Celtic made it back-to-back wins in the Scottish Premiership yesterday with a 3-0 win over Dundee at Dens Park.

In a match where Celtic dominated in virtually every statistical metric, it took until the 52nd minute for the visitors to make the breakthrough, as Paulo Bernardo scored his first goal for the club. Celtic had been attacking heavily in the first half, with Kyogo Furuhashi missing a gilt-edged chance, alongside Liam Scales’ glancing header from a Luis Palma corner. Despite having a barrage of missed chances which could – and should – have been taken, Celtic would make two further breakthroughs thanks to Mikey Johnston’s substitute appearance, in which the much-maligned winger grabbed an impressive double in quick succession. Despite the scoring in the game concluding at three, Brendan Rodgers’ men could have had at least double that if they had been more clinical in front of goal yesterday afternoon.

Perhaps this performance was down to the fact that Rodgers named an unchanged starting line-up to the team that beat Livingston 2-0 at home three days prior. Bernardo was preferred ahead of David Turnbull in the midfield, whilst Daizen Maeda continued to start following his return from injury a few weeks ago. Scales and Cameron Carter-Vickers started in the heart of the defence, while Alistair Johnston and Greg Taylor were deployed as usual at right and left-back respectively. Kyogo led the line, with the likes of Matt O’Riley and Palma in support. As always, Callum McGregor captained the side just in front of his defensive back-line.

Using StatsBomb data, The Celtic Way brings you a match report like no other…

xG trendline

Similar to the Livingston game, Celtic’s percentage when observing the race chart above is extremely high, which indicates how dominant they were in proceedings. Indeed, thanks to the chances they created, they had a 91 per cent chance of winning yesterday’s game, with the next most likely outcome a draw at just eight per cent. Tony Docherty’s side only had a one per cent likelihood of winning this game concerning xG.

One thing to point out before getting into the many opportunities that Celtic created on the day is the fact that our stats provider had to use two pages to document the sheer scale of chances that the side created. 38 in total, it was a very impressive – if a little wasteful – attacking performance by Rodgers’ men.

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Despite being the away side, Celtic made seven chances before Dundee registered a single shot, though it must be underlined that the visitors were extremely wasteful in front of goal. Of these seven chances before Zak Rudden’s header (0.07 xG), the best ones in the eyes of xG fell to Kyogo and O’Riley, though both failed to hit the target (0.23 xG combined).

Following Rudden’s chance – Dundee’s only chance of the first half – Celtic would go on to create 12 chances before the break, again showing their attacking prowess. Unsurprisingly, Kyogo’s one-on-one miss with Trevor Carson was statistically the highest-scoring opportunity at 0.46 xG, with the Japanese striker’s shot dragging just wide of the far post. Despite registering a further 11 shots, the next highest xG score was Palma’s header at 0.17, perhaps indicating that the away side’s shot selection was not necessarily up to scratch on the day.

Regardless, the side will have been annoyed to have not made the breakthrough, though much like against Livingston they did not hang around following the restart. Bernardo – starting his second consecutive game – got on the end of a cutting pass from Palma, with his contact going through the legs of Carson and into the back of the net. A messy goal, the xG and PSxG stood at 0.03 and 0.07, highlighting that the touch of the goalkeeper played a massive part in the transpiration of this opening goal. Still, the Portugal U21 international will not complain, as he got the goal that his performance deserved on the day.

A common feature this season for Celtic is fragility when they go a goal up, as it seems that they are always susceptible to giving away opportunities following a conversion of their own. This continued in Dundee, as the home side created three chances in two minutes – one from Aaron Donnelly and two from Luke McCowan (0.16 combined xG). Thankfully they never amounted to anything, but it is something that Celtic must not allow to happen on Saturday if they manage to score first.

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It would be 32 minutes until Celtic would double their lead through Johnston, with six chances in between Bernardo’s goal and the second conversion of the afternoon. O’Riley contributed three of these chances at a combined xG of just 0.10. Johnston would come off the bench and make a big impact in this game, taking his opportunity to shine after being left on the bench. His first of the evening would be a tame strike from outside of the box (0.03 xG), which was parried by Carson into the net feebly. Only rising to 0.05 in PSxG, it indicates that this was a poor goal to concede, but the winger will not care one bit.

