Craig Gordon will replay that moment in his mind over and over and over again, and he should. So too should Boyata and Simunovic, our so-called “best defenders”. The whole team should. Brendan Rodgers will see it in his nightmares.
It was the moment the unbeaten run ended or it should have been, anyway.
Lustig, on the line, rescued it.
But that was luck. Today we threw away two points with a reckless abandon that demands its own inquest.
That was disgraceful. From being in total control of the game – we had the ball in the net for what would have been goal number three – the entire team collapsed like a house of cards the moment Hibs started pushing forward.
And from there the equaliser was almost inevitable. From last week’s demolition of Motherwell to the midweek shocker against Anderlecht to a staggering outright capitulation today … something has gone wrong with the machine. We were all over the place.
For the first time on domestic duties the Invincibles no longer look invincible. We are ragged.
Perhaps that’s the explanation; tired bodies and tired minds.
I expect a much changed team in midweek; the changes we made at Motherwell were necessary because some of these players need taken out of the front line for a while. And some of them require a full-scale evaluation of their usefulness to the team in the long term.
Dedryk Boyata has had his worst two matches in a Celtic shirt since Ronny Deila took over. A team can survive on a winger or forward – like Scott Sinclair – going through a minor crisis of confidence. It is the curse of defenders and goalkeepers that they need to be rock solid, mentally. A defender with a crisis of confidence is a disaster waiting to happen. Ajer will do as a replacement for now, but the need for defensive reinforcements is acute; this back line cannot take us into the Europa League. I have my doubts they will get us through the rest of this month without a major calamity. The minute Hibs stepped up a gear today that defence crumbled.
Brendan Rodgers has largely escaped criticism on most of the Celtic sites; that will change if he sticks to this back line when they look so obviously shaken. He has to get a grip on this and fast. Our form this season has been patchy at best.
And no, before some of the people prone to over-reaction start, I’m not suggesting we sack the manager.
Like any other boss, he is not bulletproof and only a mug thinks it should be otherwise.
Had Aberdeen not gone through an appalling few weeks they would be breathing down our necks.
It’s not good enough.
We have already dropped more points at this point in the season than we did in the whole of the last one; ponder that for a moment. Five draws now, before Xmas. Our league lead is solid, but the team doesn’t look quite as good.
Too many of our players look off the boil. Scott Sinclair has been toiling for weeks; today he scored twice and after getting the first looked to be a guy with his head up. He missed a chance with the last kick of the ball, but that he was even in position should indicate that he’s ready to go on a run of good displays again. Olivier Ntcham had a solid match.
But the midfield failed utterly in its defensive duties after Hibs scored the opening goal and the defence itself was utterly abysmal. Questions have been raised for a while about Mikael Lustig; today he was caught often, and horribly … and once more glaring problems with Craig Gordon’s game continue to plague us.
His attempt to win that ball on the outskirts of his own area were farcical.
It was a dreadful, dreadful mistake and in that moment the unbeaten run was over.
We got lucky.
I don’t like our chances of it lasting much longer if we’re depending on luck alone.