Celtic hosted St. Mirren in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday evening as the Hoops went in search of yet another vital three points.
Here’s how the players rated.
Joe Hart – 7/10
The Englishman was called into action on a few occasions in the match and heeded said calls amicably. Hart’s save towards the end of the game was particularly imposing as he ensured Celtic walked away with a clean sheet.
Alistair Johnston – 7/10
Coming in at right back, Alistair Johnston put in a sufficient display against St. Mirren. The Canadian did have a few moments of uncertainty at the beginning of the first half however apart from that, Johnston was tough as ever in the tackle and covered the right hand side with ease.
Carl Starfelt – 7/10
Carl Starfelt made a number of important clearances and interceptions inside his own box however on the ball, the Swede was slack at times. Nevertheless, Starfelt defended well to help his side to two clean sheets on the bounce.
Yuki Kobayashi – 8/10
Making his debut at the back for Celtic, Yuki Kobayashi was impressive. The Japanese was steady on the ball, making some accurate passes out from defence whilst being dominant in the air. Going forward, Kobayashi will most likely start once more on Saturday against Morton as he looks to string a run of starts together.
Josip Juranovic – 7/10
The 27 year old started at left back and was ample. Juranovic made several speedy, characteristic runs out from the back whilst behind stout defensively. Despite a stable performance tonight, Juranovic’s future remains up in the air.
Callum McGregor – 7/10
Once more, Callum McGregor failed to put a foot wrong. The Celtic captain was vivacious in the engine room and kept play ticking over with his first class on the ball ability.
Reo Hatate – 8/10
The Japanese midfielder played to a more than sufficient standard in Celtic’s midfield this evening. Hatate played some sublime passes, particularly in behind the St. Mirren defence for Kyogo to latch on to and magnificently lob Trevor Carson from. The 25 year was brought off on 70 minutes but his contribution to the game was significant nonetheless.
Matt O’Riley – 6/10
Matt O’Riley started for the first time since the Glasgow derby at Ibrox and was rather muted. The Dane failed to capture the imagination however he was in need of game time and that is exactly what he got with 70 solid minutes.
Liel Abada – 8/10
Young Liel Abada opened the scoring 15 minutes in with a thorough strike from inside the box which flew through a sea of bodies. As well as netting, Abada was also lively on the right hand side, never backing down to a one-v-one in a game which saw him score for the first time since Bonfire Night.
Jota – 8/10
The Portuguese was tenacious throughout, putting his flamboyant skill on display to all. As well as being flashy in his play, Jota was also effective, putting it on a plate for Kyogo for the Japanese’s second of the game. The 23 year was fairly quiet at Hampden but tonight, Jota was back on form.
Kyogo – 9/10
It was a man of the match display from Kyogo as the 27 year old notched his sixteenth and seventeenth goals of the Scottish Premiership season. For the first of his brace this evening, Kyogo latched on to an innovative Reo Hatate pass in behind St. Mirren’s backline to sublimely lob over Trevor Carson and into the back of the net. In the second half, the Japanese bagged his second of the night, sliding in from Jota’s low cross to make it 3-0 Celtic. Week on week, Kyogo continues to prove why he is the best striker in Scotland and despite a wealth of speculation surrounding Giorgos Giakoumakis, Celtic know they have a reliable outlet up top in Kyogo. Nevertheless, another striker does need to be brought in if Giakoumakis departs before the end of January.
A triple change was made by Ange Postecoglou with 20 minutes to go as Aaron Mooy, James Forrest and David Turnbull replaced Matt O’Riley, Liel Abada and Reo Hatate. Mooy was steady in midfield whilst Forrest showed flashes of vivacity on the wing. It was Turnbull, though, who had the most notable impact of any of Celtic’s subs this evening as the Scot struck with venom, from outside the box, and into the bottom corner to get his side’s fourth of the evening.
The other two Celtic changes came with ten minutes to go although Daizen Maeda and Sead Haksabanovic’s limited time on the pitch meant they had little opportunity to affect the match.
After tonight’s rout of St. Mirren, Celtic will face Morton on Saturday in the Scottish Cup. The Greenock side currently sit fifth in the Scottish Championship with the fourth round tie providing Ange Postecoglou with an ample opportunity to shake up his side and give chances to some fringe players.