Scotland played out a performance on the international stage that fans will never forget. On a bitter cold evening in Serbia, it was Celtic’s Ryan Christie who handed the victors the lead in the second half. In an agonising turn around, the Serbs hit back at the death and forced another half an hour of playing time.
As the 1-1 draw trickled down to penalties, it would prove to be Scotland who held their nerve. The shootout went in favour of Steve Clarke’s men, who ended a 23-year absence from major international tournaments.
But it wasn’t just Christie who pulled his country through a tough fixture. His domestic teammate Callum McGregor also massively stepped up to the plate in Scotland’s time of need.
As well as providing the assist for Christie’s goal, the 27-year-old was a real pain for Serbia’s defence. According to Sofascore, McGregor completed 100% of his long balls, dribbles and ground duels. He played the full 120 minutes and didn’t look like letting up at all. He additionally made one key pass but didn’t hesitate to contribute to supporting the defence either.
His one tackle and four interceptions only further highlight his determination to see Scotland over the line, mirroring performances he puts in for Celtic on the weekly.
Indeed, in the Hoops’ 4-1 win over Motherwell last time out, McGregor maintained a 95% passing rate as well as again, 100% successful dribbles and long balls. The £20,000 per-week dynamo also bagged himself a goal in their 3-3 league draw against Aberdeen, and completed two interceptions, two tackles and two clearances (as per Sofascore).
Whilst Neil Lennon has been ruthlessly chopping and changing his squad recently, McGregor’s recent performances for both club and country will send him a very clear message. Under no circumstances should the manager consider swapping him out.