It was the same old story for Celtic in Europe, as their decade-long wait for a win in the Champions League was extended, thanks to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Lazio.

In a game that Celtic had to win to maintain any hopes of getting through the group, they went the right way about starting it, as Kyogo Furuhashi scored his first-ever goal in the competition in the 12th minute. However, Matias Vecino headed home an equaliser 17 minutes later, in what was a game that was a lot more even than potentially expected.

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Admittedly, the match had very few clear-cut chances, and Celtic thought they had taken the lead again through substitute Luis Palma, but the goal was ruled out after a lengthy check by VAR. Following a mistake by the usually reliable Cameron Carter-Vickers, Pedro headed home a cross by Matteo Guendouzi in the 96th minute to seal the game from the visitors, in a game Celtic should have realistically taken something from.

Celtic made two changes from the side that beat Motherwell on Saturday, as Joe Hart returned in goals following his omission at Fir Park due to suspension, along with Nat Phillips in place of the suspended Gustaf Lagerbielke. Despite his goalscoring exploits four days prior, Palma was benched again in place of Hyun-jun Yang on the wing. The rest of the team was as you would expect, with Kyogo leading the forward line up top.

Here at The Celtic Way, we round up all of the best StatsBomb data to give you a match report unlike any other…

xG Trendline

Despite Celtic having more chances than Lazio overall in the match, it was the visitors who threatened first through former West Ham United winger Felipe Anderson. This occurred in the second minute, with his shot blocked by Liam Scales (0.04 xG). The home side would begin to threaten the Lazio backline, however, through Kyogo, who had his shot blocked by Vecino (0.05 xG). Many were hoping that the Japan international would finally break his Champions League goalscoring duck in this match, and they did not have to wait long to get their answer...

Following his blocked shot just two minutes before, Kyogo would be the main man once again, this time in Europe’s elite competition. Following good play down the wing from Daizen Maeda, he would cut inside and find Matt O’Riley, Celtic’s standout performer this season. The midfielder played a great pass to Kyogo, who made no mistake in finishing off the chance through the legs of Ivan Provedel in the Lazio goal. This goal generated 0.35 in xG, but fell to 0.20 in PSxG, as the striker took a chance by hitting it straight at the keeper rather than picking a side, with the shot getting a slight touch off of Provedel before hitting the net.

The goal was nothing more than Celtic deserved for their efforts thus far in the game, and they had a golden opportunity to double their lead five minutes later through Maeda. He found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but his first touch let him down before dragging his shot wide (0.11 xG).

It was then Lazio’s turn to attack - through fellow Japanese player Daichi Kamada (0.03 xG) - before they gained an equaliser in proceedings through Vecino. Celtic failed to deal with a corner properly, and Phillips was beaten in the air by a rising Alessio Romagnoli, who directed his header goalwards. That chance is blocked (0.05 xG), but the second chance falls to Vecino, who put the ball past Hart in the Celtic goals with his head. A scrappy goal – like most of Celtic’s conceded goals in Europe seem to be – that scored 0.18 in xG, rising to 0.61 due to the close proximity of Vecino to the goal and the accuracy of the header that left Hart with little chance of saving it. Indeed, The Englishman did get contact on the chance created, but it went over the line regardless.

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Apart from a tame shot from O’Riley, it was Lazio who looked more likely to take the lead in the first half. Vecino and Anderson both had chances, but they were low-scoring in terms of xG, accumulating a lowly 0.06 in xG. The latter player had a good chance following the restart, with his shot in the 51st minute dragged just wide (0.12 xG).

From that point onwards in proceedings, however, it was Celtic who threatened more, with Reo Hatate testing the goalkeeper, following a lay-off from O’Riley via a free-kick (0.04 xG). Alistair Johnston was next to try his luck, as did Maeda again, but both didn’t trouble the goalkeeper (0.12 xG combined). Lazio only managed to create three chances in the whole of the second half, their second of three coming from Kamada again, whose long-range shot was saved by Hart (0.05 xg).

It looked as if it was going to be one-way traffic in terms of goalmouth chances, with substitute Paulo Bernardo, an acrobatic attempt from Scales and a close-range Kyogo chance proof of that. (0.28 xG accumulated). In Celtic's big moment in the second half, Maeda’s attempted overhead kick was blocked (0.07 xG), and found its way to Palma, who impressively finished the chance. However, VAR ruled the goal out due to Maeda’s touch in the lead-up to the chance, and the goal was disallowed. Celtic continued to push for the winner, which would end up being their downfall in the end.

Carter-Vickers, who made his first appearance since picking up an injury at the start of the season, is dispossessed at the back, and the ball came to former Arsenal midfielder Guendouzi. He proceeds to pick out the veteran winger Pedro, who placed an expertly executed header past Hart in goals. A sickening way to lose a game, especially when in a ‘must-win’ scenario following the first game against Feyenoord. In a game Celtic realistically should have won, they found themselves on the losing side once again.

