Former Celtic star and pundit Chris Sutton is seeing the positives in his former club’s Old Firm defeat against Rangers.
A second-half header from Sweden international Filip Helander sent Ibrox into rapturous delight and was enough to see the Premiership holders secure all three points against their arch-rivals.
However, Celtic were far from impotent in most areas of the pitch: they dominated on the ball with 65.8% possession and matched Rangers in terms of set pieces.
However, Celtic were forced to make enforced tweaks to their set-up with minor injuries to James Forrest and Greg Taylor.
New signing Josip Juranovic made his debut out of position at left-back, whilst Kyogo Furuhashi was deployed on the left with the task of feeding Odsonne Edouard.
Reflecting on the game, Sutton wrote in the Daily Record:
“There would have been pain in the away dressing room at Ibrox after the final whistle yesterday.
“The Celtic players will have been distraught – at least they should have felt distraught.
“I’ve been there myself and it’s a horrible feeling. Especially when there will be a real sense Celtic could have got something out of this game.
“But that’s why when the dust settles, my old club should also grasp the fact there are some positives.
“There wasn’t much in the game. Celtic had more than 60 per cent of possession and plenty of chances to hit the back of the net. That’s what will gnaw at them most.”
Sutton added: “Don’t buy any nonsense about this being a weakened Rangers team. They had an issue at right-back but still had an international player to bring in.
“You could argue Celtic had a harder time of it with absences with James Forrest and Greg Taylor missing.”
Read Celtic Verdict
Impotency in front of goal was a real issue against Rangers, but Sutton is right to see the positives.
Celtic showed good signs of dominance in terms of commanding possession despite unfavourable squad circumstances in front of a hostile crowd that boasted not a single Celt.
To be controlling the game for large portions at Ibrox is encouraging, and the bolstering of the club’s ranks could help them push on.
Striker Giorgios Giakoumakis and Benfica winger Jota are closing in on joining the club and could go a long way in giving Ange Postecoglou reliable offensive reinforcements.