Celtic massively disappointed their supporters in this afternoon’s 1-1 draw at Rugby Park, with Neil Lennon’s side dropping their first points of the season.
Ryan Christie’s early opener was responded to via a Chris Burke penalty as Celtic failed to add to their maximum points haul against Hamilton on matchday one.
It was a sickener for supporters. Many would’ve hoped Celtic were going to grab the league campaign by the scruff of the neck early on. Whilst it may only have been two points dropped, the performance left plenty to be desired.
And here, we take a look at three key lessons we learned from the stalemate:
Another year of astroturf worries lies ahead
It’s always been known that we play worse on astroturf surfaces. However, after being so clinical in a 3-1 success at Rugby Park at the start of the year, many would’ve been hoping we produced a more comfortable display on the plastic this time around.
However, once again Celtic were far too pedestrian on the ball. It was a throwback to the 2-0 defeat to Livingston at the beginning of last season. We couldn’t break Kilmarnock down and it often took players far too long to control the ball and get it out of their feet.
Games away to Kilmarnock, Livingston, and Hamilton respectively will be ones to watch once again this year given not one of the clubs play on grass. The lack of success on astro continues to be a huge concern as we look to power ahead in our potential 10-in-a-row campaign.
Jullien’s Achilles heel hasn’t gone away
This is getting really frustrating now.
Jullien had his moments last week when he struggled with Hamilton’s Marios Ogboe. The Accies man won his fair share of aerial duels, and those struggles were emphasised once again this afternoon against Nicke Kabamba of Kilmarnock.
Celtic’s number one central defender gave away a penalty and allowed Kabamba to get goalside of him on several occasions in the first half. Granted, he managed to improve as the second 45 went on, but the damage was done.
This was a massive throwback to Jullien’s struggles against Livingston’s Lyndon Dykes last season. We can’t have that same uncertainty in the team if we’re to power to the title once again. Jullien has to sort this out and fast, as he showed in the second half today that he can be strong when he’s mentally on it.
Too many Celts struggling with their final ball
Celtic were given so many opportunities to get good deliveries into the penalty area, and their lack of success in that aspect of their play will be extremely confusing after last weekend.
Greg Taylor’s crosses against Hamilton were pinpoint stuff. This week, he could barely beat the first man. The same goes for Jeremie Frimpong down the other side.
James Forrest’s passes and crosses weren’t any better either, whilst Mohamed Elyounoussi failed to make a decent forward contribution all afternoon.
Far too many of our players failed to have the key that was going to unlock Kilmarnock this afternoon. This needs to be a one-off and not a sign of what’s to come.