Yes, the same defensive frailties exposed by the Kazakhstanis in the first leg of the Champions League play-off were evident again, even down to the concession of a goal stemming from a long throw-in. That would have been scribbled down to report back to coach Viktor Kumykov.
But then there also was Celtic's determination and perseverance to fight back from two goals down to eventually claim a draw, the way the crowd eventually got into the game as Celtic battered away at Inverness Caledonian Thistle before scoring a late equaliser, and the fact that it was two defenders who scored and both from open play, too. Those were all factors that would have had the effect of eliminating any complacency that may have infiltrated the Shakhter camp following their first leg success.
Most significantly, however, there would have been head scratching over whether those involved against Inverness are likely to be seen again on Wednesday night. The team-sheet on Saturday showed six changes from the Celtic side that had gone down 2-0 in Astana five days earlier, and there may be as many changes again come the return leg. Any detailed notes on Tony Watt's tendency to drift to the left like a golfer with a nasty hook, Adam Matthews' ability to play as a right midfielder and his composed finish to draw Celtic level at 2-2, or Amido Balde's power but lack of accuracy in the air may end up being useless depending on selection.
Managers often bluff or exaggerate the extent of players' injuries to try to befuddle the opposition ahead of big games but there was little about Neil Lennon's manner on either Friday or Saturday that suggested several of his key players did not feature against Inverness because he was trying to pull a fast one. Celtic were without Kris Commons, Georgios Samaras, James Forrest, Anthony Stokes, and Derk Boerrigter and there is every chance some of them won't make it on Wednesday either. Biram Kayal lasted just 24 minutes before hobbling off and he is another who must be considered a serious doubt. "We are really, really stretched but we've got to get on with it," said Lennon.
Celtic need to score at least twice against Shakhter and must do so without a genuine No.9 following the departure of Gary Hooper. Lennon paired Balde and Watt in attack on Saturday and both impressed in flashes, the Portuguese powerful but profligate, the young Scot offering width but little penalty-box presence. Stokes is probably the closest thing to Hooper on Celtic's books these days but a calf injury may preclude his involvement in a match that will define his team's season. If Samaras and Commons are closer to full fitness then there is a chance Lennon may decide that their experience and reliability make them a more obvious partnership for such a big game.
Getting service to whichever player starts in attack will be key so Lennon was unsurprisingly heartened by the ease with which Matthews adapted to a right-midfield role when Mikael Lustig came on and took the Welshman's place at right-back. The two combined well, and should Forrest miss out, it may be something Lennon elects to try again on Wednesday.
The Celtic manager also expressed his satisfaction with the "character" his side showed to earn a point after Inverness had threatened to head back north with a win for a second successive season. Charlie Mulgrew's shot just before half-time reduced the deficit to 2-1 and laid the foundation for Celtic to push their visitors back for most of the second half. It could hardly be described as a bombardment on Dean Brill's goal - the goalkeeper did not have that many saves to make - but the pressure did pay off seven minutes before the end. It sent the home crowd home on a happier note after the loss of first-half goals to Aaron Doran, then Richie Foran - the latter stemming from a throw-in - had been the catalyst for sustained murmurs of discontent.
"I was really disappointed with our first-half display and really pleased with the second and the character," said Lennon. "But that's a point gained because of the situation we were in. I felt we could have won the game but after half an hour you're thinking 'can we get a point now?'."
For Inverness, not even the loss of their first goals or points of the term could diminish the air of elation that accompanied another positive trip to Glasgow. Manager Terry Butcher was so animated afterwards as he spoke about his team's fish suppers and cakes routine that he eventually had to chastise himself for completely losing his train of thought. "We're still unbeaten, got 10 points and it's a lovely feeling," said the Englishman in a rather more concise earlier passage. "We've got Hearts at home next and we want to finish off this five-game period and go into the international break still top of the league, unbeaten and on 13 points."
Few will fancy playing Inverness this season. Solid at the back and with James Vincent, Doran and Billy McKay a threat going forward, they look to have a reasonable chance of equalling or bettering last year's fourth-placed finish. "To have three wins out of three was a very good start," added Brill. "To get a point has possibly exceeded expectations."