Defender should be axed: Three things we learned from Celtic draw against Ross County
COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Celtic slumped to a 2-2 away draw against Ross County on Sunday, despite leading the game on two occasions.
Kieran Tierney opened the scoring for the visitors with his first league goal of the season, but that was cancelled out by Michael Gardyne’s header shortly into the second-half.
Brendan Rodgers then sent on three substitutes to try secure the three points and that appeared to work when Patrick Roberts came off the bench to regain the Bhoys’ lead.
However, a dramatic ending to the game saw a controversial penalty awarded when Alex Schalk went down under Erik Svaitchenko’s challenge, but it appeared there was no contact.
Liam Boyce then earned Ross County a precious point in their fight against survival and a frustrated red card was sent off in stoppage time for a wild challenge.
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Here, Football Insider looks at three talking points from Celtic’s draw on Sunday.
Sviatchenko should be dropped
Celtic defender Sviatchenko was one of the poorest players on the pitch in the league encounter and that is putting aside his involvement in the penalty incident. The 25-year-old looked uncertain in the back-three and is not good enough to be the leader in the backline. His teammate Jozo Simunovic outshone him during the game and that has been the case for most of the season. Brendan Rodgers has plenty of defensive options in his squad and should perhaps turn to Dedryck Boyata in the next game over Sviatchenko. The Denmark international looked poor positionally and is also vulnerable in the air.
Brown loses his head
Celtic captain Scott Brown is such an experienced campaigner, but he lost his cool completely against Ross County. The central midfielder made a needless challenge on Boyce and has now been given a two-game suspension, which will see him miss a cup and league match Rangers. Rodgers’ side were rightly bitterly disappointed to drop two points in the closing stages, but did manage to preserve their unbeaten run. Brown’s selfless act could end up costing his side going forward as his controlling absence in midfield will be a big loss.
Roberts should start in Old Firm clash
Celtic face Old Firm rivals Rangers in their next game during the Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday. Rodgers must promoted attacking midfielder Roberts to the side as he can cause havoc to the Gers defence. The 20-year-old came off the bench to score against Ross County and gives Celtic a great direct approach. Rangers will fear coming up against the talented winger and he could be the difference next week. The Bhoys playmaker Roberts is a great creative source and already has seven goals plus 15 assists this season across all competitions.