Celtic were 2-1 up against Bayer Leverkusen when Nir Bitton had to leave the pitch due to injury with 15 minutes left on the clock in the Europa League group match.
The Israeli international had played an important part in controlling the midfield, but his substitution preceded a late collapse from the Hoops.
Goals from Robert Andrich and Moussa Diaby condemned Ange Postecoglou’s side to a 3-2 defeat, meaning they will be playing in the UEFA Conference League in the New Year. Fans on Twitter were frustrated that Bitton had to go off:
The moment we lost the game
— Chris (@ChrisDoc_1) November 25, 2021
— BL 🍀 (@billylowe67) November 25, 2021
Defo concussed, hope the big man’s ok, played well the night again.
— 🍀 𝔻𝕒𝕟𝕟𝕪 ⍟ 🍀 (@COYBIG_1_8_8_8) November 25, 2021
Nir Busquets going off was a massive blow. Can’t believe I’m saying this 😂
— pato_5 (@LiamPatterson25) November 25, 2021
Where the game was won and lost, please just release ajeti.
— MeltinJohn (@meltinjohn) November 25, 2021
The 30-year-old has looked strong when he has been asked to play as a holding midfielder this season. In recent years, the lack of centre-back options have forced him to move into defence but he is clearly happier further up the pitch.
Supporters will be left wondering what might have been if Bitton had managed to see out the remainder of the game versus Leverkusen on Thursday night.