Celtic player ratings vs Sarajevo: Scott Brown the standout in Hoops win

By John Reid

October 1, 2020

Celtic moved into the group stages of the Europa League thanks to a 1-0 win over Sarajevo. The Hoops goal on the night came from Odsonne Edouard, with a predatory finish after a Ryan Christie shot had been spilled.

The main talking point before the game was would Christopher Jullien return to the side? The answer was no, as Nir Bitton kept his place in the team. Jullien was on the bench, along with Leigh Griffiths.

Celtic can now look forward to finding out their opponents for the group stages in Friday’s draw.

Here, we have a go at rating the Celtic players that featured against Sarajevo:

Vasilis Barkas – 7

Forced into a good save early on from a Benjamin Tatar shot. His catching cross balls was excellent, and he tried to get Celtic going forward with quick kick-outs. Probably one of his best performances for Celtic so far, and each week he is looking like one of Neil Lennon’s best signings for a long time.

Kristoffer Ajer – 6

Had a good chance to give Celtic the lead with a first-half header, but fellow centre-back Shane Duffy blocked his way accidentally. Tried to get forward with the ball, but found it difficult to help Celtic create chances. Had a great chance to give the Hoops a lead in the second-half with a shot which he didn’t get the right contact on. A decent enough performance from the centre-back.

Shane Duffy – 6

Didn’t have a lot to do for much of the game, as Celtic had plenty of position in the middle of the park and defence wasn’t involved. Played fairly well for the most part, but it hard to judge really as he had so little to do at times. As usual, he won almost every defensive header that he had to deal with, but lost his man which presented a chance to Hrvoje Milicevic. Could have scored in the second-half too. A mixed bag really.

Nir Bitton – 4

Celtic centre-back Nir Bitton (Photo by Paul Ursachi/MB Media/Getty Images)

Took an ankle injury in the first 10 minutes and was unable to continue. A real blow if he is out for a period as he has been in excellent form recently. Neil Lennon’s update will certainly be interesting.

Jeremie Frimpong – 6

Wasn’t as influential as he has been in recent games in the first-half, as when he got the ball he was well-marshalled by the Sarajevo defence. Fired in a dangerous ball in the second-half which was almost spilled by the goalkeeper. Got into the game more in the second-half as Celtic took control, but was unable to repeat his heroics of recent games. Did almost score with a late effort on goal though.

Scott Brown – 8

Second good game in a row for the Hoops skipper. Did well in the middle of the park and showed good timing to block a Tartar shot in the Celtic box. Made sure that the Hoops controlled the middle of the park for much of the game. Was probably Celtic’s best player on the night. He once more showed that he isn’t finished at his level yet.

Callum McGregor – 5

Didn’t have the best of games, a mistake in the first-half lead to a Sarajevo corner which thankfully they didn’t take advantage of. Tried to get Celtic going at times but failed to make much of an impact for much of the game. Got more of the ball in the second-half, but he didn’t really make much of his chances. He can play better for the Hoops.

Ryan Christie – 7

Celtic star Ryan Christie / (Photo by Andrew Milligan/Pool via Getty Images)

Showed some good skill at times but at first he didn’t find it easy to breakdown the Sarajevo defence. Put through a great ball to create a chance for Edouard in the first-half but the striker couldn’t put the chance away. Came close to giving the Hoops the lead in the second-half with a shot just over the bar. Was key to Celtic’s goal as the goalkeeper spilled his effort on goal.

Greg Taylor – 7

Got plenty of the ball at times similar to the game against Riga last week. However, just like last week the final ball wasn’t the best a lot of the time, although he did put in a good ball in the second-half which was just missed by Edouard. Played much better in the second-half, and can be pleased with his performance.

Mohamed Elyounoussi – 6

Was on the fringes of the game for much of it, as Celtic struggled to create chances. Did have Celtic’s first shot on target which wasn’t until the 40th minute, which arguably he could have done better with. Had another effort on goal in the second-half as Celtic took control. Was involved in Odsonne Edouard’s goal, as his pass set up Ryan Christie for the shot which the goalkeeper spilled. Not as his best, but played well enough.

Odsonne Eoduard – 7

Had a great chance to give the Hoops the lead in the first-half, but as he moved onto his right foot the defender cleared the danger. Was at the heart of Celtic’s best move in the first-half with a pass to Mohamed Elyounoussi, which saw an effort saved by the goalkeeper. Wasn’t at his best once more. However, he got a goal with a predatory finish to put the Hoops into the lead.

The Substitutes

Hatem Abd Elhamed – 5

Replaced Nir Bitton in the first 10 minutes. Gave the ball away in the precarious position in the first-half but Sarajevo failed to take advantage. Struggled at times in defence, especially against the pace of Benjamin Tartar. Had a good chance to give the Hoops the lead in the second-half but his volley wasn’t on target, and did well with a challenge in the second-half to stop a Sarajevo attack.

Patryk Klimala – 4

Didn’t do much in his short time on the pitch after replacing Odsonne Eoduard, aside from miss a good chance to make it 2-0, as he failed to get contact on a cross.

Olivier Ntcham  – 4

Did little in his short time on the pitch.

In other news, Billy Dodds has compared Jeremie Frimpong to Tariq Lamptey.