Celtic 2-0 Hibernian: Postecoglou hails 'very talented' Reo after impressive debut

1 year ago 51

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou says debutant midfielder Reo Hatate "has his eyes on reaching the very top" after starring in his side's Scottish Premiership win over Hibernian.

Fellow debutant and Japanese countryman Daizen Maeda opened the scoring after four minutes before Josip Juranovic's penalty doubled the hosts' lead.

Reo was key in Celtic's controlled display and Postecoglou believes there is more to come from his new signing.

"He'll make his own mark," he said.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, the Celtic boss added: "He's a very talented young player and he's a very determined young man. He's got his eyes on reaching the very top of football and we're glad to have him at our club at the moment."

The win stretches Celtic's unbeaten league run to 15 games and narrows the gap on leaders Rangers, who travel to Aberdeen on Tuesday, to three points.

As for Hibs, who remain fifth, boss Shaun Maloney's first managerial defeat comes at his former club after back-to-back victories before the winter break.

Reaction & as it happened

Football has a habit of moving quickly, and the fact Celtic's League Cup final triumph over Hibs was only four weeks ago is evidence of that.

Given both sides had played two games each following the final before a three-week winter shutdown, onlookers would be forgiven for assuming the showpiece event was further in the distance.

Hibs have a new boss in their dugout, while four debutants across both teams were treated to their first taste of Scottish football.

And it was Celtic's debutant striker Daizen who notched early after a lightning start to the game.

In truth, the Japanese striker should not have had the chance to sweep in. Not just because of Hibs' slack play, which allowed Tom Rogic to slide the ball across to the forward who had acres of space in the box to finish low, but also due to Kevin Nisbet's incredible miss moments earlier.

Chris Cadden's low cross found the Hibs striker free at the back post with the goal to aim at, but the Scotland cap went with his wrong foot and clipped the far post.

Daizen's opener spooked Hibs and fuelled Celtic's electric tempo as Postecoglou's men hunted in packs for a second.

A spell of relentless pressure resulted in the home side being awarded a penalty when Greg Taylor's stunning ball over the top was plucked out the sky by Liel Abada, with the winger's first touch coming off the outstretched arm of Josh Doig.

Referee Willie Collum pointed to the spot, allowing Juranovic to slot into the bottom-right corner.

A rare venture forward from Hibs led to dangerous shots from Nisbet and Josh Campbell blocked, but Maloney's men were creating their own problems in defence.

The impressive Reo had a half-volley parried away by Matt Macey before James Forrest's deflected effort whistled past the far post.

Celtic searched for a third after the break as Reo slashed wide from close range and Carl Starfelt's flick-on resulted in Abada sliding an effort off the back post.

But the home side's performance became more about control with the second half progressing and Celtic saw out the game comfortably.

Man of the match - Reo Hatate

Reo HatateThe Japanese midfielder had a fantastic debut, the 24-year-old's movement, intelligence and energy standing out from the first minute

What did we learn?

Throughout the first half of the campaign, Celtic's attacking threat was often blunt without talisman Kyogo Furuhashi leading the line.

A lack of intensity was always evident without the Japanese forward, but fellow countryman Daizen looks like he will provide a similar impact.

The forward's lightning pace and movement offers Postecoglou a like-for-like profile and more depth in his frontline, something that had previously been badly lacking.

Midfielder Reo's introduction will also offer optimism to the Celtic boss, as well as the return of influential winger Jota, as the Parkhead side look to hunt down leaders Rangers.

Hibs' depleted backline was always going to struggle at Celtic Park, and could have caved after the break, but Maloney's defence were masters of their own downfall in the first half.

Continually they gave the ball away cheaply in dangerous areas, but patience will be required as the former Belgium assistant coach adapts his style of play.

What did they say?

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: "I think we were in control for the whole 90 minutes. We started the game with really good energy and tempo and we could have had one or two more if we weren't as wasteful.

"Second half we didn't create as much, but we were still in control. That's the balancing act of having a few weeks' break, they were fresh and ready but maybe a bit rusty in a few areas."

Hibernian manager Shaun Maloney: "I have mixed feelings about that one, definitely some things to improve on, but very, very pleased with parts of the game.

"It was a big test for our players with Celtic going ahead early. We need to be more aggressive when we do get through their line of pressure, but that's for me to work on, I'm the coach."

What's next?

Both sides embark on their Scottish Cup quests next time out as Hibernian host League 1 leaders Cove Rangers on Thursday (19:45 GMT) live on BBC Scotland while Celtic travel to Alloa Athletic on Saturday (17:30).



Formation 4-3-3

15Hart88Juranovic20Carter-Vickers4Starfelt3Taylor18RogicBooked at 63mins42McGregor41HatateSubstituted forIdeguchiat 75'minutes11AbadaSubstituted forJohnstonat 75'minutes38MaedaSubstituted forGiakoumakisat 74'minutes49ForrestSubstituted forNeves Filipeat 82'minutes


5Scales7Giakoumakis16McCarthy17Neves Filipe19Johnston21Ideguchi29Bain56Ralston57Welsh


Formation 3-4-1-2

1Macey33BushiriBooked at 77mins4Hanlon3DoigSubstituted forStevensonat 66'minutes27Cadden11NewellSubstituted forAllanat 75'minutes22Doyle-HayesBooked at 58mins32CampbellSubstituted forMurphyat 57'minutes8WrightSubstituted forBradleyat 75'minutes10Boyle15NisbetSubstituted forScottat 66'minutes



Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 2, Hibernian 0.

Second Half ends, Celtic 2, Hibernian 0.

Jamie Murphy (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Yosuke Ideguchi (Celtic).

Attempt blocked. Jota (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Scott Allan (Hibernian).

Jota (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Tomas Rogic (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Yosuke Ideguchi.

Attempt blocked. Jamie Murphy (Hibernian) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Martin Boyle.

Scott Allan (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic).

Rocky Bushiri (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic).

Substitution, Celtic. Jota replaces James Forrest.

Offside, Celtic. Michael Johnston tries a through ball, but Giorgos Giakoumakis is caught offside.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Lewis Stevenson.

Attempt blocked. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tomas Rogic.

Rocky Bushiri (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Rocky Bushiri (Hibernian).

Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

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