The Scottish champions returned to league action on Saturday and grabbed a 1-0 win over Dundee United after new Bhoy Albian Ajeti opened his scoring account with Celtic and the defence kept their first clean sheet in the SPFL this season.
Celtic created some decent chances but were unable to capitalize as both sides entered halftime scoreless. Celtic had plenty of chances and finally capitalized in the 83rd minute through substitute Ajeti after the ball fell to him and he was able to power it into the net.
The Hoops’ first road win of the season took them onto with points. The Hoops will return to European football to play Hungarian side Ferencvarosi for round two UEFA Champions League single leg qualifier on Wednesday.
Here are ‘Four Findings’ from Celtic’s 1-0 win…
From a Dundee United perspective, they will feel hard-done-by. They were set up excellent defensively, and a scrappy goal in the 83rd minute ruined what was a terrific performance from the home side.
Celtic still didn’t bring their best performance, but they still managed to get the three points. The Terrors came in and emulated the set up that Kilmarnock used a couple of weeks ago, and they nearly executed it perfectly until Ajeti snatched the late winner.
Not necessarily the first goal that he would have imagined, but it is a goal nonetheless. After a quiet cameo several days ago, where Ajeti was involved very little, he pounced on his chance Saturday.
The Swiss international did well to keep the ball alive with a header and ended up receiving the ball before powering it past the four players challenging near the goal line. With the uncertainty surrounding Leigh Griffiths, Celtic will need Ajeti to come in and provide another attacking threat when called upon.
Celtic haven’t been convincing in league play so far this season. Whether it’s been poor defending or struggling to break down their opponents, Celtic still have yet to put together a complete performance.
These stumbles will need to be taken care of. The Hoops need to pick up as many points as possible to make room for error later in the season.
Things Must Improve
That is now two straight SPFL matches where Celtic have played very poorly. Things will have to change. Celtic lacked cohesion and moved a bit too slow.
While Celtic found a way to win, they must figure out a way to open up the opposition when they sit so many players behind the ball, as Kilmarnock and Dundee United have done in the past two matches.
Something that I would like to see happen would be a change of formation. The 3-5-2 worked extremely well last season, and Celtic still has the personnel to make it a success again this season, especially if Shane Duffy comes to the Hoops.