Celtic got their Champions League campaign off to a disappointing start, as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Feyenoord.

Despite the visitors starting off relatively well, their Achilles heel would be their undoing yet again, in the shape of individual errors away from home. Following decent chances from the likes of Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda, Calvin Stengs would convert a free kick on the stroke of half time, which knocked the stuffing out of Celtic so close to the interval.

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Celtic’s job would get even more difficult with around 25 minutes to go, as Gustaf Lagerbielke was shown a second yellow, following the concession of a penalty from the Sweden international. Joe Hart saved the penalty, but the hosts would score 13 minutes later to seal the win through Alireza Jahanbakhsh, with Odin Thiago Holm being shown a straight red card in between these flashpoints. Despite a couple of massive chances for Feyenoord that were ruled out due to VAR, it remained 2-0 when the final whistle went for full-time.Celtic made several changes from the side that beat Dundee 3-0 last Saturday. Hatate and Luis Palma replaced David Turnbull and Yang Hyun-jun, whilst Lagerbielke came in for the injured Nat Phillips.

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

xG trendline

In what eventually turned out to be a comfortable win for Feyenoord, it was Celtic who threatened more in the opening stages. It took the hosts 24 minutes to register an attempt on Hart’s goal, with Maeda and Hatate contributing 0.17 in accumulative xG for their three shots in the opening 18 minutes. In a 10-minute spell, Feyenoord had three chances of their own, but only managed a score of 0.05xG for all three combines, indicating their initial struggle to get going in an attacking sense. Celtic’s best opportunity of the game was to come in the 37th minute, however, from Japanese winger Maeda.The wide man receives the ball off of Hatate in the middle of the park and finds himself running into acres of space in the Feyenoord half. The hosts’ full-back Quilindschy Hartman tries to catch up with Maeda and bundles into the back of him, causing the forward to go off balance when taking the shot, which is saved by Timon Wellenreuther in the Feyenoord goal. Despite this opportunity only scoring 0.05 in terms of xG, the PSxG rose up to 0.22 following the shot, which may have been even higher if he hadn’t been impeded by the opposition’s defender.

This was to be the last flurry of sustained attacks by Celtic, as Feyenoord began to show their quality of the attacking side of things. Following a number of chances that accumulated just 0.11 in xG, they would find a breakthrough, thanks to the help of Celtic’s number one in goals.Following a foul being committed by Matt O’Riley, midfielder Stengs stepped up to take the resulting free-kick outside of the box. Celtic’s defensive wall – which was not set up properly – did not stop the oncoming strike, with Hart too far to one side. In doing so, the goalkeeper does not get a strong enough hand on the strike, and it is palmed into the back of the net by the Englishman. The initial shot was 0.03, which rose to 0.15, but this is a chance that should not have beaten Hart in his area, as indicated by the low xG postings. A costly goal to concede, with Hart the guilty individual operating in a position that has been speculated on for a few months now.

This was to be the last chance of the half, with Celtic actually leading Feyenoord 0.24 to 0.18 in xG, despite the score favouring the hosts.

Thanks to a number of factors, it was to be a largely dominant half for the home side after the interval, with nine of the 11 opportunities in total falling their way.

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The highest chance in terms of xG came from Igor Paixao’s spot kick, who had his effort saved by Hart, though at the expense of a Lagerbielke dismissal. 0.78 rose to 0.88 following the Brazilian’s strike, which indicates how good a save it was from the Celtic goalkeeper. Still, it was going to be difficult to fashion chances with one less player, never mind two, as Holm was shown a straight red for a high challenge with his studs up on the opposition player when making a challenge.

Despite a number of good opportunities for Feyenoord being disallowed by VAR, the hosts would double their advantage through Jahanbakhsh, whose strike was only 0.09 then 0.15 in xG and PSxG respectively. Palma and Callum McGregor had Celtic’s only chances this half, with a joint score of 0.04 for their two opportunities.Celtic had a total of just eight shots, with three of them being on target in the game. What the shot map indicates above is a real lack of opportunities to test the goalkeeper from close range, with many of Celtic’s chances occurring outside the 18-yard box, which gives more proof that this was a poor showing from their attacking outlets.

