Celtic's stand-out performer against Shakhtar Donetsk

By John McGinley

September 14, 2022

As the dust settles on another tense and exciting UEFA Champions League for Celtic, supporters are reflecting on the performance vs Shakhtar Donetsk – who stood out, who could have done better and what it all means heading deeper into the group.

Overall, there were plenty of positives to take from the encounter despite the obvious frustration of not finding the goals to win the 1-1 encounter.

For me, the stand-out performer from a Celtic perspective was Greg Taylor, who restricted the home side for large portions of the game, despite often being targeted by the Ukrainians on that side of the pitch.

Photo by JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

It’s now long been noted that Taylor has made significant improvements under Ange Postecoglou, but much of the praise has been focused on his attacking efforts and ability to exploit the opposition.

However, tonight, he was all action, all grit and basically all over Shakhtar in winning back possession, resolutely defending and sending the Bhoys on their way into the Ukrainian’s half, time and again.

Nobody outside of the centre-half pairing had more touches than the left-back, who won two of three attempted tackles, made two interceptions, three recoveries and won five ground duels.

Don’t get me wrong, he was good in possession, too, creating three chances and passing into the final third on ten occasions.

It was his hard work that, for me, typified tonight’s performance. He showed maturity and leadership on the pitch in support of Celtic’s flair players. He remains well ahead of Alexandro Bernabei in the pecking order.

He’s going to be one of our key players against Leipzig too and if he plays well, Celtic likely have too. That’s how important he is to the Bhoys’ cause at the moment.

In other news, The big positive for Celtic vs Shakhtar despite missed chances.