There has seemingly been a common theme to Celtic‘s Champions League outings so far this term, with the Old Firm outfit having typically been left to rue their profligacy in front goal, after spurning numerous chances in each of their four group stage encounters.
That wasteful nature was evident in Tuesday’s crushing defeat to RB Leipzig at Parkhead as the Hoops failed to capitalise on a brilliant spell of early pressure before eventually slipping to a seventh successive home defeat in the competition – the worst record in the tournament’s history.
Speaking after that 2-0 loss to Marco Rose’s men stand-in skipper Cameron Carter-Vickers had vocalised his frustration at those notable missed opportunities, while manager Ange Postecoglou stated his side had paid the “ultimate price” for their failings in front of goal, with progression to the knockout stages now out of reach.
That latest result had seen Kyogo Furuhashi, in particular, once again come up short when it matters most, with the Japan international notably squandering an inviting headed chance in that blistering period around the half-hour mark.
The 27-year-old has typically been a clinical figure for the Scottish champions since his £4.6m arrival from Vissel Kobe last summer – top scoring with 20 goals in all competitions last term – although is currently enduring something of a dry spell with just one goal in his last nine outings.
The £18k-per-week menace still boasts an impressive record of seven goals in just eight league games so far this term, although has failed to find the back of the net in Europe, with his only goal involvement having come as an assist for Jota away in Germany last week.
As pundit John Hartson stated, both the diminutive gem – and teammate Giorgos Giakoumakis – will likely feel they “should have done better” with regards to their failings in front of goal in the group stage thus far, with Kyogo having been particularly wasteful in the defeat in Saxony, notably heading over from close range.
While pundit John Collins has rightly lauded the £5.4m-rated speedster for his stunning work rate and the way he “hounds defences”, the player’s inability to couple that with a golden touch on the elite stage has seemingly played its part in Celtic’s undoing.
With the aforementioned Giakoumakis having netted a dramatic late winner at the weekend, the 16-cap gem could now be under pressure to keep his starting berth moving forward, having done himself little favours after struggling once again on Tuesday night.