The wait is finally over. Celtic’s season is done and dusted in early March and for the first time in a decade, they will not be crowned Scottish Premiership winners.
It has been a torrid campaign for the Hoops and on a day where they had the chance to take things on at least another week in terms of the title race, they blew their chance.
If there was any positive, it would be that Rangers wouldn’t win the league at Parkhead. That is a measly consolation prize, however, especially after losing their dominance to the club’s biggest rivals.
Celtic’s performance against Dundee United on Sunday just about summed things up this term. They were devoid of quality in the final third and lacked a killer instinct in front of goal, drawing 0-0.
Benjamin Siegrist was in inspired form as he made no fewer than 12 saves in a rousing performance from the Dundee United stopper.
Try as they might, the Bhoys couldn’t find a way past him. Odsonne Edouard was off the pace while the withdrawal of David Turnbull after an hour didn’t help proceedings. The returning James Forrest – making his first outing since September – also failed to have a positive influence when he came on.
Though, a man who typified the afternoon and indeed Celtic’s season was Diego Laxalt. With Greg Taylor out injured, the Uruguayan started at left-back but was wasteful in possession and lacklustre at the back.
The left-back even missed a wonderful chance to score in the first half. The Hoops moved things infield and then when the ball was played into his path in the penalty area, he had all the freedom in the world to fire home.
The net was at his mercy but instead of firing it across the goal and into the far corner, he put it wide of Siegrist’s near post.
Offensively, Laxalt was off the pace, only attempting one cross in the entire game. Creatively, he was worse than the enigmatic Ryan Christie too.
The Scot has now only scored once in his last 25 outings but did at least provide four key passes on Sunday. Laxalt, though, only managed two in a performance where John Kennedy’s men enjoyed the best chances.
The AC Milan loanee was desperately poor in possession of the ball, surrendering it on no fewer than 22 occasions; the worst tally of anyone in green and white. Laxalt was only successful with 72% of his passes too.
As the full-back pushed on more and more in the second half, he left his side exposed on the counter-attack. Lawrence Shankland had plenty of space to raid down the left but fortunately for the Uruguay international, Dundee United failed to capitalise.
Laxalt wasn’t the only player who was poor on Sunday, but he did let Kennedy down in pretty significant fashion.