Celtic welcomed Dundee United to Glasgow’s east end on bonfire night and it was the Hoops who provided the fireworks in a dramatic 4-2 win.
Sead Haksabanovic, Kyogo and Liel Abada were on the scoresheet for the hosts as they moved seven points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership for the evening.
Here’s how the players rated.
Joe Hart – 6/10
Despite Dundee United scoring twice, the Englishman didn’t have many saves to make. Hart’s positioning was rather suspect for the visitors’ second, though.
Anthony Ralston – 6/10
It wasn’t the best performance from Anthony Ralston at right back with the Scot misplacing quite a few passes. Nevertheless, he redeemed himself late on when he cleverly flicked on at the front post to set up Kyogo.
Cameron Carter-Vickers – 7/10
Returning from injury at centre half, Cameron Carter-Vickers was solid. The American didn’t let a lot get past him and was calm and composed as ever on the ball.
Moritz Jenz – 6/10
Steven Fletcher caused Moritz Jenz a wealth of problems this afternoon. The veteran striker’s physical presence was a cause for concern for the German, with United continually playing several long balls up to him. Besides this, Jenz was passable, including on the ball and in build-up play.
Alexandro Bernabei – 6/10
Subbed off at halftime, Alexandro Bernabei didn’t have the worst performance. The Argentinian was always looking for a positive forward pass however, Greg Taylor’s display when he came on showed why he is Celtic’s first-choice left-back.
Matt O’Riley – 9/10
Matt O’Riley excelled in the Celtic midfield this afternoon. The Dane played in the deepest role and won countless tackles whilst making numerous interceptions and latching on to several loose balls. Moreover, the 21-year-old constantly played positive balls up the park and contributed to both late goals scored by his side. He whipped in the corner from which Kyogo scored, with O’Riley also playing a sublime ball over the top for Liel Abada for the Hoops’ fourth.
Reo Hatate – 7/10
The Japanese midfielder kept it simple in the engine room. He didn’t make any breathtaking passes, although was consistent in the 90 minutes he played.
David Turnbull – 6/10
Starting for the first time in a long while, David Turnbull was the most advanced Celtic midfielder. The Scot got in and around the opposition box, having a few efforts on goal which on another day, may have went in. Although he wasn’t a standout today, Turnbull’s return to fitness provides Ange Postecoglou with yet another sufficient option in midfield.
Jota – 8/10
The Portuguese was ever-present on the left hand side, disclosing his flamboyant trickery and skill on numerous occasions. Jota set up Sead Haksabanovic for the opener this afternoon with a characteristic cross and was unfortunate not to net himself after doing so in the past two games, having a few opportunities off target in the early stages.
Sead Haksabanovic – 9/10
Sead Haksabanovic finally opened his Celtic account today. The Montenegrin opened the scoring early on as he astutely tapped in with six on the clock before putting his side back in front 28 minutes later. From a Celtic corner, Haksabanovic controlled at the back post and scored accurately, with his laces, into the bottom corner. The 23 year old was subbed off with 25 to go to a standing ovation after what was his best performance in a Celtic shirt so far.
Giorgos Giakoumakis – 7/10
The Greek international striker was always ready to get physical with the Dundee United rearguard. Giakoumakis regularly threw himself about as he held the ball up and it was he who knocked down for Sead Haksabanovic for the hosts’ second.
It is fair to say most of Ange Postecoglou’s substitutes today were particularly effective.
Greg Taylor came on at half time and displayed why he’s Celtic’s foremost left back meanwhile, the two players who came on with 65 minutes gone, Kyogo and Abada, both had a crucial say on the final outcome of the match.
The Japanese was lively at centre forward and was instinctive to cue absolute pandemonium inside Celtic Park when he nodded home with two to play.
Then just two minutes after Kyogo netted, Abada was played in behind. The Israeli magnificently kept his composure to beautifully lob the ball over Mark Birighitti to secure the points.
The final two changes that were made today saw James Forrest come on with 15 to go and Daizen Maeda do so just over ten later.
Forrest got free on the left a few times. Meanwhile, Maeda intuitively used his body to allow Abada to go one-on-one and score Celtic’s fourth.
Celtic overcame both refereeing controversy and a late equaliser to give themselves an invaluable three points today.
It looked as though the Hoops were robbed late on when Dylan Levitt struck however, Ange Postecoglou’s men showed exactly why they’re champions, rapidly going up the park to score twice to win the match.
Going forward, a trip to Motherwell awaits the Bhoys before they welcome Ross County to Celtic Park next Saturday.