Celtic crashed out of the Champions before the play-off round after losing 4-3 to Cluj. The Hoops lose 5-4 on aggregate after a poor night at Celtic Park. Despite some great attacking play, questions will be asked of the team selection and the Hoops defence.
The result is a real blow for the club and for Neil Lennon, and it will be interesting to see how the defeat affects the Hoops’ transfer business going forward.
Here we look at three things we learned as the Hoops’ Champions League campaign came to an early end:
TACTICAL EXPERIMENT DOESN’T WORK
Neil Lennon made the bold decision to play Callum McGregor at left-back, a position he has played in before, on occasion. He didn’t look comfortable at all in the position, and was poor at the goal which gave Cluj the lead. On the plus side he did play a part in James Forrest’s equaliser. However, this is a gamble which should not be repeated any time soon. McGregor must be restored to the midfield as soon as possible.
CELTIC’S MR DEPENDABLE STRIKES AGAIN
Say what you like about Celtic’s performance, but one player who cannot be criticised is Ryan Christie. He kept up his superb start to the season with Celtic’s third goal on the night, his eighth of the season. No matter the faults in Celtic’s team this season, Christie looks like he will be a key man for the rest of the season.
SHOULD £7 MILLION MAN HAVE PLAYED?
Neil Lennon elected not to select Celtic’s biggest summer signing Christopher Jullien against Cluj. He decided to stick with Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic instead. The decision didn’t really pay off as the Hoops conceded three goals. Questions will probably be asked as to why the Hoops boss didn’t play his biggest purchase of the summer. It will be intriguing to see Lennon’s response.