Celtic’s defence leaks goals left, right and centre in Europe. It has done for as long as I can remember and I can’t see it changing anytime soon.
Last night in Leipzig, Celtic competed comfortably for the first half hour of the game. And then Leipzig scored and the Hoops fell to pieces.
The worst thing is, teams don’t have to work hard to open up this Celtic side. Leipzig’s first goal was a hopeful cross into the box which evaded two Celtic defenders.
Eboue Kouassi and Dedryck Boyata made pathetic attempts to clear before Craig Gordon was beaten from point blank range. Like in Salzburg last time, Celtic capitulated and conceded a second shortly after.
Cristian Gamboa was left for dead before the ball finally broke to the Leipzig attacker, who had the freedom of the city to pick his spot and beat Craig Gordon.
“I’ve seen this movie before”
Celtic showed for large spells last night that they can compete and make life difficult for teams on the road away from home.
The quality may be lacking at times but Celtic’s problems appear to be much more psychological. There’s a mental weakness throughout the team.
It’s a common theme for Celtic’s defence under Brendan Rodgers, conceding goals quickly one after another in Europe. PSG scored three in five minutes during the torturous 7-1 drubbing last year in the Champions League.
In this year’s Europa League, four of the five goals Celtic have conceded have come in just 11 minutes of football. That doesn’t happen to a team that has a strong mentality playing away from home.
Celtic have to win their home games and then go beat Rosenborg in Norway to have any chance of qualifying for the next stage.
However, even if we were to qualify, it may just be leading us to another inevitable doing away from home in Europe. If Celtic are to be taken seriously again as a European force, their mentality must change.
They must develop a resiliency where they can suffer a setback and then conjure up a fightback and get themselves back into the game.
If nothing changes, we’ll be stuck watching the same movie on repeat time after time again. When will we finally learn?