Celtic's return to league duty ended in disappointment, as they toiled to a drab 0-0 draw at Celtic Park to St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership.

Brendan Rodgers and his team were looking to bounce back, following last week's Viaplay Cup exit at the hands of Kilmarnock. This did not transpire, however, and the side failed to win their second consecutive game, in what has been a largely uninspiring start for Rodgers since his return in the summer. 

Despite having the lion's share of possession - and shots on goal - Celtic drew a blank for the second match running, in what was a day to forget in an attacking sense. Matt O'Riley had a few gilt-edged chances, but the midfielder did not have his most potent day in front of goal. The visitors - though largely without the ball - had a couple of chances towards the end to snatch a win, but did not capitalise, causing the game to end in a stalemate.

In what was Celtic's first home game in just over two weeks, Rodgers picked an interesting team, with Gustaf Lagerbielke and Liam Scales the makeshift defensive pairing due to injuries to both Maik Nawrocki and Cameron Carter-Vickers. There was a welcome return at right-back in the shape of Alistair Johnstone, who made his first appearance of the season, whilst David Turnbull returned to the midfield. It was the first competitive start for summer signing Yang Hyun-jun, with the winger deployed alongside Daizen Maeda in the wide areas to begin the match. Kyogo Furuhashi led the line once again for Celtic, in what was a quiet afternoon for the talismanic striker.

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Here, The Celtic Way rounds up the best StatsBomb data from the game to give you a match report like no other...

xG trendline

Despite the game ending in a goalless draw, the home side had plenty of chances to break the deadlock and were extremely wasteful on the day. It was Kyogo who had the first chance of the day in the 11th minute, who got on the end of a first-time cross from Johnston. The striker connected well with the delivery - though it strayed just wide of the right-hand post - registering 0.08 xG, which demonstrates how hard a chance it was to execute correctly. Still, a big chance early on in the grand scheme of things. Callum McGregor and Turnbull would also have decent half-chances (0.04 and 0.07 xG) within two minutes of each other, with the latter followed by the game's best chance so far in the form of O'Riley.

From the resulting corner of Turnbull's previous chance, the same midfielder crosses the ball to O'Riley, who directs it towards the goal. The resulting chance was well-saved by St Johnstone goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov, though the shot was directly at him (0.19 xG). 10 minutes would pass before the next chance, with the visitors registering their only attempt of the first-half. Graham Carey floated a free-kick into the box, which found Luke Jephcott, though his touch let him down and the chance went wide (0.07 xG).

Just a minute after St Johnstone's solitary chance, O'Riley had the best chance of the first half in terms of xG. McGregor finds himself out wide on the wing in space and elects to cut the ball back to the oncoming Dane in the box. The attacking midfielder connects well with the delivery, though the shot O'Riley takes is low enough that Mitov can stick out a leg and save the chance from escalating into a goal for Celtic. This chance was the highest xG for the opening 45 minutes at 0.28, which rose to 0.30 PSxG (post-shot expected goals), indicating that although there was an improvement due to the quality of O'Riley's shot, he could and should have done better in this position.

There would be a barrage of chances following this up until the end of the first half, with Yang producing the best chance at 0.09 xG, but the rest were effectively half-chances in truth. Despite this, Celtic were in control and were making far more chances than their visitors in the game, which was to be expected. The xG accumulation score was 0.94-0.07 in favour of the home side, highlighting the many chances that they had to break the deadlock in the opening half. 

Following the restart, the first chance for either team to register was to be the highest xG score of the whole match, and it fell to O'Riley yet again. In the 50th minute, the midfielder again found himself in close proximity to the goalkeeper and his goal, following another chance created by a Johnston cross. O'Riley proceeds to try and side-foot the ball into the net but again is saved by the impressive Mitov. The shot's xG was at its highest for both teams at a score of 0.51, though PSxG dropped to 0.33, perhaps due to the choice of execution of the shot or the keeper's strong position to make the save. O'Riley will be kicking himself that he did not help himself to a brace today at the very least.

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After this, the game did not have any better chances than this, at least for Celtic. Chances from Greg Taylor, O'Riley again and substitute Sead Haksabanovic all registered as chances, but the accumulation xG score of the three amounted to 0.15, which was consistent with the home side's wastefulness in front of goal. Though Kyogo had a chance from a corner, this chance was sandwiched right in the middle of a spell of decent chances for the away side, with Dara Costelloe and Liam Gordon both having chances before the Japan striker's effort, with Stevie May and Carey after it. May's chance was by far St Johnstone's best opportunity of the game, with Joe Hart having to make a good close-range save, following a fast break up the park from the visitors. This scored 0.41 in xG, with Hart saving Celtic from further misery on the day. After Carey's effort (0.04 xG), the best chance would come to James Forrest, whose header went over (0.08 xG), with the game petering out to a goalless close. 

Celtic had 19 shots in this game, though only five of them tested the St Johnstone goalkeeper. As the shot map shows, many of Celtic chances fell in the 18-yard box, though they did elect to take on low-xG chances from the outside on occasion. Their best chance came just on the line of the 12-yard inner box, though the home side failed to make any breakthrough in the match.

