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3 Talking Points From St. Johnstone 2-4 Galatasaray

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

Saints battled against Galatasaray last night and were incredibly unlucky to come away with nothing. To score 3 over two legs against Galatasaray is nothing to be ashamed of and on another day it could have even gone our way.

[Shaun Rooney in font of a packed McDiarmid Park]

Saints end up going out but still have two more European games at the very least left to play as we head to Austria to play LASK next Thursday.

Here are 3 Talking Points from last night's narrow defeat:

The Atmosphere Was Electric

A sold-out McDiarmid Park is a rare sight and yesterday had me yearning for more. The crowd was the loudest and proudest that I have ever experienced in Perth with chanting, cheering and jeering non-stop from before kick-off until the final whistle.

[St. Johnstone fans were out in full force]

The celebrations for the goal were amazing and overall the game was brilliant and felt like the European night that St. Johnstone deserved. Despite the result I would hope that it entices more fans back for the upcoming games this season.

Signing Sweet Caroline before kick-off was magical and the 10,000 felt more like 100,000 at times - especially when a refereeing decision went against us. I understand that not everybody can make every game but even if we had half of the crowd we had tonight for next week's home tie with Dundee United it would be excellent. A game to remember for a multitude of reasons and the return of fans in such numbers was awe inspiring and to see Perth united behind Saints is something truly special.

The Officiating Was Poor

Last nights refereeing performance all things said and done left many fans distraught. There were numerous dodgy decisions (especially in the second half) where Galatasaray players were given what felt like every 50/50 decision. Is this due to blind loyalty? Perhaps.

[Jason Kerr and Arda Turan Before Kick-Off]

However, the standard of refereeing was simply poor. Davidson and Hendry were both booked for simulation when it looked as though they were fouled whereas numerous players for the away side evaded a card in similar instances. Marcao could have easily walked for his challenge on Chris Kane and the first goal had a hint of offside.

Galatasaray were much better at playing the referees and seemed a lot more 'street-smart' than Saints. A valuable lesson.

Saints Were Great, Galatasaray Just Have More Quality

No player on the pitch yesterday should be unhappy with their performance as St. Johnstone put in everything they had on the night. In particular Chris Kane, Jason Kerr and Murray Davidson were outstanding and to say we were within touching distance of a result is magnificent.

[St. Johnstone scoring their first goal]

We had numerous counter attacking chances and did seem to have them rattled just before half time. St. Johnstone allowed us to dream.

However, in the end Galatasaray are a team packed to the rafters with quality and overall just found a few levels higher than us and took their chances. It is no shame to be bested by a team of their wealth and size. In the key moments their experience and simply better players shone through.

[Galatasaray score]

In the end, we were never expected to even get close to the Turkish giants and we lost to a better team. That's football at the end of the day and its a game which will live long in the memory for the good reasons, rather than the bad.

Roll on Arbroath on Sunday!

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