Treble march is on, best win streak for years; 3 things we learned as Celtic break Hearts
Celtic have powered their way through to the Scottish Cup semi-finals after a comfortable 3-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle this afternoon.
An early Aaron Mooy finish, his seventh goal in 14 games, and an expert Kyogo Furuhashi flick, his 26th goal of the entire season, pushed the Bhoys to a 2-0 lead at half-time. After the interval, Hearts couldn’t find a way to really test Joe Hart in response, with Cameron Carter-Vickers eventually heading in the third from a set-piece.
It was another satisfying afternoon for Ange Postecoglou and his team, but what were the big takeaways from the encounter? Here are three of ours…
Celtic vault over one of the treble barriers
Today’s match was seen as a significant test of Celtic’s mettle when it comes to a potential treble of domestic trophies. Tynecastle away is one of the most difficult draws that could have come out of the quarter-final hat. It’s been a difficult venue at times over the last couple of years – but not today.
Postecoglou’s side proved again they are able to vault every barrier in domestic football on current form, just a couple of weeks after lifting the Scottish League Cup. A big semi-final at Hampden now awaits and while absolutely nothing will be taken for granted from a Celtic perspective, it is an undeniable fact that the Bhoys look in strong shape to deliver a treble.
If Celtic go into the upcoming international break with a victory over Hibernian, then they’ll hold at least a nine-point lead at the top of the table with just nine games remaining and be heading to the national stadium again in April. Relentless is the right word.
Celtic’s best winning streak for six years
Celtic made it 13 wins in a row today with the 3-0 victory, which is the club’s best winning streak in all competitions since the days of Brendan Rodgers’ Invincibles in the 2016/17 season. That team managed to string together a ridiculous 17 wins together between December and March before drawing against Rangers.
You wouldn’t bet against Postecoglou’s team getting close to or even surpassing that now, either. Rodgers’ team will always have that special Invincibles tag of course, with Celtic already losing to St Mirren in September, but it’s clear that Ange’s outfit is getting mighty close the excitement and machine-like consistency of that historic side.
As the manager has made abundantly clear on many occasions, he reckons this is still just the start for these players and this group with much more improvement to come. That must be frightening for the opposition to think about.
As mentioned, Kyogo Furuhashi scored his 26th goal of the season today and did it in a typically devastating fashion. He didn’t actually get himself involved too much on the ball throughout his time on the pitch, but the most telling touch was undoubtedly the best.
His expert movement left the Hearts defence flat-footed approaching half-time before the Japanese star beautifully backheeled a sublime finish past Zander Clark.
He is a striker who thrives on those big moments and opportunities. He is also becoming ever more adept at sticking them away with skill and improvisation. With him fit and firing, Celtic look unstoppable at the moment.
In other news, Ange Postecoglou responds to proposed SPFL restructure with Celtic benefits clear.