Celtic players celebrating a goal
ALKMAAR - Celtic FC celebrate the 0-1 of Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic FC during the Europa League play-offs match between AZ Alkmaar and Celtic FC at the AFAS stadium on August 26, 2021 in Alkmaar, Netherlands. ANP ED OF THE POL Europa League Play-offs 2021/2022 xVIxANPxSportx/xxANPxIVx *** ALKMAAR Celtic FC celebrate the 0 1 of Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic FC during the Europa League play offs match between AZ Alkmaar and Celtic FC at the AFAS stadium on August 26, 2021 in Alkmaar, Netherlands ANP ED OF THE POL Europa League Play offs 2021 2022 xVIxANPxSportx xxANPxIVx 436291510

A 2-0 home lead put Celtic in the driver’s seat ahead of locking horns with AZ Alkmaar at AFAS Stadion. The Dutch side conceded early into the game before settling down, but a couple of defensive howlers from the visitors set it up for an epic comeback. One more goal could have stretched the tie to the extra time, however, the Bhoys managed to defend the 3-2 aggregate and secure a place in the Europa League group stages in spite of losing 2-1.

Below are the Celtic players rated in their 2-1 defeat against AZ.

Joe Hart: 6

Was at fault for Zakaria Aboukhlal’s early equalizer. Made a few massive saves to help the Hoops defend the one-goal advantage (on aggregate), however, the veteran Englishman never looked settled between the sticks.

Anthony Ralston: 7

Had a couple of attempts off target and his passes lacked accuracy all throughout the contest. But his long ball for Abada minutes after the kickoff resulted in Furuhashi’s opener. Got dispossessed on a couple of occasions which could have led to further trouble.

Stephen Welsh: 6

Must take the blame to some extent for Aboukhlal’s goal. Was solid otherwise as he kept on winning duels, tackles and making no-nonsense clearances as well as interceptions.

Carl Starfelt: 5

A below-par display from the Swedish centre-half. His bizarre own goal handed the hosts a lifeline and the sloppy defending under pressure helped AZ dominate the tie.

Greg Taylor: 6.5

Was enjoying his minutes until an untimely injury forced him to leave the pitch midway through the first half. Adam Montgomery was brought in to replace the left fullback.

Callum McGregor: 6

Rusty with his tackles, also lost the duels in the middle of the park that refrained the Bhoys from dominating possession and controlling the tempo. Was decent with his passing and distribution.

Celtic players in action against AZ
ALKMAAR, 26-08-2021, AFAS stadion, UEFA Europa League Play-offs Football, season 2021 / 2022, during the match AZ – Celtic are AZ player Dani de Wit AZ player Vangelis Pavlidis Celtic goal keeper Joe Hart AZ – Celtic PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxNED x13156975x Copyright:

David Turnbull: 6.5

Scored a hat-trick versus ten-man St. Mirren on Saturday evening, but the demands were much higher tonight against a quality European opponent. Could not offer enough creative spark in the attacking third.

Tom Rogic: 6

Did not have enough space to make free runs and operate in the advanced areas. Should have worked harder in terms of pressing and chasing the ball. Was taken off to be replaced by Odsonne Edouard around the hour mark.

Liel Abada: 7.5

Set it up beautifully for Furuhashi to find the net. Was not always successful while dribbling past the opponents, but he made timely contributions with tackles and recoveries down the right-hand flank.

Ryan Christie: 7

Adjusted his game based on the situation as he looked lively on the wide. Linked up well high up the pitch on a few occasions, also covered rookie Montgomery defensively who had a tough time since replacing Taylor.

Kyogo Furuhashi: 8.5

The saviour once again as his early goal proved to be the difference in a 3-2 aggregate. Not only he led the line but also played his part in the build-ups despite rare opportunities in the attacking third. Was taken off to be replaced by Ismaila Soro in the closing minutes of the match.

Celtic Subs Vs AZ

Adam Montgomery: 6.5

It was never going to be easy for the teenager, but he managed to defend the scoreline under pressure.

Odsonne Edouard: 6

Tried to hold possession high up the pitch and calm things down in the decisive moments.

Ismaila Soro: NA

Played too little to warrant a rating.

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