CELTIC may have lost last night's Europa League match against Leverkusen but they at least went down fighting.

They created several chances in an even opening period before Ecuador defender Piero Hincapié fired the visitors in front.

Florian Wirtz notched a second before the end of the first half and despite a push from Ange Postecoglou's men to get back into the match, Lucas Alario put the game beyond doubt with a penalty after an hour.

The rout was completed when substitute Amine Adli blasted a fourth in added time.

We look at the StatsBomb data to give you a match report with a difference.

Celtic Way:



With the way the chances panned out, Leverkusen win that game nearly four out of five times while Celtic would triumph less than one in 10 times, so the balance of opportunities marries nicely with the end result.

Celtic definitely should have scored though, their accumulative xG at full-time was 1.35, and that's not including Kyogo's first opportunity when he was thwarted by Jonathan Tah before pulling the trigger with the goal at his mercy. His saved shot shortly after, a sliced effort on the hour mark and Abada's rebound effort in-between were Celtic's clearest opportunities with an average xG of 0.2.

Celtic Way:

Even without their penalty, Leverkusen's xG throughout the game reached 2.38, so they created better opportunities than Celtic and took them. Bizarrely though, Statsbomb classifies their opening goal - a rather simple finish after a cut-back - as a harder chance to bury than their fourth and final one of the evening, at 0.12 and 0.16 respectively.

It's also worth noting the flatlining of Celtic's chances after the concessions of the first and third goals, which came after periods where Celtic had been on top at the start of each half. Between minutes 20 and 45, and 60 and 90, Leverkusen's defence could have played with blindfolds on.


Celtic actually managed to fire more efforts on goal than their visitors, albeit by only one. It's immaterial though with 15 of Leverkusen's 17 being shot from inside the box compared to 10 of Celtic's 18. It doesn't really match with Postecoglou's style of wingers hitting a byline and pulling the ball back for an arriving striker or midfielder.

Celtic Way:

Four of Leverkusen's chances were assisted with a through ball into the box while Celtic achieved this precisely zero times. Really, they're just a much sharper, more incisive outfit than Celtic and it showed. It's true that if it wasn't for Hart, Leverkusen could have scored or added to their tally earlier in the game, he faced a post-shot xG of 4.17 throughout the game but only conceded 3 times from open play.

Lukas Hradecky at the opposite end performed strongly too. Jota's curling effort from the edge of the box had an xG of 0.04 while Kyogo's swivelling effort at the start of the half had one of 0.15 from their starting positions, but both were struck with quality and contributed to Hradecky shutting Celtic out despite facing 1.55 post-shot xG throughout the game. Some of Celtic's shots were actually pretty good, they just came up against an inspired goalkeeper.

Pressing and defending

On the right side, Celtic have two players who will run themselves into the ground; Liel Abada and Tony Ralston. That flank, between the halfway line and the 18-yard box was where most of Celtic's pressing took place with Abada the main protagonist of those events. Ralston, although in that position behind him, didn't contribute much in that sense but the reason the map is so dense is that Abada was helped out by Kyogo and Rogic.

Celtic Way:

Celtic's top presser was Kyogo, who did it on 16 occasions, just more than half of Leverkusen's top presser, midfielder Kerem Demirbay. In fact, Leverkusen's top four pressers did it more than Kyogo, which underlines what a well-oiled unit they are.

Possession, passing and crossing

It's an indictment on Celtic's performance that the two players tasked with being the creative forces in the team had the lowest impact in terms of making meaningful contributions in possession. The most common passing chain for Celtic was between the two centre-halves; a common complaint if Twitter is a metric you're keen on taking into account, which possibly explains why Celtic harboured more possession, by five per cent, than Leverkusen and completed 533 of their 624 passes.

Celtic Way:

The passing channels in the wider areas are warmer which shows pretty good levels of creation, but that was mostly between Jota, Abada and their supporting full-backs rather than the two formers and Kyogo. The right flank, much like the pressure heat-map, saw the most key passes: Abada played four and Ralston played three. Nobody else in green and white played more than one.