The Celtic supporters were happy to give new signing Diego Laxalt their seal of approval as he came through his big acid test tonight.
Celtic were beaten by AC Milan in the first Europa League group stage game of the campaign this evening. The 3-1 defeat saw the Hoops put in a largely weak and passive display for the most part, before a half-hour surge in the second half threatened to produce a point.
In truth, not many came out with pass marks if you look at the overall performance. One of them, and perhaps the only one from the starting XI, was Uruguayan Laxalt, who was playing against his parent club tonight.
And the Hoops supporters were happy to express their pleasure at the left-back’s overall display:
Canny fault Laxalt at all. Only so much you can do when you’re the only one that wants to do something with the ball.
— Fantastic Forrest (@FantasticForre1) October 22, 2020
Laxalt is ma favourite
— Gary 🏴 (@upye88) October 22, 2020
Only laxalt with a bit of drive in that team
— Pablo. (@pauldonaghy1) October 22, 2020
One positive so far is laxalt. Looks a real player
— . (@French_Eddy22) October 22, 2020
Laxalt looking sooo strong 😭 shame about the rest
— Rach💜 (@RachMcKechnieX) October 22, 2020
I really like Laxalt.
Doesn't take any prisoners.
Thats what we need.
— G (@GJS2010) October 22, 2020
The boy Laxalt is the only Celtic player who turned up tonight…. best Celtic player by a mile tonight!!!
— Peggotty☘🇮🇪☘🇪🇺☘ (@_Jacob_Marley_) October 22, 2020
The wee Laxalt guy is a pler
— millsy (@tismemillsy) October 22, 2020
A busy evening for Diego
In truth, he put many of his team-mates to shame in the first half with his application and determination down the left side.
What you did notice with Laxalt was that he was never hesitant to drive forward. Regardless of whether there were one or two Milan defenders ahead of him, his goal was to take them on and try to get himself into crossing positions.
His influence was noticed particularly in the first 10 minutes. He forced the visitors into some careless errors on the ball and intercepted high up the pitch. It was an extremely energetic opening for him.
As the game went on, he continued with that same verve. Whilst he didn’t get as much joy out of the Milan back-line the longer the game grew, he was still the one looking to get on the ball and pull Celtic back into the game. Or at least before Tom Rogic and Ryan Christie came on.
In the end, he would find himself hooked after the Hoops pulled one back through Mohamed Elyounoussi. But whilst the rest of his team-mates improved their performances in the final half hour, Laxalt was on it from the start tonight.
In what was quite clearly an acid test for the Uruguayan, he’s come through it with flying colours.