Astana 4 - 3 Celtic: How the Celtic players rated

Ratings out of ten for every Celtic player after their 4-3 defeat in Astana, which was still good enough for qualification to the Champions League group stages.

The Celtic starting XI prior to the game. Picture: SNS
The Celtic starting XI prior to the game. Picture: SNS
The Celtic starting XI prior to the game. Picture: SNS

Craig Gordon - 5

Made two tremendous reactionary saves but was badly beaten at his front post for Astana’s fourth and flapped at a second half cross.

Mikael Lustig - 2

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As great as he was in the first leg, he was just as bad in the second. The Swede’s distribution was poor even when Celtic were holding things together, and he fell to pieces defensively when Astana started to trouble the visitors. Didn’t do enough to stop either shots or crosses coming in all game, and allowed Patrick Twumasi a free run at goal for Astana’s fourth. His attempt to stop a Twumasi chance not long after, where he performed a sausage roll at the feet of the attacker, summed up his performance.

Nir Bitton - 3

Like Lustig, his distribution was fairly poor even during the first half. In the second period he plain forgot how to mark an opponent, see Astana’s third, and was too easily beaten by Twumasi for the fourth. For the aforementioned Twumasi chance at 4-1 he was caught in no man’s land, and it almost cost Celtic a fifth.

Krisoffer Ajer - 5

Though he was a little unlucky to see his attempted block end up in the back of the net, the ball had travelled a sufficient distance for the young centre back to deal with it better. Other than that blip he was undoubtedly the best of the three players who’d play at centre-back on the night.

Kieran Tierney - 5

One of the poorer performances of the young left-back’s career to this point. His crossing wasn’t quite as accurate as his usual high standards, save for one terrific ball for Griffiths, and he toiled defensively after Astana upped the pressure in the second half.

Scott Brown - 4

He was excellent in the first 20 minutes, keeping play ticking over and starting Celtic attacks in the opposing half through some relentless pressing. Then he got sloppy and it seemed to infect the rest of the Celtic team. His ill-advised pass from the edge of his own penalty area led to Astana’s second goal, which started his side’s second half wobble.

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Olivier Ntcham - 7

Another who’s passing got a little slack as the first half wore on, but after the restart he valiantly swam against the tide as Astana upped the tempo and Celtic began to flounder. Fittingly it was his goal which assured Celtic of their place in the Champions League.

Callum McGregor - 6

His movement across the line between Astana’s midfield and defence really helped link Celtic attacks in the first half, and it was the 24-year-old who moved the ball out wide for Scott Sinclair prior to the winger planting it into the top corner. Unluckily subbed just before the hour.

James Forrest - 5

Had space on the right to make things happen in the opening 45 minutes but nothing quite came off for the winger, including a missed free header. Made way for Tony Ralston on 57 minutes.

Scott Sinclair - 7

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Scored a terrific goal when he was allowed to cut in on his right foot and find the far top corner. He always looked like the player most likely to add to the scoring for Celtic, and likely wouldn’t have made way for Stuart Armstrong had his side been in real danger of letting their advantage slip.

Leigh Griffiths - 6

Missed a couple of opportunities and struggled to make the ball stick in the opposing half as Astana turned up the heat. He did, however, complete the scoring on the night (and the tie) with a well taken goal in the 90th minute.


Anthony Ralston 6 - Brought on with the change of formation to a 3-5-2 and held up well under the circumstances.

Tom Rogic 7 - Added a bit of quality and helped set up Ntcham’s goal.

Stuart Armstrong 6 - Came on for Sinclair and added a bit of energy to the centre of the park.