Celtic’s perfect away form ended abruptly at Easter Road on Saturday afternoon, as Brendan Rodgers’ men and Hibernian played out a goalless draw in the capital.

In a game where the visitors dominated proceedings in terms of possession and shots at goal, the side couldn’t make the breakthrough against Nick Montgomery’s side. Despite big chances falling to the likes of Paulo Bernardo, Daizen Maeda and James Forrest, Celtic drew a blank for the second time this season, though they extended their lead at the top of the table to eight points, with Rangers playing the following day. The home side had chances too – specifically Martin Boyle’s gilt-edged opportunity from a few yards out - but the Australia international dragged his shot wide of Joe Hart’s goal. Celtic pushed in the final few minutes through the likes of Mikey Johnston, Oh Hyeon-gyu and Forrest, but the game finished goalless.

Rodgers made just one change from the team that drew 2-2 with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night. It was an enforced one, as Reo Hatate dropped out of the side altogether due to picking up a hamstring injury early on in midweek, with his replacement that night starting this one in Bernardo. Apart from that change, it was a consistent line-up, with Liam Scales and Cameron Carter-Vickers providing cover in the heart of the defence, whilst Luis Palma and Maeda were again operating on their respective wings. As usual, Kyogo Furuhashi led the line for the champions, with Matt O’Riley just behind him in the attacking midfield role.

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

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Rodgers after the game refused to commit to the excuse of a “European hangover”, but his side started this game very sleepily, perhaps due to their midweek excursions in the Champions League. Still, it was Celtic that had the first two opportunities in the game, though just two chances in 28 minutes indicate a drop in attacking form, given how quickly they have been starting games of late. It took 18 minutes for them to register a shot at goal, this coming from Bernardo, whose shot went just wide of the target. Despite scoring just 0.03 in xG, the stats do not tell the whole story, as this strike came very close to creeping in at the far post. 10 minutes later, Palma’s header went wide, in what was a slow start to proceedings (0.05 xG).

Hibs had their first shot at goal in the 30th minute, as winger Elie Youan’s shot was easily saved by Hart from distance (0.02 xG). Celtic then had a flurry of three opportunities in one minute, as they pushed from an opener through the outlets of captain Callum McGregor and Palma, the former coming closest to making a breakthrough (0.20 xG combined). The home side managed to defend these and gained several corners in the game, perhaps their best avenue for scoring on the day. These corners gave Joe Newell and Dylan Vente chances, though they weren’t converted (0.06 xG). Kyogo would have a decent chance blocked by Rocky Bushiri in the Hibs defence (0.07 xG) before the biggest chance of the game would fall to his international teammate…

In the last chance of the half, Bernardo would make his way into the box and get close to David Marshall in the Hibs goal. The former Celtic keeper would make a mess of obtaining the ball and it would fall to Maeda, who took the shot first-time when it fell to him. Marshall would make amends for his mistake seconds earlier by pulling off a magnificent save from close range, denying Maeda in the process. This shot’s xG score was 0.45 but rose to 0.84 in PSxG, indicating that the attacker did nothing wrong here, but rather it was a good save by the former Scotland international to deny him.

Following the restart, it was pretty much one-way traffic in terms of chances falling Celtic’s way, though Hibs arguably had the best chance of the game in one of their rare forays forward. Following a speculative long-range effort from Palma (0.01 xG) and a free kick from Vente (0.05 xG), Boyle had an incredible chance to put his side in front. Full-back Jordan Obita delivered an excellent ball into Celtic’s box to Boyle, who met it with an outstretched leg. Inexplicably, the wide man failed to hit the target when it mattered most, uncharacteristically squandering the best chance of the game for his team. 0.37 in xG, Boyle will no doubt be replaying this chance in his mind for the next few days, as his failure to even test Hart in goals will be a source of great frustration for him and his teammates.

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After the Boyle chance, Celtic had every single opportunity for the next 35 minutes in the game. In truth, many of these were speculative or low-xG opportunities, though the volume of shots will be a small positive for Rodgers despite the lack of end product. Seven chances in 20 minutes from the likes of Palma, McGregor, Johnston, O’Riley and Oh displayed productivity, but a lack of cutting-edge in their execution (0.23 xG). Celtic had made plenty of substitutions by this point, and arguably the best chance of the game for them came to one of those changes…

David Turnbull stepped up to take a corner in the 84th minute and delivered an excellent cross into the box, finding Forrest, who is no stranger to scoring at Easter Road. The diminutive winger takes a touch before shooting, with his strike crashing against the crossbar, in what was a massive opportunity for Celtic to take the lead late on (0.17 xG).

Full-backs Anthony Ralston (who came on for an injured Alistair Johnston in the first half) and Greg Taylor had chances – as did Forrest again – though the goal never came (0.14 xG). Adam Le Fondre had Hibs’ final chance, though it was blocked (0.04 xG), whilst substitutes Turnbull and Forrest pushed for a winner for the visitors. Still, their efforts were in vain (0.25 xG).

