Celtic’s European adventure came to a swift and early end, as they were defeated 2-0 by Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

In a game that Brendan Rodgers’ side had to win to have any hope of continental football after Christmas, Celtic had the better of the chances in the opening exchanges, with Kyogo Furuhashi firing an accurate but tame shot at Ivan Provedel in the Lazio goal. The home side were limited to speculative shots from outside of the box for large portions of the game, though they managed to get more strikes than the visitors in proceedings. It was a game that Celtic were competitive in, thanks to keeping 11 men on the pitch for the duration of the contest.

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It would be the home side that would make the breakthrough, however, as two goals from their talismanic figure Ciro Immobile would pull them away from Celtic, qualifying for the last 16 in the process. Celtic were awarded a late penalty deep into stoppage time, but it was overturned thanks to intervention from VAR. This result means that Celtic will play no further part in Europe after their dead rubber match against Feyenoord on Matchday 6, with the Dutch side dropping down to the Europa League in third place themselves after losing later on to Atletico Madrid.

Celtic made several changes for this game, with Alistair Johnston returning in place of Anthony Johnston, whilst Paulo Bernardo replaced Odin Thiago Holm in the midfield. On the wing, the suspended Luis Palma was replaced by veteran James Forrest, who swapped wings with Yang Hyun-jun to play on the right, with the South Korean playing on the left. Kyogo Furuhashi led the line as usual for Rodgers’ side, especially in European competition this season.

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

xG trendline

Judging by the xG trendline above, the chances created only gave Celtic a six per cent chance of winning this game, with a 20 per cent chance of a draw and 74 per cent in favour of a victory for Maurizio Sarri’s side.

The first chance from either side came from Lazio’s Gustav Isaksen, who was busy all night on the wing for the hosts. His speculative effort forced a save out of Joe Hart, but a comfortable one at that (0.03 xG). A minute later, Kyogo would receive the ball from Bernardo in the midfield, turning just outside the box before striking from range. Admittedly, the shot had little power or venom behind it, allowing Provedel to save the strike with relative ease. 0.08 in xG rising to 0.33 is PSxG, this was statistically Celtic’s second-best chance in the whole game, which shows just how ineffective the team was in front of goal, a feature of Celtic in recent times, and not just in the Champions League.

This one shot was to be the only chance Celtic had in the first half, with Lazio dominating in this department despite having less of the ball. From the seventh to the 44th minute, it was all efforts from the home side, though the vast majority of them were low xG opportunities. The best of these came to former West Ham winger Felipe Anderson - who got on the end of a Mateo Guendouzi cross – though his header went wide. This was Lazio’s best chance of the half statistically at 0.11 in xG, with Guendouzi’s header just before being the next best at 0.08 xG. These nine shots faced by Celtic from Lazio accumulated just 0.42 in total, a low figure for the amount of chances Sarri’s side conjured up.

Following the restart – despite the low xG – Kyogo had Celtic’s best chance at opening the scoring. Following good work from Matt O’Riley, the midfielder passed the ball to his striker, who launched a low shot in the direction of Provedel’s far post. He got a good connection, though the chance went wide of the post by mere inches. This shot scored 0.07 in xG, though in Europe these chances simply have to be taken, given their rarity, especially away from home. This was to be Celtic’s sole chance for 23 minutes of play, as Lazio threatened once again with a cluster of opportunities over the next quarter of the game. The aforementioned Isaksen had the best one, similarly dragging his shot just wide of the far post too from the wing. At 0.16 in xG, this was one of the better opportunities in the game for either side, with the Danish U21 international coming close to opening the scoring.

Celtic’s next chance would come in the 70th minute through an unlikely source in Cameron Carter-Vickers, whose header was easily saved by the home goalkeeper (0.05 xG). Substitute Oh Hyeon-gyu was next to threaten, though his shot was similarly tame and straight at the goalkeeper. The 0.03 xG shot decreased to 0.00 in PSxG, highlighting the weakness of this opportunity in execution, though praise must be given to the striker for making space and letting one fly.

Going into the final 10 minutes, Lazio began to turn the screw in the game, with Immobile and Luis Alberto both getting shots away (0.21 combined xG). They would take the lead through the former in the 82nd minute, as Isaksen’s shot deflected off of Liam Scales (0.05 xG) and into the path of the legendary striker. Judging the flight of the ball following the deflection perfectly, Immobile managed to get beyond his marker in Carter-Vickers and the ball landed at his feet. The ball bounces, giving the striker a trademark opportunity that he is only too happy to put away, as he nestles the ball into Hart’s far corner. A good finish by a modern-day great, his xG for this conversion was 0.46, though it dropped to 0.16 in PSxG, perhaps down to aiming the shot near Hart, who potentially could have done better with regard to saving it.

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It would be the same man just three minutes later, though this would be a far more impressive goal by the Lazio and Italy striking stalwart. The ball was lofted in the air and Immobile managed to outmuscle Scales in the Celtic defence. By switching feet, he manages to outthink Carter-Vickers - who has come over to cover his teammate – before outsmarting Hart finishing at his near post when the far corner was gaping. At this level, elite strikers will finish chances like this, and Immobile was in no mood to squander these opportunities presented to him. Such is the quality of the shot, it rose from 0.21 to 0.91 in PSxG, an example of an expert at work in terms of leading the line.

