Celtic got themselves into the fifth round of the Scottish Cup after they defeated Alloa by two goals to one at the Indoodrill Stadium. 

There were five changes made by Ange Postecoglou to the team that put Hibs to the sword on Monday evening with all of Anthony Ralston, Stephen Welsh, Liam Scales, Yosuke Ideguchi and Giorgos Giakoumakis coming into the side.

Despite this host of alterations, the Bhoys remained professional done what was needed in Clackmannanshire.

Here are my player ratings from the match.

Joe Hart – 7/10

The Englishman retained his place between the sticks despite some speculation that someone like Scott Bain or Tobi Oluwayemi may come in. Hart made a crucial save in the first half with the score at 1-0 but other than that, had next to nothing to do in the match except build-up play from the back.

Anthony Ralston – 6/10

Ralston came in for Josip Juranovic at right-back this evening and admittedly didn’t put in a performance we’ve come to expect of him recently. Ralston wasn’t poor however the high standards he’s set this season weren’t met tonight. Maybe I’m being slightly harsh on the twenty-three-year-old although I don’t feel he was at the top of his game tonight.

Stephen Welsh – 6/10

Stephen Welsh was relatively sound, made a number of interceptions and took a no-nonsense approach at times however for Alloa’s goal, Conor Sammon was able to evade the youngster in the box and head home to make it a nervy last twelve minutes for Celtic. It will be intriguing to see whether or not Welsh will keep his place in the Celtic team for Wednesday’s trip to Tynecastle with both Christopher Jullien and Cameron Carter-Vickers fit and available.

Carl Starfelt – 6/10

As alluded to, Alloa’s veteran striker Conor Sammon was a thorn in the side of both Celtic centre backs tonight. He caused as much problems for Stephen Welsh as he did for Carl Starfelt. The Swede had some shaky moments and his lack of aerial prowess tonight may be of concern however on the ball, Starfelt was immaculate as ever.

Liam Scales – 7/10

Liam Scales got up and down the left hand side at will and was greatly involved going forward. The Irishman’s sublime cross met Giorgos Giakoumakis for Celtic’s opener and it appears the dilemma over who starts for Celtic at left-back will go on.

Yosuke ‘Guchi’ Ideguchi – 7/10

Making his first Celtic start, Guchi didn’t really put a foot wrong in midfield. The Japanese was accurate in his passing yet didn’t particularly stand out. The former Leeds midfielder was one of three Celtic players who were forced off through injury; the tackle from Mouhamed Niang on the twenty-five-year-old which forced him off was quite shocking.

Callum McGregor – 5/10

Callum McGregor took up a slightly more advanced role due to Guchi’s introduction to the lineup however the captain had to be replaced on the forty-third minute as a result of a nasty head knock. Ange Postecoglou clearly didn’t want to risk one of his key players and James McCarthy came on for the twenty-eight-year-old.

Tom Rogic – 6/10

Tonight was the last time we’ll see Tom Rogic for a number of weeks after the Australian received yet another call up from his national side. Rogic was average at best and was unable to really get himself into the game. It will most likely be new signing Matt O’Riley who takes up Tom Rogic’s role in the Celtic team in the coming weeks.

Liel Abada – 8/10

Liel Abada disposed his vast potential and ability with another goal this evening. The Israeli was lively on the right-hand side and when he picked the ball up on the edge of the Alloa penalty area, unleashed a venomous strike into the top left corner to double Celtic’s lead right on half time. Early in the second period, however, Abada was the victim of another poor Mouhamed Niang challenge and had to be withdrawn as a result.

Giorgos Giakoumakis – 8/10

The next few weeks of Giorgos Giakoumakis’ Celtic career will be huge. The Greek will be the only fit and available striker for some crucial games. Giakoumakis started said run in the best way possible with his second goal of the season after he prodigiously met a Liam Scales cross to fire into the roof of the net. The twenty-seven-year-old could’ve easily had another goal moments after his first however his tenuous effort went narrowly wide. In his post-match interview, Giakoumakis said “for me, the season starts now” as he aimed to build on his stately display.

Daizen Maeda – 7/10

Yet another player set to jet off to the other side of the world imminently is Daizen Maeda. The attacker received a Japan call up just this morning and justified Hajime Moriyasu’s decision to call him up by putting in a performance full of life and vitality this evening. Maeda was extremely unfortunate not to get his name on the scoresheet after he missed a host of prominent chances. The twenty-four-year-old rotated between both flanks and was equally fine on each, proving worth in his versatility.


Unlike in the league, just three substitutes are available to teams in the Scottish Cup. Ange Postecoglou was forced into using all three as Callum McGregor, Liel Abada and Guchi had to be withdrawn through injury. James McCarthy replaced his captain in the first half and slotted into the holding role in midfield aptly. It was Jota who came on for Liel Abada with the Portuguese bringing nothing but trickery and vivacity to the left-wing. Finally, Nir Bitton took up Guchi’s role in the engine room and similarly to McCarthy, was passable. I’m certain these weren’t the changes Ange Postecoglou would’ve wanted to make to his side during the match however, as we’ve come to expect at Celtic, injuries and the like play a prominent role at times.

As a result of their 2-1 victory over Alloa, Celtic will take on Raith Rovers in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup at Celtic Park. The tie will take place on the weekend of the 12/13th of February.

However, attention now turns to league action as the Bhoys take on Hearts at Tynecastle on Wednesday evening, another crucial game in the title race.


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