Two assists, six key passes, 97% pass-accuracy: Celtic's Nir Bitton proves his value

Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton delivered a hugely encouraging performance in Thursday night's 4-3 Europa League defeat at Dinamo Zagreb.

Poor defending saw Celtic fall 4-3 at Dinamo Zagreb in Thursday night’s Europa League clash, as Ronny Deila’s side took away the consolation of having already qualified for the last 32.

Kris Commons and Stefan Scepovic scored in-between two first-half Marko Pjaca strikes, who completed his hat-trick five minutes after the break following Marcelo Brozovic's 48th-minute curling shot.

A Josip Pivaric own goal nine minutes from the end gave Celtic some hope of a comeback, but the makeshift team, absent of captain Scott Brown and James Forrest, ultimately fell short.

Nevertheless, there were positives to be taken from the match, not least the performance of midfielder Nir Bitton, who proved extremely efficient in his deep midfielder role alongside Stefan Johansen.

  Total ShotsShots On TargetAssistsTotal Key PassesTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTotal TacklesWon TacklesInterceptionsTouchesDispossessedMins Played
Nir Bitton 1 0 2 6 45 97% 6 5 3 61 0 90

The Israel international even bagged himself two assists on the night and, although the first was a fortunate deflection off his back from Virgil van Diik’s free-kick which fell to Commons, the fact he delivered six key passes over the course of the 90 minutes shows how bright he was.

After seeing his debut campaign at Parkhead cut short by a groin injury, the 23-year-old has so far proved merely a bit-part player under Deila this season, but is now looking to nail down a regular place with Charlie Mulgrew out injured.

"Every game that I play, I just try to do the best for Celtic and then for my future," he told the Scottish Evening Times this week. "Every game the gaffer gives me the chance, I will try to show him that I'm good enough to be in the team."

Based on Thursday’s outing, he is certainly doing just that, although it remains to be seen whether he will be able to replicative his display when St Mirren visit for Sunday’s Scottish Premiership fixture.

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