By this point, the tie – and Celtic’s European hopes as a whole – were in tatters. Despite this, the visitors would have the last two chances of the game, with the hosts perhaps sensing that proceedings were over. Funnily enough, Carter-Vickers’ header was statistically Celtic’s best chance of the match at 0.11 xG, with Mikey Johnston concluding the action with a 0.01 xG shot from distance that was saved by Provedel.

Celtic had a total of just seven shots in this game, with four of them being on target at a cumulative xG of 0.37. From observing their shot map, it is clear to see why Celtic have not scored a goal away from home in Europe this campaign. The two shots in the centre of the box both came from the head of Carter-Vickers, whilst Oh’s shot on the right-hand side was blocked. Further back, Kyogo’s closest sight of goal is also on the right, while three further shots occurred outside of the box.

In the Champions League so far this campaign, Celtic average 6.60 shots per 90 minutes, ranking them in the second percentile. With seven on the night, the club performed to their average, but a poor average at that.

It was a different story for Lazio, who managed 22 shots, seven being on target at an xG cumulative total of 1.71. Their shot map indicates a far more positive attacking outlook for the hosts, as it is illustrated with many examples, especially inside the box. The blue colourings outside the box indicate low xG chances from distance, which was the story of their opening 45 minutes, but it was a different story following the restart. The bordered shapes indicate Immobile’s two goals, which were both inside the box. A master poacher, he poached Celtic to good effect last night with his quick-fire double.

In the competition, Lazio has averaged 13.20 shots per game, putting them in the 68th percentile, an above-average total. Still, they outperformed that average on the night, which in turn helped them on their way to another win and qualification to the knockout stages.

On what was a quiet night for Celtic once again in front of goal, there was a three-way tie for their top shooter in the game. Kyogo and Oh had two – as did Carter-Vickers – though it was the defender that had the highest xG at 0.16. Johnston contributed the one other shot in proceedings.

For Lazio, Isaksen was the busiest attacker on the park with five shots, while Alberto had four. Immobile had three – joint with Castellanos and Anderson – though he scored two goals at just 0.69 xG. The Italian is absolutely lethal in front of goal, and Celtic found that out the hard way.

Possession, passing and positions

Despite having fewer shots and shots on target in the game, Celtic were the more dominant side in terms of possession with 54 per cent to Lazio’s 46. They also completed 88 per cent of their 630 passes to Lazio’s 85 per cent of 538 passes.

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. In the opening 45 minutes, Scales was Celtic’s best OBV contributor in terms of his use of the ball, as is shown by his large and bright circle in the diagram. Again, look at Kyogo’s isolated position on the field, a problem both domestically and in Europe. The striker must have better service if he is to be used effectively in a Rodgers team. Lazio had several positive OBV performers in this period, with Alberto and Guendouzi both pulling the strings in midfield, as well as Adam Marusic providing a solid option at left-back.

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It was a switch following the restart, as Carter-Vickers took over from Scales in terms of positive OBV performers. It was O’Riley who starred for Celtic in this period, as shown by his red colouring in the diagram. Alistair Johnston was also a positive influence for Celtic in this metric at that time. Isaksen and Castellanos were the two top performers for the home side with their warmer colours, as they pushed on and grabbed the victory late on.

O’Riley was Celtic’s top OBV performer in terms of statistics, scoring 0.18 off of 27 passes. Carter-Vickers and Johnston both had 0.13 just behind the Danish international. It was a poor night for Forrest in this regard, as he scored -0.08, the lowest total for both sides. Callum McGregor, Kyogo and Hart all joined him in that negative regard. For Lazio, former Arsenal midfielder Guendouzi was the top OBV contributor for both sides with 0.22, with Alberto next with 0.19. Anderson and Provedel were the negative contributors, with the former scoring -0.07 for his 20 passes.

O’Riley was Celtic’s standout key passer with three, two more than four players who were joint-second with just one, with an xG of 0.23. Scales, Yang, Johnston and Bernardo were the other contributors.

Lazio midfielder Alberto had a game-high six key passes, double that of O’Riley. His accumulated xG was 0.24, though Isaksen’s four of his own had a higher haul of 0.29 in xG. Anderson and Guendouzi had two each.

Pressing and defending

Celtic initialised 276 pressures to Lazio’s 183, though they only regained the ball back 43 times to the home side’s 39. Not for the first time, Bernardo pressured the ball more than any other player on the park with a massive 45, though O’Riley was not far behind with 40 of his own, whilst Kyogo had 39. Isaksen and Nicolo Rovella had 28 and 27 pressures respectively for Lazio on the night. Bernardo and O’Riley shared the spoils in counterpressures with eight each, whilst Rovella had seven for their opponents.

Johnston at right-back for Celtic had the most combined tackles and interceptions for his team with nine combines, with Greg Taylor one behind on eight at left-back. Rovella had the game-high combined tackles and interceptions with a massive 10 in the game. Scales had the most clearances for Celtic with five, as Carter-Vickers won three aerial duels. Patric won four aerial duels for his side in the game, as they secured the victory late on thanks in part due to their resolute defence.