Celtic clashed with Rangers in a high-stakes Glasgow Derby that did not disappoint.
Despite plenty of pre-match controversy over Brendan Rodgers’ team selection, the squad proved their mettle with a well-deserved 1-0 victory.
Here are three key takeaways from the match:
1. Callum McGregor: Back to His Best
After a somewhat sluggish start to the season, Callum McGregor found his footing and showcased exactly why he’s a linchpin in the Celtic squad. Operating in a deep-lying role in front of the back four, McGregor was exceptional at linking up play and keeping the ball moving. His vision and passing ability helped Celtic dominate possession and create multiple scoring opportunities. Moreover, he was defensively astute, nipping the ball away from Rangers players on several occasions. McGregor’s performance reaffirmed that when he’s on his game, Celtic’s midfield looks exponentially better.
2. Sweeper Keeper Joe Hart Proves Invaluable
Joe Hart was immense between the sticks for Celtic. His quick decision-making and agility were on full display, particularly in the first half when Rangers tried to exploit the Celtic defence with balls over the top. Hart was quick off his line, negating any potential threat and effectively acting as a ‘sweeper-keeper.’ His contributions were crucial in ensuring that Celtic left the pitch with all three points, preserving their slender 1-0 lead. It was a textbook display of modern goalkeeping, reminding everyone that he is still a quality keeper.
3. Kyogo: The Best Since Larsson
Kyogo Furuhashi was the name on everyone’s lips as he scored the decisive goal with a sublime half-volley just before half-time. His natural goal-scoring instinct, movement, and technical ability have quickly endeared him to the Celtic faithful. The comparisons with Celtic legend Henrik Larsson are starting to look less hyperbolic with each passing game. He’s not just scoring; he’s scoring when it matters the most. Today’s performance adds another chapter to what is becoming a very compelling argument that Kyogo is indeed the best striker Celtic have had since the days of Larsson.