Three things we learned from Celtic's draw against St. Gallen
Celtic rounded off their pre-season tour of Austria and Switzerland on Tuesday night with a goalless draw against St. Gallen. It was a feisty clash against the Swiss top-flight side with a number of players booked – and Celtic’s Jozo Simunovic sent off.
It’s the final time we’ll see Neil Lennon’s side in action before the start of their Champions League qualification campaign. The Hoops open up away to Bosnian champions FK Sarajevo next week, so what can we take into that match? Here’s our top three things we learned.
Celtic and VAR may have a love/hate relationship
History was made at Kybunpark as Celtic came into touch with the modern world of the video assistant referee for the first time. The Swiss FA were trialing VAR for the final time ahead of its use in the Super League this coming season.
It looked like the technology was going to be our friend in the first-half when it awarded us a penalty after an Anthony Ralston shot had been handballed. The decision was correct, but Odsonne Edouard saw his spot-kick saved by the goalkeeper.
VAR was then used during the second-half to send off Hoops centre-back Jozo Simunovic following a crazy high boot. The decision would definitely have been correct in a competitive fixture although the dismissal seemed harsh in a friendly.
Celtic need a right-back pronto
Sadly, it doesn’t look like Anthony Ralston is going to cut it. There’s no faulting the 20-year-old’s effort. He gives it all for the cause but he’s just lacking in quality.
The right-back’s delivery and passing was poor in the goalless draw against St. Gallen and it does seem a real worry that he’ll likely start in Sarajevo next Tuesday. Celtic have until Thursday night to complete the signing and registration of any new players while Lennon could also choose to go with a back three in Bosnia.
Mikey Johnston must start in Bosnia
The youngster has been our stand-out man in all three of the tour friendlies. He looks ready to kick on from a strong showing at the end of last season with his pace, strength and direct running all coming on leaps and bounds.
Johnston is a far better option on the left wing then both Scott Sinclair and Jonny Hayes. He is more direct than both and must be used as a valuable counter-attacking weapon against Sarajevo.