Ange tactical instruction, new king of Glasgow: 3 things we learned as Celtic hammer rivals

By John McGinley

February 2, 2022

Celtic have hammered rivals Rangers with a huge 3-0 victory in tonight’s must-win derby at Celtic Park.

The Bhoys were fantastic from the first whistle tonight and blew away the opposition by half-time thanks to a double from Reo Hatate and a Liel Abada effort.

Celtic now sit top of the Scottish Premiership with 14 games remaining, one point ahead of the Ibrox side.

There is obviously a lot of football to be played, but Ange Postecoglou’s Bhoys are now in pole position and will now be favourites to lift the title.

But what did we learn from tonight specifically and what were our big takeaways from the night? Here are three…

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Reo Hatate is the new king of Glasgow

Where else could we start if not with Reo Hatate? The Japanese midfielder was a sensation tonight, especially in the first half.

His goals were excellent – the first so composed and the second destined to go down as one of the best ever scored in this derby.

Then to top it off, his cross from the left flank found Liel Abada for the third and fatal goal that truly killed the visitors off.

Hatate has arrived at Celtic for a low seven-figure fee and has already paid that back with goals against Hearts and Rangers that have propelled us to the top of the Scottish Premiership.

After tonight, he’s an iconic hero with the Celtic support and it was no surprise he got a standing ovation when he was substituted off.

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Ange tactical option pays off again

One of Ange Postecoglou’s big tactical instructions this season was shared by Greg Taylor at the weekend.

The left-back said Ange has been on at his wingers to make sure they get into a central position in the box when the ball is on the opposite flank.

We’ve seen it pay off on multiple occasions this season, but tonight was the most obvious example of it and perhaps the most important.

Abada sprinted his way into the Rangers box with Hatate holding the ball on the left flank. The cross was sublime, but again Abada was the right man in the right place to hit it home.

Expect this to be fruitful in even more matches between now and the end of the season.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Wonderful Juranovic

There were lots of big performers in tonight’s team. Hatate, Abada, Matt O’Riley, Giorgos Giakoumakis. However, I also wanted to put a focus on Josip Juranovic, who was absolutely supreme in that right-back position.

Tasked with keeping Ryan Kent quiet, he undoubtedly did that. With timely tackling, incredible composure and more than a few bits of skill, he again showed he’s been one of the real bargain buys at Celtic this season.

This position is now his and what a player we have on our hands. I also get the feeling there’s lots more to come from him.

In other news, Celtic defender Josip Juranovic expertly deals with media question about facing rivals.