Celtic player ratings vs AC Milan: Lennon tries to go toe-to-toe but same old problems arise

By David Walton

December 3, 2020

Celtic went toe-to-toe with AC Milan at the San Siro this afternoon, but dreadful defensive errors plagued us yet again in another Europa League defeat.

The game may have been a dread-rubber for us, but the Hoops were still in dreamland early on thanks to goals from Tom Rogic and Odsonne Edouard. It looked, just for a minute, as if this night was going to be different. It wasn’t.

Questionable goalkeeping from Vasilis Barkas allowed Hakan Calhanoglu to rifle home a free-kick before Samu Castillejo equalised before the half-hour mark. A second-half winner from Jens Petter Hauge completed the turnaround for Milan, before Brahim Diaz netted a fourth thanks to some powderpuff defending at the heart of it.

Here, we take a look at tonight’s player ratings, and it’s fair to say not many secured the fans’ adulation:

Vasilis Barkas – 4

Shocking tonight. This was his big chance, and when Celtic went 2-0 ahead you thought this was the opportunity for him to be a hero and help turn our form around. Instead, he was poor for all four goals and doesn’t look capable of producing a big save. Still dodgy with the ball at this feet, and for a goalkeeper Celtic splashed out £4.5m for in the summer, this was highly disappointing (Scottish Sun).

Hatem Elhamed – 4

Not impressed by him tonight. I’m one of his biggest fans, but he looked far too slow in releasing the ball whilst his passing was often to an opposition player as opposed to his team-mate. Caught out time and time again down the right and was one of the players skinned by Hauge for goal number three and even worse when trying to deal with Diaz for number four.

Kristoffer Ajer – 5

This was his opportunity to impress Milan, but he didn’t take it. Unsure of himself in these big games and it shows. Not dominant enough and totally bamboozled when crosses came into the box. Had to be more authoritative than this, but looked frightened to commit a challenge.

Nir Bitton – 5

Celtic’s Nir Bitton vs AC Milan (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Similar to his team-mate. Part of a defensive quarter that just didn’t impress and was too easily breached. Showed some decent footwork under pressure to create some space for others and tried to show some initiative going forward with ambitious passes out the back. Defensively anonymous.

Diego Laxalt – 6

Decent tonight from Diego. Always trying to maraud forward and be ambitious on the ball, but wasn’t helped by a lack of support whenever he did try to take the game to Milan. Made some vital blocks in the first half to stop Milan from turning the game around earlier. Still yet to see much in the way of a final ball from him.

Scott Brown – 6.5

Thought Brown looked better tonight. Broke up the play extremely well throughout the night and even showed a bit of his old pace in the first 45 when he spun some of his midfield rivals. Got a bit clumsier with the ball in the second half but still put in a decent shift. One of our more efficient performers this evening.

Callum McGregor – 5

Game felt like it totally bypassed Callum after a promising opening 15-20 minutes. He was wanting to join the attack and missed a glorious first-half chance moments before Edouard made it 2-0. Another half-volley later on that was easily held by Donnarumma. After that he was next to anonymous. The lesser of the two midfield anchors this evening.

Jeremie Frimpong – 7

Deserves a 7 because he was extremely positive on the ball and always looking to get in behind the Milan defence. Will be furious with two big chances he had in either half. Could’ve had Celtic 3-0 up with better decision making. Can be a bit erratic, but held onto the ball extremely well tonight. Looks better when you take some of the defensive responsibility away from him.

Tom Rogic – 6.5

Celtic’s Tom Rogic celebrates vs AC Milan (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Opened the scoring with a trademark Rogic finish just outside the penalty area. Was a constant thorn in the final third with his footwork and contributed to everything positive about Celtic in the first half. Dipped in the second however and was hooked without making an additional impact.

Ryan Christie – 7

So frustrating at times with his final ball but I thought he played well and certainly didn’t look out of place this evening. Set up Edouard for goal number two with a superb reverse through ball. Then came close with a free-kick in the second half that forced Donnarumma into a world-class stop. Gave Laxalt plenty of support too and was extremely busy. However, he’s still getting into great crossing positions and overhitting them.

Odsonne Edouard – 7.5

Better. His highlight tonight was his expert finish as he chipped Donnarumma to put us into dreamland. But generally he linked up the forward play really well tonight. Took so many passes and long balls down well as he relieved the pressure on the defence when necessary. Celtic created plenty of chances tonight, and Edouard was central to them.

The Subs

Olivier Ntcham (4) – Came on but you would hardly have noticed it. Didn’t really add anything that improved us on the night.

Ismaila Soro (2) – Came on for final 10 minutes or so. No time to make a genuine impact.

Patryk Klimala (1) – On for the last moments. Nothing of note as you would expect.