Yuki debut verdict, Kyogo confidence: 3 things we learned as Celtic rout St Mirren

By John McGinley

January 18, 2023

Celtic have maintained excellent domestic form with a 4-0 victory over St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership this evening.

Goals from Liel Abada, Kyogo Furuhashi and David Turnbull sent the Bhoys on their way to another win, against the Scottish team to have last beaten Ange Postecoglou’s side back in September.

It was undoubtedly an entertaining and comfortable 90 minutes for supporters, but what are the big takeaways from the encounter? Here are three of ours…

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Yuki Kobayashi looks at home within the Celtic team

It was a big evening for new signing Yuki Kobayashi tonight, making his debut with the Bhoys after a big winter move from Vissel Kobe.

You could tell he has been training extensively with the squad over the last few weeks, even prior to the January window officially commencing. He was comfortable, sharp and in tune with his teammates – predictably one of the busiest players on the ball in possession.

He played on the left side of the centre-half pairing, with Carl Strafelt switching to the right after Cameron Carter-Vickers picked up a minor knock from the weekend’s match against Kilmarnock.

Dubbing himself ‘Yuki’ on the back of his kit, the new Bhoys defender brought a nice balance to building possession out of the back and stood up well to any St Mirren threats – I’m looking forward to seeing more in tougher defensive tests.

Kyogo Furuhashi’s confidence levels are peaking again

Kyogo was lethal in front of goal for Celtic tonight. He wasn’t presented with too many opportunities, but he tucked away the best ones with some excellent finishing.

His first goal was the highlight of the entire 90 minutes, latching on to a delicious Reo Hatate ball before lobbing a helpless Trever Carson. It was the kind of quick thinking and technique we know the Japanese forward is capable of.

It was Jota who set-up Kyogo for his second, playing a smart first time low cross into the path of his onrushing teammate, who had again timed his run perfectly to sprint clear of the St Mirren defence.

Kyogo is a man full of confidence right now and providing Celtic with title-winning firepower. With 18 goals in the bag already, it won’t be long until he surpasses his goalscoring total of 20 from last year.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic’s squad looking deeper than ever

Ange Postecoglou made four changes to tonight’s team but it didn’t detract from the performance in anyway – in fact, refreshing the line-up may well have improved the overall showing from the Bhoys.

With David Turnbull, James Forrest, Aaron Mooy, Daizen Maeda and Sead Haksbanaovic all coming off the bench to good effect in the second half, our squad depth is the best it has been for a long time.

Postecoglou is spoiled for choice when it comes to putting together a team to pick up wins right now. No doubt we’ll see more significant changes to the line-up for Saturday’s match at home to Greenock Morton, but that comes with a trust that the display is likely to be just as effective.

In other news, “Real big impact”; James Forrest lauds Celtic coach Harry Kewell for Lennoxtown influence.