In the Scottish Premiership, Celtic take on average 15.60 shots per game, though this lower number should be expected, given the heightened quality of opposition and being away from home in European competition.Feyenoord, on the other hand, had 16 shots at goal, of which five were on target. Their shot map indicates that a lot of their opportunities were inside the box, with a small number happening outside of that area. The closer you are, the better chance you have of scoring, as shown by the warmer xG colours.From the table shown above, it is clear to see why Celtic did not manage to score in this game. Their top shot taker was shared three ways, with Palma, Hatate and Maeda on two each. McGregor and O’Riley both had one shot. This underlines the ineffectiveness and lack of service to Kyogo Furuhashi, who failed to register a single shot whatsoever in proceedings. This has to be rectified in the reverse fixture, if not sooner.Feyenoord had a much better variety of players in their top shooters table, with Paixao leading the way in xG with 0.90 off of three shots (helped massively by the penalty). Yankuba Minte also had three shots, whilst Mats Wieffer, Jahanbakhsh and David Hancko had two each.

Possession, passing and positions

In what always feels like an alien concept to Celtic when it happens, they had less possession than their opponents, only managing 40 per cent in this metric, with Feyenoord dominating proceedings on the ball with 60 per cent. Celtic completed 81 per cent of their 442 passes, whilst the hosts had an 88 per cent success rate for their 676 passes in total.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).

These passing networks make for pretty grim reading and viewing, especially if you have observed them following a dominant performance. What stands out for both teams – but especially Celtic – is the lack of service that their respective striker is getting fed. Look at Kyogo in both halves, for example. There are no lines connecting him with any of his providers, which is a real negative, especially playing away from home in Europe where he is Celtic’s main outlet for goals. Paixao suffered the same fate, though the converted winger was more fluid in his position on the field.

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In both halves, it seems as if Hartman was the most effective in terms of the passing network, and this is conveyed in the numbers, too. The lack of warmer OBV values for Celtic in this game is demonstrative of how the game went as a whole for the team, with Alistair Johnston the only real player with decent numbers in this metric for Celtic, at least outfield.

The Canadian was top for Celtic in OBV, contributing 0.08 off of 30 passes, with Hart on 0.07 for 34 of his. O’Riley, Palma and Hatate were Celtic’s main negative culprits in this system, positing negative figures of -0.12, -0.07 and -0.04 in OBV. Again, this metric can be deceiving, as by all accounts O’Riley was one of Celtic’s better players on the night, a view shared by many online.

As mentioned before, Hartman was Feyenoord’s top earner in OBV with 0.22 for 59 passes. The next best was Gernot Trauner, though he only scored 0.09, whilst Luka Ivanušec and Wieffer posted negative values of -0.08 and -0.07 respectively.Key passes also make for uncomfortable viewing, given how only two Celtic players managed at least one. O’Riley had three, whilst Hatate had two, in what was a poor night for passing by Rodgers’ team.For Feyenoord, they could name five players in this regard. Paixao and Minteh managed three, whilst Wieffer, Jahanbakhsh and Hancko had two to their name.

Pressing and defending

Celtic initialised 193 pressures to Feyenoord’s 191, though the Dutch side regained the ball more from said pressures at a difference of 30 to 24 in their favour.

In a statistic that will please the manager, new signing Palma led the way when it came to pressing the opponent, with 29 completed. Usual suspects in this metric Maeda and O’Riley were not far behind, with 26 and 20, with Johnston also reaching the latter figure too. Kyogo had 19, showing he was working hard despite nothing coming his way in an attacking sense. Minteh had 31 pressures, whilst Wieffer managed 25 in total.

For counterpressures, O’Riley led Celtic with six, whilst Maeda had five. Minteh led his side in this metric too, with five, whilst Wieffer and Quinten Timber had four each.

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O’Riley led the way in terms of total tackles and interceptions for Celtic with a combined seven in total, with four clearances to his name also. The midfielder is essential in every area of the park for Celtic, on both the offensive and defensive ends of the pitch. Liam Scales – who had another good game in place of the injured Phillips – completed six clearances, in what was a busy night for the defender.

Wieffer had eight tackles and interceptions, which was a game-high total for both sides in terms of volume. He also managed three clearances, whilst Hancko contributed four to his team’s winning effort.