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System Failure: Reflections On Celtic’s Loss To Kilmarnock

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2018 Scottish Premiership Football Kilmarnock v Celtic Feb 3rd
Brendan Rodgers after yesterday’s defeat
Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images

Celtic slumped to only our second defeat of the league season in a 1-0 loss to Kilmarnock, in a game which you have to say the Rugby Park side deserved to win, as our wait to win four league games in a row this season continues.

Brendan Rodgers made one the few mistakes of his tenure so far by splitting up the Dembele-Edouard partnership which had worked so well against Hearts in midweek.

Edouard was on the bench, Charly Musonda came in and had some nice touches but was usually surrounded by four Killie players at all time and/or getting clogged.

Dembele was really poor yesterday, and perhaps Rodgers should consider benching him again against Partick Thistle in the Cup next week and bringing Edouard in from the start.

Two up-front is the way to go from now on...unless Dembele’s head is turned and he needs to go on the bench again.

The midfield didn’t cover themselves in glory either, neither Kouassi or Ntcham played well and as we’ve seen before when Scott Brown doesn’t play neither do Celtic, as Killie’s Youssouf Mulumbu ran that area of the pitch.

Of course, another contributing factor to our defeat were the injuries suffered in defence, as both Dedryck Boyaya and Kristoffer Ajer were forced off in the first-half.

This lead to the unexpected pairing of Nir Bitton and debutant Jack Hendry in defence during the match.

Bitton did ok until going missing for Mulumbu’s goal, whilst aside from getting skinned by Jordan Jones’ pace towards the end of the game Hendry had a good game on debut.

We are missing quite a lot of players through injury just now, and the likes of Tom Rogic or Patrick Roberts would have been handy to have yesterday, their creativity is being badly missed.

The Bhoys now face two cup matches before returning to league duty, beginning with the Scottish Cup game against Partick, where we are likely to be without both Boyta and Ajer, and Hendry is cuptied.

Jozo Simunovic will be back though, and hopefully just like after our last defeat - the 4-0 loss to Hearts in December - there will be a positive reaction and we’ll go on a run again.