Celtic picked up their first Champions League point of the season so far against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday evening, although it was largely another tale of frustration for the Hoops as they yet again missed a catalogue of chances.
Having spurned notable openings during a dominant first-half performance against holders Real Madrid last week, Ange Postecoglou’s side again lacked that much-needed ruthlessness in front of goal against the Ukrainian outfit, as they were forced to walk away with just a draw in Warsaw.
A typically electric opening from the Old Firm outfit resulted in Reo Hatate guiding the ball home via a deflection from Artem Bondarenko, albeit with Igor Jovicevic’s men hitting back midway through the first-half courtesy of a brutal, breakaway finish from danger man Mykhaylo Mudryk.
The ‘hosts’ almost went one better before the break as former Parkhead flop Marian Shved saw his clinical effort ruled out for offside, albeit with the second period largely dominated by the Scottish champions as they probed for a winner.
Substitute pair Giorgos Giakoumakis and Daizen Maeda notably missed big opportunities to nudge in front late on, while talisman Jota twice went close after weaving his way into the opposition penalty area.
While the three points ultimately alluded the Glasgow side on the night, one man who notably stood out as a key performer was relentless full-back, Greg Taylor, with the Scotland international offering a real potent threat down the left flank.
As teammate Josip Juranovic struggled to contend with the lively Mudryk at right-back, Taylor looked at ease from his defensive berth, with his front foot approach seeing him routinely win back possession ahead of his opponent.
That is illustrated by the fact that he completed two interceptions and won three tackles in a solid 90-minute display, having also been heavily involved in proceedings at both ends of the pitch as he racked up 98 touches – the third most of any player on the pitch.
The 24-year-old notably fizzed a pull-back across the box early on which narrowly alluded his teammates, while the former Kilmarnock man also teed up Giakoumakis with a threaded pass into the box, only for the Greek striker to somehow curl his effort wide.
As Football Scotland journalist Euan Robertson wrote in his post-match player ratings, the seven-cap gem produced a ‘really impressive performance’ overall, having ‘looked at home’ on the European stage.
Such a display continues what has been a fine start to the new season for the diminutive menace, having been lauded as “very, very consistent” by colleague Matt O’Riley earlier this term.
Amid what was a positive, yet perhaps somewhat disappointing encounter, Taylor truly did shine for Postecoglou and co.