Celtic were defeated 2-0 by Feyenoord, as they got their Champions League group stage off to a disappointing start on Tuesday evening.

Brendan Rodgers made several changes from the team that beat Dundee 3-0 at home on Saturday, with Gustaf Lagerbielke returning to the side, as well as Reo Hatate. It was a first start for Honduran winger Luis Palma, following his ÂŁ3.5 million move from Aris FC in Greece.

Despite Feyenoord having the majority of possession in the first half, Celtic had a couple of decent chances through Daizen Maeda and Hatate. All this early promise came to a halt in first-half stoppage time, as Calvin Stengs scored directly from a free-kick, a strike which Joe Hart will not want to see again anytime soon.

The second half was an eventful one, as Celtic were reduced to nine players, following red cards to both Lagerbielke and substitute Odin Thiago Holm, before an Alireza Jahanbakhsh strike doubled Feyenoord's advantage. It would finish 2-0 to the home side, with a couple of goals being ruled out by VAR, much to the relief of Celtic and their blushes.

With all that in mind, what did the writers at The Celtic Way notice in Tuesday night's proceedings? Here are the key points of discussion...


Hatate has a howler

The Japanese midfielder seemed really off the pace all evening. His distribution left a lot to be desired. He uncharacteristically gave the ball away on numerous occasions. He also spurned two great opportunities to help give Celtic the lead after good pressing from the visitors. Firstly he strolled forward with purpose but struck a powderpuff effort at goal from the edge of the box which went straight down the throat of German shot-stopper Timon Wellenreuther who gathered easily. Then he inexplicably chose the wrong option and decided to hammer an ill-timed drive which cannoned off a Feyenoord defender. A simple look-up and a bit of composure could have seen him play in his compatriot Kyogo for a free hit at goal. These were the best two moments for Celtic in the opening 45 minutes which separates the good players from the class players. It was no surprise when he left the field to be replaced by Odin Thiago Holm after 57 minutes on a bitterly disappointing night for him.

Tony Haggerty


Hapless Hart costs Celtic

The goalkeeping position has been an area that has been well-speculated across various forms of media for Celtic. Despite the club remedying other areas on the pitch, they decided to stick with their number one Hart, at least until the January window at the earliest. Despite saving a penalty in the second half, it was Hart’s failure to save Steng’s free kick in the opening 45 minutes that people will be talking about. The Englishman gives Steng so much of the goal to aim at, with the midfielder only too happy to oblige in converting the set piece. Hart has been a tremendous servant for Celtic over the past two seasons, but last season was an eye-opener in terms of the obvious decline in his game. The game against Feyenoord again highlights the obvious that Hart is simply not good enough for this level of football anymore, despite his relatively good domestic start to the season. With the club posting record profits for the latest financial year, the fact that Celtic have not improved in this area is bordering on negligence from the board downwards. The shouts for a replacement were loud, and they will get even louder if Hart continues to make mistakes at this level, where the margins are so tight and small. A very good save for the penalty, but the game was already gone at that point due to Lagerbielke’s second yellow card.  Celtic must improve in this area if they are to progress as a European side in the future.

Ryan McGinlay


Holm humbled by red mist

Norwegian midfielder Odin Thiago Holm paid a heavy price for a moment of sheer madness on his Champions League debut which lasted barely 10 minutes. A high studs-up challenge will not be tolerated by any referee at this level. If Gustaf Lagerbielke's ordering off was harsh then there was no doubting Holm rash decision to slide in and commit himself full-blooded to the challenge. It was unnecessary in the extreme. Call it inexperience, call it what you will but Thiago Holm should not be taking such risks and it was a rush of blood to the head. It was ill-discipline of the highest order and he let his teammates and his manager down badly as Celtic were reduced to nine men and a chance the Scottish champions had of gleaning a point evaporated in that instant. It's a tough learning school but Thiago Holm somehow needs to educate himself and prove to his manager that he can be trusted on European football's biggest club stage moving forward. 

Tony Haggerty


O'Riley provides small spark

The Danish under-21 international was immense, especially in the first half and it really is amazing the amount of ground he covers both defensively and offensively. The only blot on his copybook was the fact that it was his cheap possession of the free-kick in added-on time in the opening period that led to Stengs opening goal. O'Riley loves an interception and his long legs certainly help him when it comes to that aspect of his game. He really took things to Feyenoord and needed more of his teammates to step up to the plate just as he did. He always looked calm and assured in possession and rarely gave the ball away. The midfielder did his growing reputation no harm at all with a decent display against the Dutch champions but was let down badly by those around him as Celtic ended the contest with nine men.

Tony Haggerty


Slight Palma positives

In a massive vote of confidence for the new signing, Rodgers elected to go for his more recent summer signing in Palma over Yang Hyun-jun, who started at the weekend. The former Aris man made his debut coming off of the bench in the same game, and he was trusted to occupy one of Celtic’s wing positions from the off in this one. Standing at just under six feet, the winger is an imposing presence out wide in prospect, which should make him an aerial threat on occasion too. From both of his appearances thus far, he seems like the sort of player who will excite the supporters greatly. Admittedly, he does not look like the quickest wide man ever to grace the sport, but he makes up for it with a willingness to take his man on, no matter the end result. Not afraid to get involved, he was involved in a collision with a Feyenoord defender midway through the first half, which required treatment to his nose in turn. He tested the Feyenoord goalkeeper at the start of the second half, but it was well dealt with. Before the Honduras international was taken off, he got past his marker out wide and put a ball into the box, which again was dealt with by the Dutch side. He was replaced by Yang with around 35 minutes to go, so another 55 minutes in the tank were achieved by Palma at his new club. Plenty more to come from him, that is for sure.

Ryan McGinlay