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David Turnbull falters in Celtic defeat to Bayer Leverkusen

Celtic midfielder David Turnbull was a shadow of himself as Ange Postecoglou’s side were defeated in the Europa League on Thursday evening.

It means the Scottish giants crashed out of the competition with third place sealed in Group G and now they’ll have to compete in a play-off encounter in UEFA’s third-rate competition, the Europa Conference League, where they will face a group runner-up from that tournament.

The Hoops were merely ten minutes away from a famous night in Germany but they were undone by a late comeback from Bundesliga giants Bayer Leverkusen.

A penalty from Josip Juranovic and a sublime finish from Jota had fans dreaming of what could’ve been after Robert Andrich handed the hosts an early lead, but he struck a second time late in the second half before a moment of brilliance from Moussa Diaby sealed the win for Gerardo Seoane’s men.

Does David Turnbull need a rest?





Bhoys shot-stopper Joe Hart arguably stole the show at the BayArena but had a couple of more of the Aussie’s usually consistent stars performed at a similar level, then we may well be talking about a historic result.

Indeed, Turnbull was one of those who seemed a little jaded and off the pace, which is disappointing because he is usually the bright spark in the engine room.

‘Turnbull looked absolutely run into the ground. A constant in the centre of the park but was far less involved in Germany and unable to dictate the play as he’s so good at doing domestically. A minor blip in a superb season so far,’ is how the Herald described the 22-year-old maestro after the game.

Valued at £4.5m by Transfermarkt, the Scotland international has started all nine of their games in the competition, pre and post-qualifying, as well as every game in the Premiership and domestic cup.

It’s no wonder he looked awfully off the pace against top-quality opposition.

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As per SofaScore, Turnbull lost possession a whopping 21 times, which was more than anyone else on the pitch. It meant he handed the ball back to the German side once every 2.8 touches, failing Ange Postecoglou in midfield. His 6.0 rating was also the worst of any Hoops player on the night.

Elsewhere, the Celtic passenger was poor in his passing, failing to register a single key pass, whilst making just 78% of his 45 attempts. The former Motherwell man even won just two duels all game (40% total) and missed one big chance.

Owen Coyle once dubbed the midfielder a “manager’s dream” due to his “physical attributes” and him having “an unbelievable engine” to cover ground but we just did not see that on Thursday evening.

It just wasn’t Turnbull’s night but he has a big chance to rectify his mistakes when the Hoops host Aberdeen on Sunday afternoon, should he not be gifted a much-needed rest.

AND in other news, “Celtic will..”: Journo drops exciting Hoops transfer claim that’ll leave fans buzzing

Article title: David Turnbull falters in Celtic defeat to Bayer Leverkusen

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