of any player in the match. Bernabei was quite involved with 84 passes and Greg Taylor's average this season is 67 and only twice this season has Taylor had more than 84.
Abada had the most xG in the match at 1 from 3 shots but could only achieve a Post Shot xG of 0.39 and didn't score.
O'Riley was deployed in a more deeper midfield role which was a big surprise to me. I'm not saying I didn't ever think he could be played in that role but with Abilgaard needing game time and in my opinion an important player for Tuesday I was really surprised to see Abilgaard not start. This has made me think again whether or not Abilgaard will be starting on Tuesday.
Haksabanovic was deployed in O'Riley's normal No.10 role and I thought he was really good. He was moving wide (both left and right) to create space and taking people on. He had 43 accurate passes at a 91% accuracy rate and you can compare that to O'Riley's 15 (at 75%) against Motherwell last week. I think this role is a good utilisation of his skill set and had 0.26 xA, 7 recoveries and won 6 (86%) ground duels and 1 (100%) aerial duel. Against Motherwell O'Riley had 0.01 xA, 0 recoveries, won 42% ground duels and 67% aerial duels.
Against Motherwell O'Riley had 19% of his 42 touches on the left hand side of the pitch while against St Johnstone Haksabanovic had 34% of his 70 touches on the left.
Also 19% of attacks came through the middle (joint lowest this season) and the seasonal average is 25% so maybe as a result of Haksabanovic's movement wide (either side) to support.
St Johnstone's goal is the first league goal that Hart and Carter-Vickers have conceded in the last 15 minutes for Celtic. A very interesting and impressive stat that has now been sadly broken.
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