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Celtic’s Winning Streak Halted by Resilient Saints

Rodgers “We Deserved Nothing”

In a match that was anticipated to be a straightforward victory for Celtic, St Johnstone proved their mettle by holding the Scottish giants to a 0-0 draw. The SPL clash saw Brendan Rodgers’ side drop their first points of the season, a testament to the resilience and tactical nous of the visitors.

Celtic’s Dominance, Yet Lack of Penetration

From the outset, Celtic showcased their intent, dominating possession and creating numerous chances. With 75% of the ball and 19 shots, it seemed inevitable that the home side would find the back of the net. However, St Johnstone’s defensive discipline and the heroics of goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov ensured the scoresheet remained untouched.

Kyogo, David Turnbull, and Matt O’Riley all had promising opportunities, but Mitov’s agility and shot-stopping prowess kept St Johnstone in the game. The Bulgarian’s double save from O’Riley was particularly noteworthy, highlighting his importance to the side.

St Johnstone’s Counter-Attacking Threat

While Celtic pressed high and looked to break down the St Johnstone defence, the visitors had their moments on the counter. Dara Costelloe and Stevie May both had golden opportunities, only to be denied by the experienced Joe Hart. These rare forays into the Celtic half showcased St Johnstone’s ability to transition quickly and pose a threat.

Tactical Takeaways

Rodgers’ side, despite their dominance, lacked the creative spark to unlock a compact St Johnstone defence. The absence of the intensity that defined their previous season was evident, with the team struggling to replicate the dynamism of Ange Postecoglou’s reign.

On the other hand, Steven MacLean’s St Johnstone came with a clear game plan. Their defensive shape was impeccable, and the work rate of every player was commendable. The team’s ability to absorb pressure and then counter-attack posed questions of Celtic’s defence, making for an intriguing tactical battle.

Looking Ahead

With the first Old Firm derby of the season looming, Celtic will need to regroup and find their attacking verve. St Johnstone, buoyed by this result, will look to carry this momentum into their fixture against Dundee.

Key Match Statistics

  • Possession: Celtic 75% – 25% St Johnstone
  • Shots: Celtic 19 – 5 St Johnstone
  • Shots on Target: Celtic 5 – 2 St Johnstone
  • Corners: Celtic 19 – 1 St Johnstone
  • Fouls: Celtic 9 – 12 St Johnstone
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