Celtic 0-4 Bayer Leverkusen: Scottish side punished by ruthless visitors

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Highly-rated Florian Wirtz added Bayer Leverkusen’s second goal

A promising start by Celtic was ruined by a series of defensive errors as Bayer Leverkusen brutally punished their hosts to win their Europa League match in Glasgow.

Piero Hincapie won after David Turnbull's slip. It was a chaotic game.

Florian Wirtz lobbed the ball over Joe Hart, making it 2-0. Lucas Hilario's penalty ended Celtic's momentum in the second half. Substitute Amine Adli added a fourth kick.

Celtic is now bottom of Group G after a defeat. A double header against winless Ferencvaros will be next. Leverkusen's fourth victory was a reward for late surges. Real Betis has a 100% record.

After injuries, the excitement around Celtic Park was electric as Kyogo Furuhashi's unexpected return and captain Callum McGregor's sudden return to the Celtic XI created a buzz. The Celtic XI felt like they had regained their chance of winning despite a bad run of form.

Their optimism was initially well-judged. After surviving an offside goal by Wirtz in one minute, they played with pace & vigour. However, defensive errors made them lose their momentum and inspired Luka Hradecky to score the Leverkusen goal.

Kyogo was a standout because his movements revitalized a Celtic that had been previously neglected.

Jonathan Tah's stunning cover tackle denied the Japanese forward, but Hradecky was able to save his efforts on both sides of the break.

Jota was lively too, but was stopped by Hradecky in a desperate attempt to prevent Ange Postecoglou from losing a fifth game in eight.

As has been the case throughout Celtic's season, their inactivity cost them dearly against a Leverkusen team with only one loss this season - a 4-3 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

Turnbull fell first, after he tried to play the ball in his box. Mitchel Bakker was able to make it square, and Hincapie won the opener at 25 minutes.

The 18-year old Wirtz, a lack of communication at the back, was able to sneak in behind the goalkeeper and stay onside until he lifted the ball into the corner. This is his sixth goal in seven matches.

Celtic was left chasing the second-half, but despite another promising spell Hradecky, Leverkusen's attacking qualities halted their pursuit.

Jeremie Frimpong, a former Celtic right-back, twisted and turned before Hart forced Hart to make a save. Cameron Carter-Vickers was found to have blocked the follow-up with his hand.

With half an hour remaining, Hilario calmly sent Hart in the wrong direction from the penalty spot to end Celtic's chances of victory.

At this point, Leverkusen was content to take in Celtic's tired attacks and continue their blistering pace.

Adli took advantage of one last chance and sent a rocket past Hart on the angle to complete a great night for the visitors.

Lukas Hradecky is the Man of Match

Hradecky saved Celtic with six special saves

What have we learned?

Leverkusen is a top side that taught Celtic a lesson. Although the home team's aggressive approach made them vulnerable early on, they fought back and won the match.

Wirtz is a shining star in the future. His goal, which was a fine finish after Leverkusen had pounced upon a slack passing and surged forward, demonstrated his prowess. They also had many more chances.

They were able switch to a back 5 late and used their speed to devastating effect, while Celtic continued to plug away. They were able to adapt and use their speed to devastating effect, whereas Celtic seemed incapable of doing so.

It's thrilling to see the high-tempo approach of Celtic, especially when Kyogo or McGregor are part of the team. However, there remain questions about Rogic or Turnbull's mobility in this system. The pair often get caught up too high when Celtic loses the ball.

Postecoglou's team had 18 chances, but they have conceded eight goals in their Europa League games so far. They need to seize every opportunity at this level, as they can't keep the ball at the other end, and that is the reality with their current players.

Celtic must improve their skills without the ball, whether it's through tactical changes, coaching or recruitment in January. They have the potential to become a powerful side if they can do this.

The stats are clear

None of Bayer Leverkusen’s 21 European competition matches have been drawn. The German side won 13 and lost eight.

Celtic failed to score in the 20th match of European competition (incl. Qualifiers, since the December 2019 2-0 Europa League defeat at CFR Cluj.

German teams have won six of the seven European away games against Scottish side (L1), Leverkusen winning two against Celtic and Rangers respectively. In fact, Celtic has been the cause of four defeats, each losing to a different team.

In each of their nine Europa League matches, Celtic conceded at least 2 goals. Only Slovan Bratislava has had a longer run in the competition since 2009 (11 games between 2011-2019).

Tonight was the first time Bayer Leverkusen had two teenage players score in the same major European match.