Celtic progressed to the last eight of the Scottish Cup on Saturday evening courtesy of a 5-1 win over St. Mirren which turned into a rather entertaining affair.
The Buddies were the only side to beat the Hoops domestically this season heading into the match. However, that didn’t change things for Celtic as goals from Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate, Oh and Matt O’Riley secured victory.
Here’s how the players rated.
Joe Hart – 6/10
Joe Hart had very little to do in the Celtic goal despite an attempt to save Mark O’Hara’s penalty on 86 minutes which he did not. The Englishman always looked to get play going rapidly as he racked up yet another Hoops’ appearance.
Alistair Johnston – 7/10
The Canadian right back marauded down the right hand side throughout. Alistair Johnston was equally resolute defensively and kept up the consistency in his performances.
Cameron Carter-Vickers – 8/10
At the heart of the Celtic defence, Cameron Carter-Vickers was solidified. The American made several crucial blocks and tackles, particularly when the score was a close one. Arguably, Carter-Vickers is the best defender in Scotland and it would be hard to deny that with his performance this evening.
Carl Starfelt – 6/10
The 27 year old was accurate in his passing out from defence but did give away the penalty which saw St. Mirren gain a consolation goal near the end of the match. On the whole, it was a passable display from Starfelt, although the penalty he gave away could’ve had serious repercussions had the scoreline been different at the time.
Greg Taylor – 7/10
Greg Taylor didn’t seem to put a foot wrong in the match. Defensively, he remained well founded and going forward, played some line breaking passes in behind St. Mirren’s backline. The Scotland international didn’t standout however wasn’t noticeably poor.
Callum McGregor – 7/10
The Celtic captain brought energy to his side’s midfield and week by week, encapsulates what you want from a leader. McGregor wasn’t able to dictate play as much as he would’ve wanted to but was effective nonetheless.
David Turnbull – 5/10
The Scottish midfielder was slow in the middle of the park and misplaced a few passes. It was a muted display from Turnbull, who failed to impact the game in any positive manner.
Aaron Mooy – 6/10
Aaron Mooy failed to repeat his man of the match performance from last week in this evening’s game. The Australian, though, did play a pivotal role in Celtic’s opener, flashing across goal for Daizen Maeda after he got in behind the St. Mirren defence. The 32 year old was then subbed off on 63 minutes.
Jota – 6/10
The former Benfica winger showed moments of flamboyance whether it be on the left or right wing. Jota didn’t affect the game as much as he would’ve aspired to, however, prior to coming off for Oh just after the hour mark.
Liel Abada – 7/10
As Kyogo came off injured just 14 minutes in we shall rate his replacement, Liel Abada, instead. The Israeli was lively on the right wing, constantly wanting to take on his man. It was he who got Mooy in behind with a pivotal pass for Celtic’s opener whilst also winning a penalty which resulted in the Hoops’ second of the game and Richard Taylor’s red card. Moreover in the dying embers, Abada played in Reo Hatate who finished with magnificence to make it 5-1. It is fair to say Abada impacted the game rather positively.
Daizen Maeda – 8/10
The Japanese forward played at centre forward for the majority due to Kyogo’s withdrawal through injury. Maeda opened the scoring 16 minutes with a simple tap in and following on from that, was ever vivacious as he looked to press and run at his opponents. St. Mirren’s defenders never got a minutes rest due to the 25 year old’s presence and would’ve been relieved to see him be subbed off with just under 15 minutes to go.
All changes made by Ange Postecoglou this evening were undoubtedly successful. We’ve spoken about Abada already, and the three players who came on in the 63rd minute each netted.
First, Hatate fired into the bottom left corner from the spot before tremendously finding the top right late on. The Japanese disclosed the optimum quality and potential he possesses despite playing just around half an hour in a vastly positive substitute performance.
Matt O’Riley also came on at the same juncture as Hatate and bagged. The Dane was involved in a lot of play in and around the St. Mirren box and was able to find the top corner with curve and accuracy in the 90th minute. It was O’Riley’s first goal of the campaign and one he firmly deserved.
The third of Celtic’s three changes just after the hour, Oh was able to net his first goal in green and white in this evening’s game. The South Korean showed the instincts of a typical number nine to tap in from a rebounded Callum McGregor shot and was not afraid to put himself about. The 21 year old needed minutes heading into the game and with his significant chunk of time, made a noticeable impression.
The last of Postecoglou’s alterations saw Sead Haksabanovic come on for Daizen Maeda with 12 to go. The Montenegrin continued his return from injury and bagged an assist, playing in O’Riley after cutting in from the left hand side.
After this evening’s cup triumph that sprung into life late on, Celtic return to league action next weekend. Aberdeen visits Parkhead as the Hoops will look to maintain, or potentially even extend, their nine point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
Back to the cup, though, and the draw for the quarter-finals is due to take place on Monday evening at 5.30pm. The Bhoys could play either Hearts, Raith Rovers, Ayr United, Inverness, Rangers/Partick Thistle or Darvel/Falkirk in the next round.