MX23RW : Wednesday, March 20 16:19:31
Feb 14, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Celtic Park (Glasgow)
Celtic
0-2
Valencia
FT(HT: 0-1)
Cheryshev (42'), Sobrino (49')

Oliver Burke struggles on European debut

Oliver Burke struggles on European debut
© Reuters
The Celtic forward was unable to prevent a 2-0 home defeat to Valencia in the Europa League.

Celtic new boy Oliver Burke made his first ever appearance in European competition as the Hoops hosted Valencia in their Europa League last 32 clash.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at how the on-loan West Brom forward fared as Brendan Rodgers' Hoops suffered a damaging 2-0 first-leg defeat at Parkhead.

Goal threat

The 21-year-old had made a decent enough start to his Parkhead career with three goals in his first six starts. But this was a major step up from what the Scotland international has faced so far in Glasgow and Burke struggled with the increase in quality. The LaLiga giants' control in midfield and a string of basic Celtic errors meant he was starved of service for much of the game. It did look as though Burke was set to break free of his shackles towards the end of the first half when Scott Sinclair sent him scampering in behind the Valencia defence, but stopper Neto raced from his line to clear before he could get a strike away.

Other contributions

Oliver Burke, left, battles with Valencia's Geoffrey Kondogbia
Oliver Burke, left, battles with Valencia's Geoffrey Kondogbia (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Burke got himself in a couple of scrapes with Mouctar Diakhaby early on but, with Valencia hogging the ball, Celtic were forced deep and their loan frontman was left increasingly isolated. He tried to put the Spaniards' back four under pressure but it was a thankless task as the former Nottingham Forest and RB Leipzig youngster was made to shuttle between Diakhaby and his defensive partner Ezequiel Garay while they simply popped passes off to spare team-mates. The introduction of Odsonne Edouard to partner Burke just before the hour mark should have cut his workload but the visitors still managed to ease their way through the final stages.

Overall

Burke is by no means a natural frontman and leading the line is not his strong suit. With raw pace, he will always be a threat with a ball worked in behind the opposition defence but, on nights like tonight when Rodgers' side were starved of possession, they need someone who can hold up play and relieve the pressure weighing down their defence. At 6ft 2ins, the youngster seems to have all the physical traits needed to compete with even the burliest of defenders but for some reason that is just not Burke's game right now.

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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers pictured on December 29, 2018
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