This season so far, Celtic averages 17.33 shots per 90 minutes, so making chances does not seem to be the issue, but converting them certainly is.

St Johnstone had just five shots in the game, with only two of them being on target for the visitors. All of their shots bar one were in the box, perhaps showing their reluctance to take shots from distance and instead trying to get closer to the goal before taking on the opposition keeper. 

This season, St Johnstone have averaged 9.00 shots a game, though having fewer chances at Celtic Park is an accepted norm for most teams travelling to the champions' home stadium. 

As mentioned previously, O'Riley was by far Celtic's busiest attacker in the game, taking six shots in total and accumulating 1.15 in total shot xG. Kyogo - though quiet in the game - still managed three shots, scoring a much lower 0.23 xG. Rodgers must look to try and get him involved more in attacking areas, as his finishing is vital for Celtic going forward. Turnbull had two shots (0.09 xG), whilst Yang and Forrest had one (0.09 and 0.08 xG).

Five shots from five different players for St Johnstone, with Carey, May, Gordon, Costelloe and Jephcott all having one each. May had the best chance with his single shot scoring 0.41 xG, in what was the visitors' best chance of the match.

Possession, passing and positions

As is almost always the case in most games, Celtic dominated the possession stats throughout the game, with 75 per cent of the ball being in control of the home side. They completed 662 of their 796 passes in total, at a success percentage of 83 per cent. The visitors only had 25 per cent of possession, completing 153 of their 267 passes, a percentage success rate of only 57 per cent. 

The passing network gives a rough idea of where the majority of the game was played and who was the most involved. Remember that the warmer the colour, the more influential the player was in the game, and the thicker the passing lines, the more passes between the players.

StatsBomb measures pass contributions in on-ball value (often referred to as OBV, a term breakdown of which can be read here).

Celtic's new system means a lot more touches on the ball and in turn, more passes. In terms of both last week and this week's games against Kilmarnock and St Johnstone respectively, the team have not yet mastered this new style of play, and it shows.

Despite only playing 60 minutes in his first game of the season, Johnston was the most effective player in terms of OBV for his side, with his warm red colour indicating his success at playing meaningful passes. 0.66 OBV off of 46 passes was by far the highest accumulation on both sides, with the next-highest being McGregor with 0.18 with 66 passes. Scales was just behind him with 0.17, though this was over an accumulation of 127 passes. This is where OBV can be a little misleading, as both McGregor and Scales had poor games, despite these numbers. This is why these metrics should be taken as a guide rather than a definitive or concrete statement of performances, as the two players mentioned really did not play well at all.

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This is further proved by O'Riley's OBV numbers, as he scored -0.24 off of 34 passes, whilst Maeda and Kyogo both accumulated -0.10 OBV. 

The away side's Carey had the highest OBV for his team with 0.10 from 21 passes, whilst Sam McLelland and Mitov both had 0.09. Jay Turner-Cook and Jephcott were both in the negatives, with -0.03 and -0.02 respectively.

For the 11 players starting for Celtic, the central and wide-right areas of the park were the places that the home side were finding joy in when it came to OBV. The second-half was less successful, with sporadic OBV accumulations in random areas of the park, indicating a lack of cohesion in the system and style of play under Rodgers after the restart.

For St Johnstone, the first-half only brought about two areas where OBV was warm, in the centre of defence and on the left-hand side further forward. The second-half was even worse in this regard, with only James Brown in the right-back position registering a slightly warmer colour.

Again, despite his limited minutes, Johnston made three key passes on an xG of 0.64. McGregor and Turnbull joined him in this regard, their xG totalled 0.34 and 0.25 respectively. Yang was also bright, with 0.12 xG off of his two key passes in total.

Carey was top again in a metric for the away side, contributing two key passes on 0.48 xG, whilst Matthew Smith had one with 0.12 its xG score.

Celtic initialised just 145 pressures in the game compared to St Johnstone's 163, though the home side led 37-23 in the pressure regains department.

Maeda was top of the pressures leaderboard for Celtic, with 21 carried out over the course of the match. O'Riley was just behind him with 15, whilst Yang and Johnston and Turnbull had 14, 13 and 13 collectively. Maeda was also the leading counterpressure source for his team, with eight, whilst McGregor and O'Riley both had seven.

Daniel Phillips led the way in pressures for both sides with 28, with Turner-Cook also ranking high with 25 and Costelloe with 21. Turner-Cook and Phillips were joint-first for St Johnstone on six counterpressures for their team.

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On the defensive side of proceedings, Lagerbielke had a strong showing for Celtic, with three tackles, seven clearances and nine aerial wins. He was only bettered by Scales in the air, who won 10 duels in this regard.

Smith for the visitors had a total of eight interceptions for his side, a game-high for that metric. Phillips had 12 total tackles and interceptions, in what was a solid defensive performance by the midfielder. McClelland led the way for clearances with 12 in the game, as St Johnstone battled their way to a well-deserved point on the road.