Celtic boss Postecoglou bemoans Kyogo chances after European defeat

By Euan Davidson

October 1, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou was left frustrated by the Bhoys’ profligacy in attack against Bayer Leverkusen.

After being named in the starting line-up, much to the shock of supporters, Kyogo had two fantastic chances to give Celtic a lead. With the first, he snaked his way past Leverkusen’s goalkeeper, before Jonathan Tah made an unbelievable intervention.

And with the second, he was one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but Lukas Hradecky stretched out a leg to meet his low drive.

From there, barring a Carl Starfelt volley, Celtic struggled to make much headway against a clinical Leverkusen side. In the second half, Kyogo had a chance to volley in from close range, but his effort hit the side-netting.

After the game, Postecoglou told BT Sport:

“It’s disappointing. We had some great chances and it’s a story of both boxes.

“They’re a good side and clinical in the box, we were wasteful and made some mistakes you can’t make at this level. Disappointing overall.

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“I still think there’s a couple of moments [Kyogo] will feel he could have done better in.

“In fairness, their keeper has pulled off some unbelievable saves as well.

“It’s good to have [McGregor and Kyogo] back in the team, it makes a difference but not enough.”

Rustiness from Kyogo, but Celtic star needed more help

Celtic star Kyogo, on form and injury-free, would’ve been excellent value to take one or both of his prime chances last night. Unfortunately, the Japanese striker created his own shots, but couldn’t take them.

It’s definitely an improvement on the more static attacking play with Albian Ajeti leading the line. But that said, it’s a worry that Kyogo was rushed back from an injury lay-off at all.

Perhaps, already, Celtic are too reliant on moments of magic from the former Vissel Kobe striker. Even in games where he’s scored, or Celtic have won, the Japan striker has needed plenty of chances to breach the opposition net.

Photo by Jan Kruger – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

His finishing will improve with game-time and sharpness, especially if he’s able to sit out the international break and train with Celtic for two weeks. Against Aberdeen, you can imagine him getting amongst the goals, provided he’s fit.

Just like Betis, we’re left to wonder what could’ve been. We can’t expect strikers to score with every shot, but when the opportunities were there last night, Celtic and Kyogo just couldn’t take them.

It’s left Postecoglou, and the Celtic supporters, extremely frustrated.

Read more: It’s time to abandon Celtic midfield of Rogic and Turnbull