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Celtic: Stephen Welsh got “bullied” vs St Mirren

Celtic saw their 38-game unbeaten run in the Scottish Premiership come to an end in remarkable fashion away against St Mirren on Sunday afternoon, with the Buddies clinching a deserved 2-0 victory on home soil.

That shock result came almost a year to the day since Ange Postecoglou’s side had last tasted defeat while in top-flight action, with the Hoops having seen their lead atop the table cut to just two points ahead of bitter rivals Rangers.

The Glasgow side had looked imperious in the Old Firm derby triumph two weeks ago, although came unstuck in Paisley against Stephen Robinson’s spirited outfit, with Postecoglou potentially left to rue the decision to shuffle his pack following the midweek draw with Shakhtar Donetsk.

One of the few who failed to take their chance after earning a rare inclusion in the starting XI was Stephen Welsh, with the young centre-back having struggled to contend with the physical forward pairing of Jonah Ayunga and Curtis Main.

As journalist Josh Bunting stated, the Scotsman – as well as his fellow defenders – had been simply “bullied” by Main, in particular, with the centre-back pairing of the 22-year-old and summer signing Moritz Jenz having looked “all over the place.”

With captain Mark O’Hara heading home for the hosts in the first half after outjumping the returning Anthony Ralston, it was Ayunga who sealed the points after the break, with Welsh this time at fault after some “weak” defending, as described by Sky Sports commentator Andy Walker.

The £1.35m-rated man went to ground far too easily having been simply outmuscled by the aforementioned Main in the build-up to that goal, with that error ultimately proving costly as the visitors were unable to get themselves back in the game.

Not just under the microscope for that one moment, however, the £10.5k-per-week defender also endured a dismal afternoon with regards to his overall performance, losing possession ten times from his 85 touches, while also making just a solitary tackle and no interceptions.

That unsurprisingly saw the Scotland U21 international register a measly 6.5 match rating, as per SofaScore, with that figure the joint-third worst among the starters for either side.

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Glasgow Live reporter Will Lancaster was also damning in his post-match player ratings piece, awarding Welsh just a 5/10 rating, while also stating: “Welsh’s introduction highlighted the absence of Cameron Carter-Vickers, and some. The academy product lacked the domineering presence that Carter-Vickers shows, and the leadership void was clearly lacking as Welsh was poor for both Buddies goals.”

As Lancaster noted, the Hoops academy graduate had struggled to fill the shoes of usual starter Cameron Carter-Vickers, with the latter man having been absent due to a slight injury issue.

On the basis of that display, Postecoglou’s backline looks a shadow of its usual self without the American in it.

Article title: Celtic: Stephen Welsh got “bullied” vs St Mirren

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