His second was far more impressive. The Ireland international played the ball towards O’Riley, whose pass back hit off a Dundee defender before making its way back to Johnston. From here, he side-footed the ball past Carson, who could not get near the accurate strike. Rising from 0.09 to 0.71 in PSxG, the winger topped off an impressive cameo with a well-earned brace on the day. Despite a couple of chances at the end of the game, the match finished 3-0.


Probably the graphic that you have all been waiting for, the shot map makes for incredible viewing if you are of a Celtic-minded persuasion. Incredibly, the 38 shots they had yesterday is the second-highest total the team have had this season, as they managed 39 shots against the 10 men of Ross County last month. They average 21.75 shots a game, so the team performed well above their average.

Looking at Celtic’s top shooters on the day, surprisingly Palma only has three shots to his name. Two of Celtic’s three midfielders were at the top of the table for strikes, as O’Riley and Bernardo had seven and five respectively. Substitutes Oh Hyeon-gyu and Johnston had four each.


Celtic’s passing network concerning OBV (on-ball values – a definition can be read here) is certainly something to behold. The redder the circle, the greater the OBV score. Looking at both the first and second half, it is clear that Johnston at right-back was extremely effective with his ball movement and distribution, as shown by his red colouring in both halves. Palma also had a good OBV performance in both halves, which is unsurprising given the amount of touches and opportunities the Honduran made. His teammates recognise that, too, as a lot of passes (the lines) are coming his way in games.

Looking at statistics, Johnston was by far the standout performer in this metric with a massive 0.83 OBV for 79 passes Palma was next with 0.33, whilst Kyogo and Bernardo posted negative OBV ratings in contrast.

This next statistic is ridiculous, to put it frankly. Despite blowing hot and cold, one thing that is consistent about Palma is his high creativity numbers in games. Perhaps the most eye-catching statistic of the day lies in Celtic’s key passers, where the Honduran managed an incredible 11 in total. On any other day, the likes of Johnston and Taylor who both had six would be top of this specific table, but Palma is well out in front with his impressive score. O’Riley had three on the day, whilst Scales had two, including an assist to Johnston for his first goal.


On the defensive end of proceedings, Celtic kept their second clean sheet in as many games, which will please the manager greatly. They pressured 118 times to Dundee’s 191, regaining it 24 times to the home side’s 33. Celtic’s best pressure player on the day was Bernardo, who is picking up a nice habit of topping these charts when he plays. The midfielder managed 26 in total, as well as five counterpressures, which he shared with Palma. Right-back Johnston managed 15 pressures of his own, meanwhile, Maeda had 13 on the day.

Despite not having a lot of defending to do in truth, Scales was again impressive at the back as he managed four tackles in the game. Bernardo had the most tackles for the side with three. Time for another amazing stat, as Scales managed 18 aerial wins and 10 clearances, in what was another outstanding performance from Celtic’s renaissance man this campaign. Despite the left-back’s physique, Taylor managed nine aerial wins at Dens Park, in what was a return to form for the Scotland international yesterday.


Overall, a dominant performance from Rodgers’ men yesterday, who are now guaranteed to be top of the table going into 2024 regardless of Saturday’s scoreline thanks to Rangers’ postponed match versus Ross County. The Celtic manager will be delighted with the response that his players have shown over the past week or so and will be hoping for more of the same as Saturday rolls ever closer for the side.

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If Palma can be a little more careful with his decision-making at times, then who knows what numbers he can end up with at the end of the season. With 16 goal contributions already this season in just 20 appearances, the sky is the limit for the tricky winger, who still has plenty of time to hone his skills under Rodgers at Celtic.

He is not the only player to be coming into the Glasgow Derby on good form, as Alistair Johnston and Taylor both put in great performances at Dens Park. Both contributed six key passes, as the former’s OBV total was the highest in the game. This bodes well for what is sure to be a tense affair at Celtic Park this weekend.