Celtic had a total of 11 shots in this game, with four being on target at a cumulative xG of 1.08. Their shot map shows that all of their shots apart from two were inside the box, with Kyogo’s late chance being the closest in terms of proximity to Provedel in the Lazio goal. This shows that Celtic are making chances in Europe, but not necessarily taking them when required, even though a few of their chances were speculative at best.

In terms of league games this season, Celtic average 16.71 shots per 90 minutes. They managed eight against Feyenoord, so this was a step up in terms of attacking output.

For Lazio, they managed nine shots, with three being on target. The visitors had more shots outside of the box than their opponents, yet both of their goals occurred from headers from around about the same area of the box on the left-hand side of the box. They were clinical when they had to be and made Celtic pay for their misses and lack of efficiency in front of goal.

In terms of shooting for Celtic, Maeda and Kyogo were Celtic’s busiest attackers, with three shots at goal each, though the latter posted a higher xG score of 0.54 because of the goal. Scales, Bernardo and Johnston made it onto the table with their respective solitary shots.

In the case of Lazio, Anderson managed three, whilst Vecino scored one of his two chances as an xG of 0.19. Kamada also had two shots, whilst Pedro made his one chance count right at the death via a header.

Possession, passing and positions.

Despite there being a gap in finances between the two sides, Celtic had the majority of possession against Lazio. They had 55 per cent of the ball in the game, completing 595 of their 685 total passe, at a high success rate of 87 per cent. The away side had 45 per cent of proceedings on the ball, completing 474 of their 571 passes, scoring a percentage of 83 for their success in distributing the ball.

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).

The passing networks for both teams in both the first and second half indicate how the game changed in terms of events on the pitch, and who was key in that. The opening 45 minutes were uninspiring for Celtic in terms of an OBV standpoint, as only Greg Taylor managed to post a somewhat warm performance in terms of his passing efficiency. For Lazio in this period, it is clear that Luis Alberto was their man in this metric, as he posted the warmest colour and biggest circle for both teams in the first half.

In the second half, Taylor excelled again, though he was joined by Callum McGregor, Johnston and Maeda in OBV successes. Judging by both of Celtic’s networks, it seems that the team were trying to play a lot down the left-hand side, with McGregor’s position being almost alongside Taylor in the second half, which in turn boosted his OBV. Maeda and Johnston were trying to do similar on the right-hand side, as shown in the bottom graphic. For Lazio, their network was colder in colour, though take a moment to observe Guendouzi’s circle. His OBV is the lightest for the team in this period despite being a substitute, and he delivered the all-important assist to Pedro. Not a bad night’s work for the talented midfielder.

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In terms of statistical values for each team - despite his struggles on the night – Taylor had the highest OBV for both teams at 0.24 for 71 passes. McGregor and Johnston were next, with 0.18 and 0.15 respectively, largely down to their second-half performances. In what was a pretty dismal night for Yang, he scored a negative OBV, which was -0.12 off of 12 passes.

As mentioned, Luis Alberto stood out for Lazio in this metric, scoring 0.10 for 50 passes on OBV. Ciro Immobile – a stalwart for Italy and arguably the greatest Italian striker of his generation – posted a negative OBV of -0.09 for 15 passes. More of a finisher than a creator, you would say.

O’Riley was Celtic’s standout provider again on the night, contributing an assist in his three key passes at a combined xG of 0.43. Johnston, McGregor Taylor and Hatate all had one each.

Lazio’s top key passer was shared, though the highest total was one. In that regard, Guendouzi, Vecino, Immobile, Alberto and Anderson all contributed, though it was the first name’s assist that proved vital in the game.

Pressing and defending

Celtic initialised 180 pressures to Lazio’s 151, managing more pressure regains at a rate of 33 to 24.

In what always seems to be the case, Maeda and O’Riley led the way for Celtic in terms of pressuring the opponent, scoring 35 and 25 respectively. Kyogo and Johnstone scored 21 and 20, whilst Yang and Taylor both managed 18. Vecino had 23 pressures for Lazio, whilst Alberto had 21.

For counterpressures, O’Riley had seven, in what was another good shift put in by the dynamic midfielder on the night. Taylor had six, despite his own poor performance, as he didn’t shirk away from his defensive duties. Kamada had six of his own for the visitors.

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In terms of defensive contributions, it was a joint effort from many, as the combined total of three defensive actions in terms of tackles and interceptions was shared between four players in terms of Taylor, McGregor, Johnston and Palma. Scales had five clearances, whilst Carter-Vickers had four in his short stint on the park. Celtic may have got something from the game if he had added another to his total, unfortunately.

Anderson had four tackles and interceptions in the match, a game-high for both teams. Patric had five clearances for his side, as Maurizio Sarri’s side got out of Glasgow with three points in the dying embers of the contest.