As the dust settles on Celtic‘s latest Champions League defeat to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, the overriding feeling for manager Ange Postecoglou will likely be one of frustration, with the Hoops having yet again been made to pay for their shortcomings in front of goal.
At the other end of the pitch, however, it had largely been a solid display from the defensive unit as a whole prior to the visitors’ late flurry, with veteran goalkeeper Joe Hart seemingly one of those who answered his critics with an impressive showing against Marco Rose’s side.
The 35-year-old had come under fire for his “embarrassing” mistake away in Germany last week – in the words of pundit Frank McAvennie – to help gift the opposition the lead, although responded well with a confident showing on Tuesday evening, notably denying the lively Christopher Nkunku after rushing out to tip the ball away from the feet of the Frenchman in the second half.
The former England number one was not the only figure to have somewhat proven himself to both Postecoglou and supporters, however, with summer signing Moritz Jenz also showcasing his quality after a handful of underwhelming displays in recent times.
The on-loan Lorient man – as well as teammate Stephen Welsh – had been “all over the place” during the defeat to St Mirren prior to the recent international break, according to journalist Josh Bunting, while the aforementioned McAvennie stated that the pair “don’t look as if they know each other” following the narrow victory over Motherwell two weeks ago.
The 23-year-old then again looked ‘shaky’ away in Saxony last week – according to Glasgow Live’s Ben Banks – with the centre-back having seemingly failed his “great opportunity” to impress, as described by his manager.
This time around, however, the 23-year-old – who had been absent from the weekend win over St Johnstone due to illness – looked far more solid alongside the returning Cameron Carter-Vickers, producing an “absolutely outstanding” display, according to journalist Mark Hendry.
The £2.25m-rated ace recorded an impressive three tackles, two interceptions and two blocks on the night, while also showcasing his composure in possession as he achieved a 91% pass accuracy rate, looking at ease despite the elite nature of the opposition.
Football Scotland’s Mark McDougall had awarded the German defender an 8/10 rating for his display – the highest of any of his teammates – with the journalist stating that it had been a ‘very impressive’ showing from the 6 foot 3 colossus.
With teammate Carl Starfelt still sidelined with injury, it could well provide Jenz with the chance to stake a claim to partner Carter-Vickers moving forward, with the former Fulham youth product having now proven he has what it takes to perform on such a huge stage.