WE LOOK at the StatsBomb data from Celtic’s 1-0 Scottish Premiership defeat against Livingston to give you a match report experience like no other.

Celtic Way:


While Celtic's performance was clearly their most ineffectual of the season so far in an attacking sense, they still registered a cumulative xG of 1.22 meaning they underperformed by not scoring at all.

Celtic Way:

Livingston offered no threat until going 1-0 ahead and even afterwards could only accumulate 0.54 xG. Also notable is the several extended periods of Celtic creating nothing of note (the flat lines). There were such instances between the 10th and 35th minute, again before and after half-time and midway through the second half.

Based on xG, however, Celtic would still have won this match 57 per cent of the time.


Celtic Way:  Celtic Way: Celtic open-play shots onlyCeltic open-play shots only

Celtic got off 16 shots throughout the game and while seven of these were outside the area, the centrality of chances looks decent on the face of it. Remove set-pieces, however, and it becomes clear the Hoops rarely managed to penetrate the Livi box with just four shots inside 18 yards created from open play.

Livingston's chances were infrequent but they created just one fewer shot from open play inside the area than Celtic despite their lack of possession. Overall they got off seven shots and, Andrew Shinnie's goal aside (which carried a 0.16 xG but a massive 0.91 post-shot xG), Joe Hart saved three of them.

Celtic Way:

Individually, David Turnbull led all players with five shots (four from open play) followed by Cameron Carter-Vickers with three.

Possession, passing and crossing

Usually with a Celtic passing network, the majority of players are heavily involved and thus their names appear in a warmer colour. On this occasion only Carter-Vickers is such, mostly due to his two defence-splitting passes to set up Liel Abada for a cross, while Albian Ajeti's minuscule node demonstrates how little adequate service he was provided with and thus how rarely he was involved.

Celtic Way:

Given Celtic enjoyed 78 per cent possession and played 740 passes (638 successful) the prevalence of cool colours is particularly worrying - simply put, this is what a passing network map looks like when a team has a lot of the ball but does very little with it.

Perhaps it is unsurprising, then, that the most common passing combination was between the centre-backs and from Stephen Welsh to Boli Bolingoli. Indeed, the only attacking player in Celtic's top five passing combinations was Jota, who received 22 balls from Bolingoli throughout the game.

In terms of individuals, Turnbull played a game-high four key passes while Nir Bitton managed three in his 20-minute appearance.

Celtic Way:

The Hoops also put in 28 crosses during the match. For context, they played 22 against Ross County, 12 against Rangers, 23 against St Mirren, 14 against Dundee and 12 against Hearts so it's not massively out of character to play more against teams sitting in a low block, especially given a feature of Postecoglou’s system is to try to isolate wingers one-v-one against defenders.

The quality of the balls that were played in is another matter though. Jota attempted the most crosses with eight but had only a 25 per cent success rate. Likewise the next most prolific crossers - Bolingoli (seven, 14 per cent) and Abada (five, zero per cent) - were no better.

Pressing & defending

Much of the more intense play was focused on the left flank occupied by Bolingoli and Jota, so it is no shock that they were both among the top five Celtic players in pressures. Bolingoli led the way with 15 total pressures, with Jota registering 12 for fourth place.

Celtic Way:

Celtic Way:

Both players were also in the top three of Celtic counter-pressers while Jota scored a match-high in both total counter-pressure duration and duration per pressure.

In terms of defensive actions, Carter-Vickers led all players in clearances with a massive 13 while he also won 12 aerial duels and made three interceptions.

Player focus: Boli Bolingoli

On his first Celtic start since a 3-0 win over Clyde last February, the Belgian left-back compiled a decent statistical return.

Celtic Way:  Celtic Way:

Defensively, he topped the charts for pressures, had the most counter-pressures and was joint-top for most combined tackles and interceptions. Going forward, he was involved in two of the three most common passing combinations, accumulated the second most touches and was level for most open play passes into the box.

In addition, Bolingoli put in the second-most crosses, albeit this has to be qualified with his poor completion rate of 14 per cent.