Celtic: Hatate had one of his “best games”

Celtic continued the relentless defense of their Scottish Premiership crown with victory over County Ross at Parkhead on Saturday, with the Old Firm side stretching nine points clear at the top ahead of bitter rivals Rangers.

While all is dark and gloomy on the other side of Glasgow, for Ange Postecoglou and co all is well at present, having now won 14 of their first 15 league games before the World Cup break.

This latest triumph was far from smooth though, though not necessarily due to the performance of the home side, having again been the victim of a questionable VAR decision as Matt O’Riley was heavily penalized for handball just after. the interval. .

The visitors then capitalized on that questionable call to take the lead from the penalty spot, but the determined hosts quickly fought back through David Turnbull, before Sead Haksabanovic netted his third goal in his last four league appearances. stunning.

Following the impressive comeback, the Hoops boss particularly praised the midfield duo of the aforementioned O’Riley and Reo Hatate, saying the duo had helped fill the ‘void’ left by the injury absence. of captain Callum McGregor, while teasing that “we’ll see the best of them after the break”.

Hatate’s display, in particular, caught the eye as the small midfielder put his recent Japanese snub behind him to shine in the center of the park, having no doubt had one of his “best matches in a Celtic jerseyagainst Malky Mackay’s side, in the words of journalist John McGinley.

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The exit came after January’s arrival was ‘not at his best’ in the midweek win over Motherwell, according to Glasgow Live’s Ben Banks, with former Bhoys striker Chris Sutton also suggesting the jewel to a cap “looked like it”. Fir Park, with a relentless run of games potentially starting to catch up with him.

The former J-League star showed no signs of fatigue yesterday, however, having made a real impact from his place as playmaker, including recording a staggering run of five key assists in his 90-minute outing .

While the 24-year-old lost possession 15 times, it was arguably a sign the midfield maestro was just trying to shake things up, having played his part in both of his side’s goals on the day- there, first brilliantly doing Turnbull. with a driving run inside the box for the equaliser, before a neat brace with Haksabanovic saw the latter score the winner.

Such involvement unsurprisingly saw Hatate record a stunning 7.9 match rating, according to SofaScore – the highest of any teammate – having once again shown his undoubted importance to the champions.

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