Celtic’s centre-back performances have gone way under the radar over the last several weeks.
More spotlight has been put on the injury crisis, and rightly so. But it’s also important to acknowledge just how well all four centre-backs involved in this six-game clean sheet run have been performing.
Scott Bain hasn’t lost a single goal since coming into the side in 2019. He’s Celtic’s number one in all but official title as the jersey is his to lose, but he has a lot of people to thank for it.
So far, Dedryck Boyata, Jozo Simunovic, Kristoffer Ajer, and Filip Benkovic have all played a part in the centre-back positions since 2019 kicked in. All four have put in commanding performances. With the exception of an Ajer mistake in Perth, the Hoops defence have made no other errors.
Granted, you can point to the fact that many of the sides Celtic have faced recently haven’t come out much. The likes of St Mirren, Hamilton, and Airdrie hardly offered anything over 90 minutes. But, the truth is, the likes of Boyata and co have dealt with everything that came their way.
Last night was probably their stiffest task yet. Boyata was up against Florian Kamberi. Despite the Swiss striker seeing plenty of the ball too, it was all in front of the Belgian.
Bain has a rock-solid defence in front of him
Bain once again wasn’t tested. That’s down to the fact that on the rare chance Hibs got beyond Scott Brown, the likes of Boyata or Simunovic was there to mop up.
It’s the kind of job the entire centre-back crew have been doing so well since new year. Mopping up any dangers and defending the odd cross that comes their way. Mistakes, at the moment, don’t look like occurring at the back for Celtic.
It’s important to recognise good displays when you see them. On Boyata’s return from injury, he looked composed enough and had a no-nonsense nature to his display.
Just like Simunovic alongside him, who’s impressed in his last two matches. Ajer and Benkovic, when called upon, have also made sure Bain hasn’t come close to conceding.
There’s plenty to like about the Celtic defence. They’re mopping up danger and not looking like conceding anytime soon. It’s time we all give credit where credit’s due.