A dominant performance helped Celtic to a 3-1 victory over Hibs on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors came into the match on a hot run of form (notwithstanding a 4-1 defeat to Rangers) however Ange Postecoglou’s juggernaut kept rolling on as goals from Jota, Oh and Sead Haksabanovic were enough for the Aussie to lead his side to three vital Scottish Premiership points.
Here’s how the players rated.
Joe Hart – 6/10
The Englishman had little to do in the Celtic goal. Apart from a Hibs penalty, the Englishman was rarely called into action.
Alistair Johnston – 6/10
Alistair Johnston was slightly slow at times in the first half. The Canadian was caught out on the ball on a few occasions but was ever-present in attack, playing some innovative balls in behind the Hibs defence to complete a passable display.
Cameron Carter-Vickers – 7/10
Consistency has been key regarding Cameron Carter-Vickers’ performances and the American continued that today. At centre half, Carter-Vickers was ample on the ball whilst being strong going back.
Carl Starfelt – 6/10
Carl Starfelt did pull a Hibs jersey to give away a penalty in the first half but other than that, was adequate. The Swede’s passing was relatively accurate as he remained calm and composed coming out from the back.
Greg Taylor – 6/10
The Scottish left back was effective on the ball, making several sufficient passes. Taylor was rarely tested in defence however going forward, faltered to take on any opponent, something his replacement Alexandro Bernabei certainly did do.
Callum McGregor – 7/10
Celtic’s captain constantly broke up play in midfield to great effect. McGregor was vivacious and energetic as ever in the Hoops’ engine room as he continued to lead from the base of a midfield trio.
David Turnbull – 7/10
David Turnbull’s performances will be rated instead of Reo Hatate’s due to the Japanese’s early withdrawal through injury, the extent of which remains to be seen. In midfield, Turnbull didn’t have any particular moments that captured the imagination although he did get two assists, hence a seven. The Scot floated a tremendous corner into the box for Oh to nod home from and it was he who played in Sead Haksabanovic for the Hoops’ third of the afternoon. Turnbull is quite far down in the Celtic midfield pecking order however after his contributions today, he may give Ange Postecoglou something to think about.
Matt O’Riley – 6/10
The Danish midfielder was constantly involved in and around the opposition box but similarly to Turnbull, didn’t have any imaginative instances. O’Riley was withdrawn on 60 minutes.
Jota – 8/10
Jota was continually on the ball out wide. The Portuguese opened his box of tricks on a number of occasions and it was he who drew Celtic level with a penalty that was smuggled in. The 23 year old created a plethora of opportunities for his teammates and could’ve had more than just one goal himself in a performance that undoubtedly caught the eye.
Daizen Maeda – 6/10
The Japanese wide-man disclosed his mercurial pace when attempting to win the ball back up top as well as when driving forward on the left. Nevertheless, Maeda wasn’t as effective today as he has been in 2023 in a performance that wasn’t the most lively.
Kyogo – 7/10
The Scottish Premiership’s top scorer was unable to add to his ever growing tally this afternoon despite having numerous chances to do so, David Marshall magnificently denying Kyogo a few times. The Japanese was moved back into a deeper role in order to make way for Oh with half an hour to go, an alteration which turned out to work rather well.
Yet again, the changes made by Ange Postecoglou were, on the whole, successful.
We’ve already spoke about David Turnbull but on the hour mark, three more substitutions were made.
Alexandro Bernabei came on at left back and offered something completely different to Greg Taylor with his bite and animation going up the left hand side. The Argentinian overlapped Jota several times and got quite a few balls into the box.
The second of the three changes on the 60th minute saw Oh replace Kyogo up front. The South Korean was involved to a great extent and on the 81st minute, scored the vital goal which put Celtic ahead as he powerfully rose above his opponent to score with a bullet header. In the end, the 21 year old was awarded the in-house man of the match award for his efforts as he continues his impressive development since moving to Glasgow.
Liel Abada also came on with half an hour to. The Israeli got behind a few times and was on the ball a fair amount on the right hand side, looking to cut inside and make something happen.
The final of Celtic’s changes came with seven to go. Sead Haksabanovic has a habit of making an impact off the bench and he done so once more today. Characteristically cutting inside from the left, the Montenegrin finished accurately into the bottom corner from just outside the box. It is fair to say it was a rather effectual cameo from Haksabanovic.
In the final game prior to the international break, Celtic crucially maintained their nine point lead at the top of the table. There are no games now for a fortnight for the Hoops as those who are not jetting out to play with their countries will get a well deserved rest.
A trip to Ross County is a while away yet although that is when the champions are next in action. A midday kick off is pencilled in up in Dingwall on Sunday the 3rd of April.