Celtic have hugely disappointed supporters for the second weekend in a row after a dreadful 2-0 defeat to Livingston today.
Despite managing to comfortably see off Romanian champions Cluj on Thursday, Neil Lennon’s men toiled against the West Lothian outfit.
All aspects of the performance were a concern. Defensively we looked weak and in attack devoid of ideas against an organised defence. We never really looked like getting anything out of the game.
Former striker Chris Sutton’s immediate reaction to the result seemed to be that Celtic were outmatched physically by the home side, who he said ‘roughed up’ the Hoops.
Neil McCann meanwhile went into more detail on BBC Radio Scotland, feeling that Lyndon Dykes did a number on the Celtic defence, like Sutton noting the physicality of Livi.
As quoted by BBC Scotland (06/10 live match page 13:34 & 14:00), he said: “Dykes has absolutely ruffled the feathers of those defenders all day. He’s been physical all game but that was such a soft and deft finish.”
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“Steve Clarke was here today, and Dykes plays his lone striker role well. He’s miles off being an international striker, but there is a dearth of options for Scotland, and we should be acknowledging Dykes, his pace, his physicality, he was superb. He tag-teamed two powerful centre-backs.”
What now for Celtic?
There’s no doubt that Ryan Christie’s sending off was a massive factor in the result but the truth is Celtic were poor from the first whistle today.
As Sutton and McCann both point out, the Hoops just could seem to cope with the home team at all in a physical sense.
That Jullien would be so exposed by Dykes is a bit of a worry moving forward. The Frenchman’s strength and presence is supposed to be one of the most impressive elements of his game.
Hopefully we can just put it down to an off day.
The upcoming schedule doesn’t get any easier for Lennon’s team either. After the upcoming break from club football we have Aberdeen, Hibs and Lazio twice as part of a seven game schedule before the next international action.
We simply must improve, or risk falling behind where we need to be in the Scottish Premiership.