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

By Nick McPheatBBC Scotland

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

Reo's fellow debutant and 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.

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 Hatate
The 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).

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-3-3

  • 15Hart
  • 88Juranovic
  • 20Carter-Vickers
  • 4Starfelt
  • 3Taylor
  • 18RogicBooked at 63mins
  • 42McGregor
  • 41HatateSubstituted forIdeguchiat 75'minutes
  • 11AbadaSubstituted forJohnstonat 75'minutes
  • 38MaedaSubstituted forGiakoumakisat 74'minutes
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forNeves Filipeat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Scales
  • 7Giakoumakis
  • 16McCarthy
  • 17Neves Filipe
  • 19Johnston
  • 21Ideguchi
  • 29Bain
  • 56Ralston
  • 57Welsh

Hibernian

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Macey
  • 33BushiriBooked at 77mins
  • 4Hanlon
  • 3DoigSubstituted forStevensonat 66'minutes
  • 27Cadden
  • 11NewellSubstituted forAllanat 75'minutes
  • 22Doyle-HayesBooked at 58mins
  • 32CampbellSubstituted forMurphyat 57'minutes
  • 8WrightSubstituted forBradleyat 75'minutes
  • 10Boyle
  • 15NisbetSubstituted forScottat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Doidge
  • 14Mueller
  • 16Stevenson
  • 18Murphy
  • 20Hallberg
  • 21Dabrowski
  • 23Allan
  • 25Scott
  • 29Bradley
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
58,296

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home21
Away5
Shots on Target
Home5
Away0
Corners
Home8
Away1
Fouls
Home14
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 2, Hibernian 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 2, Hibernian 0.

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    Foul by Yosuke Ideguchi (Celtic).

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Foul by Scott Allan (Hibernian).

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Foul by Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic).

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Foul by Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Jota replaces James Forrest.

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Lewis Stevenson.

  17. Post update

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

  18. Booking

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

  19. Post update

    Foul by Rocky Bushiri (Hibernian).

  20. Post update

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

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Monday 17th January 2022

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers20163143142951
2Celtic21153344123248
3Hearts20106429181136
4Motherwell209472527-231
5Hibernian218582424029
6Aberdeen208392524127
7Dundee Utd207491623-725
8Livingston2055101626-1020
9St Mirren2031071831-1319
10Ross County2046102735-818
11Dundee2044121837-1916
12St Johnstone2035121125-1414
View full Scottish Premiership table

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