Scottish giants Celtic FC, beat perennial rivals Glasgow Rangers 3-0, a result that also saw Ange Postecoglou’s charges replace Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership table.
There are few games in world football that can rival an “Old Firm” derby between Glasgow’s two football powerhouses and last night’s game was up there for crowd atmosphere and passion.
It could not have been a better stage for new Celtic signing Reo Hatate from Japan to confirm his credentials. He scored within the first five minutes and add a second goal five minutes before the end of the first half.
Postecoglou signed Hatate from J1 League champions Frontale on 31 December, last year, an inspiring decision as the Japanese player was player of the match on his debut against Hibernian in January.
Liel Abada added a third on the 44th minute.
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Giorgos Giakoumakis twice came close to adding to Celtic’s tally but was thwarted by some fine goalkeeping from Allan MacGregor.
The second half saw Rangers trying to prise apart the Celtic defence which was able to even deny them the consolation of a goal in the final minutes of intense pressure.
Postecoglou told Celtic TV that he was “super proud” of his players.
“Everyone knew it was a big fame. (There were) massive consequences for everyone. We knew what it meant for supporters,” Postecoglou said.
“I thought our first half football was outstanding – quality play, great goals. We could have had some more but the keeper put on some great saves.
“The second half we had to defend a bit more but we have shown that we can do that, so I am really proud.
“I have had special moments in football but that one was up there. Tonight, from the moment we walked out to 10 minutes after the game, they did not stop. I think the most pleasing thing is our players put in a performance that was pleasing for our support,” Postecoglou said. It was the first time that Celtic had beaten Rangers under his management. His team lost an earlier encounter 1-0.
The Celtic manager said the team would now have to maintain their momentum and focus on the next match, a tough away game to Motherwell on Sunday. The victory sees Celtic on 57 points leading Rangers by a point.
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