Celtic had 21 shots in this game, though only four of these were on target. Celtic average 18.30 shots per game, so they were well on form in terms of chance creation, but their accuracy was nowhere to be found on the day. Looking at the shot map, Celtic had a mix of chances from both inside and out of the box, with many of their chances coming from the left-hand side. Their three best chances were on the right and centre of the box, however, from Maeda and his replacement Forrest, though their high-xG chances failed to materialise in the goal department.

Hibs on the other hand had six shots, with one being on target. They average 12.70 shots per game and will be disappointed they did not get near this amount - especially at home – despite the opposition. Their shot map is far less illustrated, as many of their chances occurred outside of the box in low-xG situations. Still, that chance for Boyle sticks out like a sore thumb in the middle of the box, which should have resulted in a goal, in all honesty.

Palma was Celtic’s busiest shooter on the day, though his five speculative chances only generated 0.16 in cumulative xG. Forrest had three chances with a higher xG of 0.42, with McGregor, Johnston and Oh all having two attempts in the game.

Dutch forward Vente had two shots for Hibs, which was their highest total in the game (0.09 xG), though Boyle’s one chance scored a massive 0.40 xG, highlighting its danger in the game to Celtic. Le Fondre, Youan and Newell had the other chances in the game for the home side.

Possession, passing and positions

Unsurprisingly, Celtic completely dominated the ball in this game, as they do in virtually all of their domestic matches, with 70 per cent possession. They completed 695 of their 797 passes at a percentage success rate of 87, whilst Hibs had a success rate of 72 per cent, completing 246 of their 340 passes with 30 per cent possession in the game.

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 what transpired. The first-half passing network diagram highlights good performances on the ball for Celtic at the back, with Taylor, Scales and Carter-Vickers posting warm colours in terms of OBV, as well as Palma, as it was clear that the team were trying to play through him as an attacking force. Conversely for Hibs, it was only goalkeeper Marshall who posted above-average OBV in the first half, as many of their players struggled to get going in a passing sense.

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Following the restart, Scales was the standout in this half for Celtic when it comes to OBV, judging by his amber colouring in the defence. Ralston and Carter-Vickers also had good postings, in what was a frustrating afternoon for Celtic’s attackers further up the pitch. Much like the opening 45 minutes, Celtic were trying to play down the left, as is shown in the position of the majority of players on the network diagram. Hibs’ lone standout for this half was Obita, which is because of his excellent delivery concerning Boyle’s chance. Otherwise, it was a pretty uninspiring day for the home side in this particular metric.

Scales had the best statistics for Celtic in OBV with 0.20 for 134 passes, with Carter-Vickers scoring 0.17 for his 116 distributions. Bernardo struggled in this area, as his 16 passes scored a negative of -0.08, with O’Riley, Maeda and Kyogo also not posting a positive OBV between them.

The highest OBV score came from Obita of Hibs, as his 26 passes earned him a statistic of 0.27. Marshall had 0.12, whilst Newell, Lewis Miller, Jair Tavares, Vente and Youan all had negative figures, in what was a poor game of football.

Taylor led the way for key passes in the game, his four only accumulating 0.15 in xG, though. Substitute Turnbull fared better, with his three passes amassing 0.42 xG in the process. Forrest and O’Riley had two, whilst Scales had one.

Youan, Obita and Boyle all had one key pass each for Hibs, with Obita scoring the highest xG of 0.40 for his team with that Boyle delivery.

Pressing and defending

Celtic initialised a total of 119 pressures to Hibs’ 146, with the home side regaining the ball 21 times to the visitors’ 16. After his 44 pressures in midweek, Bernardo was top again for Celtic with 20 pressures, with Kyogo not far behind with 17 and Palma with 14. O’Riley and Maeda – usually the side’s best pressure performers – had low scores of 12 and 11 respectively. For Hibs, Youan displayed his defensive capabilities with 27 pressures, whilst Jimmy Jeggo and Miller had 23 and 21, as the home side battled for their point.

Palma was Celtic’s best counterpressure outlet with four, whilst Bernardo and Ralston had three. Jeggo led the way in the game with five, whilst Youan, Miller and Vente had four and three.

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Defensively, Celtic’s O’Riley scored the highest amount of combined tackles and interceptions with four, whilst Carter-Vickers, Bernardo and Johnston (Mikey) had three. Carter-Vickers had five clearances in this game, whereas Ralston won four aerial duels in proceedings.

Miller was the standout player by a considerable distance in the game, with a massive 10 combined tackles and interceptions for his team. Will Fish and Bushiri had nine clearances each at the back, whilst Jeggo and Vente won three duels in the air.