Celtic played out the second of a doubleheader with Hearts on Saturday as they made the trip along the M8 to the capital.
After winning 3-1 midweek in the league, the Hoops triumphed by three goals to nil this weekend.
Aaron Mooy opened the scoring early on before Kyogo made it two just before half time. Cameron Carter-Vickers made it three late in the second 45 to complete a more than ample Celtic performance at Tynecastle which seen the Bhoys progress to the semi finals.
Here’s how the players rated.
Joe Hart – 7/10
He didn’t have much to do but when needed, Joe Hart was more than ready today. The Englishman made a colossal double save in the first half to keep Celtic in front and was quick off his line on a few occasions in a sufficient display.
Alistair Johnston – 8/10
Returning at right back, Alistair Johnston proved today why he is Celtic’s foremost asset in that position. The Canadian remained well-founded going back and in attack, contributed significantly as he put several balls into the Hearts box. His combination play was terrific on the right and it was he who fizzed across for Kyogo to net the Hoops’ second of the afternoon.
Cameron Carter-Vickers – 9/10
Consistency sums up Cameron Carter-Vickers’ performances this season and today, the American was just that. He was strong as ever whether it be when holding off Josh Ginnelly, Andy Halliday or whoever challenged him in defence. His ball playing was tremendous as he made some sublime passes out from the back and with around ten to go, got himself on the scoresheet, heading home from a magnificent Matt O’Riley delivery.
Carl Starfelt – 6/10
The Swede didn’t put a foot wrong at the heart of the Celtic defence. Starfelt was solidified yet composed. Despite this, he was replaced at halftime by Yuki Kobayashi at halftime.
Greg Taylor – 7/10
The Scot returned in today’s game and brought a tad more stability at left-back. Taylor didn’t put a foot wrong and was consistent overall in a passable performance.
Callum McGregor – 7/10
Callum McGregor made a number of forward passes as he provided vivacity and energy in the Celtic midfield. McGregor led by example in the engine room and what he brings is undoubtedly noticed when he is not playing.
Reo Hatate – 6/10
The Japanese midfielder was sufficient this afternoon. Granted, Hatate did have a few loose passes, particularly when Celtic were on the break, but on the whole, he was adequate.
Aaron Mooy – 8/10
It was yet another magnificent display from Aaron Mooy today. The Australian was virtuous in midfield, playing some greatly clever passes and chipping in with a goal. Very early on, Mooy was picked out by Jota on the edge of the Hearts box and after making a smart run from midfield, he latched onto it and finished immensely, on the half-volley, into the roof into the net.
Jota – 8/10
Whether it be on the left or right wing, Jota was flamboyant and skilful as ever. The Portuguese constantly looked to take on his man or cut inside and it was he who put it on a plate for Aaron Mooy just a few minutes in. It is fair to say Jota is Celtic’s primal winger at the minute.
Sead Haksabanovic – 6/10
Many were excited when Sead Haksabanovic was included in the Celtic starting lineup today although the Montenegrin was ranger average. On the left, he did have some moments of vivacity and was accurate in his passing but he didn’t meet the standard of his cameo midweek.
Kyogo – 8/10
Kyogo netted with magnificence in today’s game as he made it 2-0 at the end of the first half, cleverly flicking past Zander Clark at the front post from Johnston’s delivery. It was a goal which put Celtic in the comfort zone and one which completed another top-mark performance from Kyogo.
The first of five Celtic changes of the afternoon came at halftime as Yuki Kobayashi replaced Carl Starfelt at half time. The Japanese came in and was astute, failing to put a foot wrong and remaining resolute.
Ange Postecoglou then brought on Liel Abada for Haksabanovic at the hour mark. The Israeli didn’t seem to have any moments of brilliance in his 30 or so minutes on the park in which he played on the right.
Oh and Matt O’Riley were then introduced on 77 minutes, the pair replacing Kyogo and Mooy, respectively. The former put himself about up front but couldn’t muster anything of note whilst O’Riley was lively in and around the opposition box. Further, the Dane managed to assist Carter-Vickers with a sublime free-kick delivery from wide which the American nodded home from.
The final Hoops alteration of the game then came with eight or so to play, Tomoki Iwata taking Reo Hatate’s place in midfield. The J. League’s MVP of 2022 didn’t really have enough time to influence the game in any manner, and I think I speak for most Celtic fans when I say it would be great to see more of Iwata in the coming weeks.
What appeared to be a tough game on paper for Celtic today turned out to be one which held no obstacles. The Hoops were on top for the majority at what is usually an arduous away venue.
As a result of today’s victory, Postecoglou’s men are now in the Scottish Cup semi-finals, the draw for which takes place on Monday evening. The games for said round take place on the weekend of 29/30th of April.
Before that, though, the Bhoys welcome Hibs to Parkhead next Saturday as they look to maintain their charge towards the title.
“playing some greatly clever passes and chipping . .. .”
“It is fair to say Jota is Celtic’s primal winger at the minute. ”
“On the left, he did have some moments of vivacity and . . .”