Indeed, Jota’s strike late in the first half followed by an own goal by Killie centre-back Ash Taylor shortly after the restart proved enough for the Bhoys to take all three points, a result which sees the Hoops move 12 points clear at the top of the table ahead of their Glasgow rivals’ meeting with Dundee United on Sunday.
However, while there were a number of assured individual performances on display in today’s victory – with Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kyogo Furuhashi particularly impressing – the showing of stand-in left-back Alexandro Bernabei may be a cause for concern for the Hoops manager.
Being handed just his sixth Premiership start in the absence of the injured Greg Taylor, the £3.75m summer signing somewhat flattered to deceive against Celtic’s ninth-placed opponents this afternoon, with the 21-year-old being especially wasteful in possession of the ball.
Indeed, over the course of his 90 minutes on the pitch, the £2.7m-rated talent did enjoy an astonishing 171 touches and completed 111 of his 126 attempted passes. However, the youngster also failed to find his man with any of his six attempted crosses and ceded possession on no fewer than 33 separate occasions, meaning that he lost the ball with every five touches he had.
The £17k-per-week defender also made three tackles, one clearance and one interception, although he committed two fouls, was beaten by an opponent once and lost 12 of his 19 duels, a failure rate of 63%.
These metrics saw the former Argentina U23 international earn a disappointing Sofascore match rating of just 6.6, with no Celtic player receiving a lower rating on the day.
Glasgow Live journalist Matthew Fulton also awarded the left-back a six in his own player ratings, stating of the youngster’s performance: “A few loose passes but keen to get on the ball. Final ball still lacking it could be argued but his second half was better.”
The display of a player who has been dubbed “dangerous” ultimately didn’t cost Postecoglou and his side on Saturday afternoon, but should the left-back have performed as he did today against a team higher up the league table, he could easily have caused the Bhoys many problems at the back.
Indeed, while the 21-year-old did show flashes of the player that he could go on to become for the Hoops, his overall performance against Kilmarnock will raise more questions than provide answers about the young defender’s current standing in the Celtic squad.