Three interceptions, two tackles: Jozo Simunovic solid on Celtic debut

Celtic summer signing Jozo Simunovic made his debut against Ajax yesterday.

Jozo Simunovic arrived at Celtic towards the end of the transfer window, and he made his debut for the Bhoy son Thursday evening.

Ronny Deila led his men to Amsterdam, to take on Eredivisie leaders Ajax in the Europa League, hoping to get their European campaign off to a strong start after some struggles in the Scottish Premiership.

The game ended in a 2-2 draw, which considering being played away from home, was a good result for Celtic.

The starting XI was changed from the one which lost to Aberdeen last weekend, with Simunovic moving into central defence to make his first appearance for his new side.

With the Bhoys expected to be under pressure for much of the game, it was required that the 21-year-old would have to put in solid performance, and Simunovic failed to disappoint as he played the full 90 minutes of the game.

  TacklesClearancesInterceptionsAerial Duels WonPassesPassing Accuracy
Jozo Simunovic 2 2 3 3 34 82%

He won two tackles, completed three successful interceptions and made two clearances in the back-line, with Celtic often being pressurised. The youngster also blocked one goal-bound shot, and was the best Bhoys defender in terms of all-round performance.

Simunovic also showed something of an attacking threat, playing his way out of defence when needed, and proving that he would not bow down to pressure.

He made 34 passes with an accuracy of 82% - the third highest in the entire starting XI - and he did not result to smashing long balls down the pitch, playing just three long passes, and preferring to look for the easier, safer option closer to him.

Simunovic may have been part of a defence which conceded two goals, but he impressed in a solid debut for the Bhoys. Considering it was his first appearance, he has little to complain about, and he is sure to only improve as he gets used to playing in Deila’s system, and alongside his new teammates.

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