Celtic's Defending v Dundee United

Celtic v Dundee United (13/08/2011)

Only Goal:

Video below (starts at 0:40). Cross whipped in from Celtic’s right flank. Ledley and Hooper beaten in the air by Kenneth. Benign header back across goal. Majstorovic has chance to clear but heads very weakly. Dundee United return it and after a couple of deflections it finds its way across goal to an unmarked Johnny Russell.

Majstorovic: 40%… While Dundee United win the initial header, the ball back across goal is entirely unthreatening. When Majstorovic has an opportunity to clear he is level with the penalty spot. The nearest “challenger” is a United player on the Celtic 6 yard box - i.e. 6 yards away. He’s not even moving so is no threat. The United players near the edge of the box are actively retreating - expecting the danger to be cleared (and the Celtic players are breaking forward). There is time to take the ball down. There is time to allow it fall to volley clear. There’s time for plenty of things. What follows is a really weak header, reminiscent of a dreadful clearance in the fateful game at ICT last May (see second image below). It shows a lack of confidence and a lack of awareness.

K Wilson: 15%… When the ball is returned to the Celtic area Wilson has a chance to clear but a tame shot manages to knock him over and allows United a third chance to play the ball into the Celtic box. Had he simply moved out of the way the shot would have dribbled through harmlessly. That’s not a risk worth taking but he should have been stronger and should have cleared it.

M Wilson: 35%… Wilson is cavalier in allowing Russell to escape his attention. The first image below shows him in fine position beside Russell - he did rush out with the rest of the players when Majstorovic had the chance to clear - but he doesn’t move beyond Russell. He chooses to stand still and appeal for offside (second image) rather than track his movement however and Russell is allowed to move in on goal unguarded and he benefits from Kenneth’s miscue.

Ledley: 5%… Beaten on the initial header. No chance with the ball back in. Unlike Wilson he is alert to the danger of his man and checks Kenneth’s position a number of times when the ball is ricocheting around the area.

Hooper: 5%… Beaten on the initial header.