Celtic hit the back of the net for the 100th time this season during Saturday’s 5-1 win over St Mirren and the goals won’t be stopping anytime soon if recent performances are anything to go by.
Since returning from the World Cup break this free scoring Celtic side have clocked up an incredible forty goals in just thirteen games as Ange Postecoglou’s side move their way through the gears at a perfect stage of the campaign.
Oh’s first goal in green and white marked a century of strikes for the Bhoys, and midfielders Matt O’Riley then added to that tally to leave us sitting on 102 for the season so far.
To reach such a milestone by early February is a clear indicator of where this relentless Celtic side are just now under Ange Postecoglou and his “We never stop” mantra has never felt more appropriate.
A TOP AND TAIL APPROACH
One of the most interesting stats from Celtic’s 36 games (across all competitions) so far is just how frequently they score in the opening or closing 15 minutes of a game.
And it’s often both!
In the league alone (25 games played) the Hoops have scored inside the first quarter of an hour in no less than 15 games.
In the all important closing 15 minutes of matches – where games are often won or lost – they’ve gone one better by grabbing a vital goal (and sometimes multiple goals) a phenomenal 16 times.
Sometimes in football this can come about through chance or luck.
The patterns that are developing show that in Celtic’s case it’s very much by design.
And Ange Postecoglou is the lead architect on the project.
The pattern is continued in domestic cup competitions too.
Of the five games we’ve played in the League Cup and Scottish Cup this season we’ve scored in the last 15 minutes in every single one of them.
Into the bargain we’ve scored twenty goals in those five games – an average of four goals per game.
WORK TO BE DONE IN EUROPE
As you might expect the stats for our six Champions League games this season tells a somewhat different story.
It’s evident that Ange Postecoglou has a burning ambition to improve our results in that arena and it’s hoped that recent acquisitions Tomoki Iwata, Yuki Kobayashi, Alistair Johnston and Oh will help us do just that.
In our double headers against Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and RB Leipzig this time round however we fell well short of where the manager wants us to be.
Of those six games we only managed four goals in total – one of which was an own goal – to leave us with an average of 0.67 goals scored per game.
One of these goals (at home to Shakthar Donetsk) did came in the opening 15 minutes, and though we also scored late against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, Jota’s excellent free kick can only be viewed as a consolation strike on the night.
There’s work to be done if we’re to reach the levels Ange desires and we can already anticipate a further flurry of transfer activity in the summer as he continues to fine tune his side for another tilt at European football’s top competition.
No less than eighteen first team players have contributed to this season’s goal-fest and with Kyogo currently occupying a Top 10 spot in the race for the European Golden Shoe you’d have to expect our Japanese talisman will add several more strikes to his own personal tally.
He’ll of course be well supported in his quest by the likes of Jota, Liel Abada, Oh and Daizen Maeda who’ll all have their own personal goal targets for the campaign.
Only seven first team players haven’t managed to get on the scoresheet so far.
Cameron Carter-Vickers and Alistair Johnston are the only regular starters amongst them with new signings Yuki Kobayashi and Tomoki Iwata still finding their feet at Celtic Park.
Tony Ralston will shortly return from injury and Alexandro Bernabei and James McCarthy find themselves a bit further out the picture.
Our money would be on Johnston being the next player to add himself to the scoring charts with the young Canadian finding himself in an advanced position on a number of occasions recently.
102 GOALS AND COUNTING
The 102 goals Kyogo and co. have scored across 36 fixtures so far shows an average strike rate of 2.83 goals per game.
With thirteen Scottish Premiership games remaining, a League Cup Final and at least one ( but potentially 3) Scottish Cup ties to be played, Celtic could have a further seventeen fixtures to play between now and the 3rd of June.
If that average goalscoring rate of 2.83 were to continue then we could be set to land on exactly 150 goals for the campaign.
A mind blowing figure for one season of football.
Perhaps most encouraging of all is the fact that the 5-1 win over St Mirren was the fourteenth time this season we’ve scored four goals or more in a game.
That means we’ve done so in 39% of our games.
If we can maintain our ruthless streak in the remaining fixtures then perhaps we’re setting our sights too low at 150!
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