Celtic extended their winning run to four games thanks to their narrow 2-1 victory over St Johnstone this afternoon. Despite going 1-0 down in Perth, the Hoops mustered up enough to see Odsonne Edouard’s double give them the lead and indeed, the three points.
It was an overall disappointing performance from Neil Lennon’s side, who squandered several chances and could’ve done much more to stop the Saints finding the back of the net.
Celtic’s French striker was undoubtedly the standout performer of the afternoon, but one other player in green will have impressed Lennon and it may have come as somewhat of a surprise.
During his loan spell, Shane Duffy has disappointed both the manager and a lot of the Celtic fanbase. The Brighton loanee was recently demoted to the bench in favour of 20-year-old Stephen Welsh. With Christopher Jullien out injured, Lennon put more trust in the unproven reserve team captain than the Republic of Ireland international veteran.
However, Welsh picked up an injury last time out against St Mirren, meaning Duffy was recalled to the starting lineup today. Whilst not a lot of faith was riding on the centre-back’s performance, he was surprisingly solid for Celtic in Perth.
According to Sofascore, Duffy put in an impressive nine clearances, an improvement on his three against St Mirren when he came on to replace the injured Welsh. The £20,00o per week loanee also maintained a much higher passing accuracy compared to last time, 86% vs St Johnstone to 71% against St Mirren.
He also had the second highest amount of touches in the game out of the Celtic side (86), with only centre-back partner Kristoffer Ajer getting more (87.)
Whilst first-choice Welsh is said to only have sustained some bruising despite being stretchered off, Lennon will feel comfortable knowing he doesn’t have to rush the youngster back to action. If Duffy continues to put in displays like today, he will rise back into the boss’ good books and could redeem himself after his recent lacklustre run of form.