Celtic player-ratings vs St Johnstone: Lennon sticks by favourites and suffers badly

By David Walton

December 6, 2020

Celtic’s title-charge suffered yet more damage this afternoon as St Johnstone took a 1-1 draw from Parkhead.

Chris Kane’s late back-post stab looked to have won it for the visitors, but Mohamed Elyounoussi played the role of super-sub with a swift equaliser.

Even so, the draw means Celtic now sit 13 points behind Rangers with two games in-hand. The damage looks like it’s been done to the title-race.

Here, we take a look at the individual player ratings:

Vasilis Barkas – 5.5

Doesn’t deserve any substantial criticism today. Had no chance with the goal and had nothing else to do. Nothing more to be said on him.

Jeremie Frimpong – 5

Barely took Scott Tanser on when it’s clear he was there to be got at. Does plenty of cutting inside but is always looked to play a pass across instead of getting down the right and firing a ball in. When he did try to get a cross in, they were easily blocked. Good in the San Siro for 20 minutes. Very poor tonight.

Kristoffer Ajer – 4

Not good enough. Unusually shaky in possession and didn’t show any of those charging runs that he’s known for. We needed those today. Too often saw his passing either go beyond the intended target or intercepted. Wasn’t overly troubled defensively but was never going to be.

Nir Bitton – 5

Same as his centre-back mate. One terrible lapse in concentration when he allowed Ali McCann to dart beyond him whilst he stood still. Gave Saints their biggest opening of the game but they failed to take it. Not imposing enough and looked far too concerned with confronting St Johnstone players for feisty challenges.

Christopher Jullien – 6

Not the worst today. Won plenty of aerial duels and set-up Rogic for a great first-half header. Showed himself to be a threat in the opposition box and looked decent with his long diagonals today. Tidy enough but there were some loose passes in the first 45.

Diego Laxalt – 5

Was one of the most energetic performers in the first half. Always made overlapping runs but was very rarely being found. Like the rest of the defence his passing was poor. Hooked at half-time for Greg Taylor in what was surely an injury-enforced sub. Only ranked down for playing 45 minutes.

Scott Brown – 4

Awful today. Difficult to know what he’s supposed to be offering this team. Too busy getting involved with other players and giving away needless fouls. Offering the defence very little protection with so many basic opposition attacks bypassing him. Needs dropped, but we all know he won’t be. Hooked for Griffiths before the hour.

Callum McGregor – 5

Didn’t really notice him on the field today. Did he even play? If he did then he was still better than Brown, but even so he didn’t control it. Celtic lacked the energy that McGregor is supposed to inject from deep as his form dips along with the rest of his teammates.

Tom Rogic – 5.5

One of the livelier performers. Link-up play was decent and managed to get us out of some tricky situations defensively with his quick feet. Final ball was poor though, with far too many heavy touches to boot. Needs to be sharper than this.

Ryan Christie – 5.5

Celtic attacker Ryan Christie (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Not the worst but nowhere near the best. Got into some really good positions but again his crossing was extremely poor. Put a good ball in that led to an opportunity for Rogic, but was more anonymous as the game wore on.

Odsonne Edouard – 6

Showed some decent movement to get himself a couple of chances, but the shooting boots weren’t on today. Saw a great free-kick opportunity strike the wall in the second half. Also frustrated with some of his hold-up play as he wasn’t quick enough to release the ball and found himself crowded out.

The Subs –

Greg Taylor (5) – Came on for Laxalt at half-time but didn’t do much to stamp his authority down for a more regular place.

Leigh Griffiths (4) – On to provide Edouard with support but never really got into the game.

David Turnbull (5) – Was given the final 20 minutes and hooked a great ball in for Griffiths and came close with a deflected strike.

Mohamed Elyounoussi (5) – Got the goal to equalise the game with a freak front-post header.