Key lesson Celtic will have learned from opening Champions League games

By Lewis Laird

September 15, 2022

In the aftermath of any Celtic European game, there is bound to be plenty of debate. And that was no different after last night’s 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Bhoys picked up their first point in this season’s Champions League group stage after travelling to Poland to take on the Ukrainian champions.

However, Ange Postecoglou’s side could have easily come away with all three after a strong performance. But, the Hoops just weren’t clinical enough in front of goal.

Photo by Mateusz Slodkowski/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

After two games, Celtic now sit in 3rd place, one point above RB Leipzig and three points behind last night’s opponents Shakhtar Donetsk after their impressive victory over the Bundesliga side.

Whilst it may not have been the most successful start to the group stages in terms of points collected, we have certainly learned some valuable lessons across the 180 minutes played in the Champions League this season.

In my opinion, one of the main lessons we have learned from taking on Real Madrid at Celtic Park and Shakhtar in Warsaw is that Ange Postecoglou and this squad can compete in Europe.

We may not have come away with our first three points just yet, but at home and on the road, we have shown we can compete with clubs at the highest level.

Plenty of questions were asked going into this campaign about whether the 57-year-old’s attacking system would be suited to this competition.

And so far, all this group have shown is it absolutely can. They have just been unfortunate that they haven’t been rewarded for that.

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Of course, being unfortunate has been due to our own faults at times so far. We created plenty of chances against Real and Shakhtar, but we just couldn’t convert those golden opportunities.

From Ange Postecoglou’s perspective, I am sure he will be frustrated that we haven’t yet gotten off the mark in terms of victories in Europe this season.

However, I also think it would be more concerning for the former Socceroos boss if his side weren’t creating chances at all in either of the fixtures.

So, in the opening two games, we have already learned some valuable lessons, and from here, it is absolutely crucial that we go away and learn from the mistakes made.

Failure to do that would simply result in a swift exit from this competition, with the Bhoys facing up against some top-quality opposition.

Photo by Attila Husejnow/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

There is no doubting that the next four games in this group will be just as hard as we look to achieve success and once again have European football after Christmas.

But, I have faith that Ange Postecoglou and his players will be hungry to show why they deserve to be playing at this level and learn from the lessons of the games against Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk.

In other news, Shakhtar defender makes RB Leipzig comparison after facing Celtic.