“I was a little frustrated”; Matt O’Riley explains why Celtic Park moment meant a lot to him

By David Walton

May 8, 2022

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley has stated that his failure to get on the scoresheet was beginning to frustrate him before finally netting the crucial third against Hearts yesterday.

O’Riley was one of the more impressive performers against the Jambos at Celtic Park in the 4-1 hammering. The goal marked the player’s 3rd at Celtic Park after a brace in the 7-0 mauling of St Johnstone several weeks ago.

The former MK Dons man had been thwarted on a couple of occasions beforehand. Whether it was miss-hit efforts inside the box or indeed the inside of the post, O’Riley was struggling to get the goal his performance deserved.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But as he reflected on the game via Celtic TV yesterday, O’Riley explained that the goal was a major relief for him:

“I think personally I missed a couple of chances earlier as well. I was a little bit frustrated about that. I thought I had to score that one to put it right. So I was just as relieved as everyone else when that went in.

“It was crazy, the atmosphere right now is bouncing. It’s just really great to be a part of to be honest. We played really well today so I’m happy. I think we’ll enjoy the moment, but I think at the same time it’s not officially done is it?

“We’ll just treat these next games like every other one and from there we’ll celebrate.”

Celtic 4-1 Hearts | Full-Time Reaction

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Celtic 4-1 Hearts | Full-Time Reaction
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Matt O’Riley made his influence known on return to Celtic XI

O’Riley was making his 4th consecutive start and it’s clear he’s beginning to thrive with the consistency of selection. His influence in the middle of the park was a key difference between the 2 sides, with Hearts barely getting ay hold of the battle in the engine room.

Stat experts Fotmob rank O’Riley as the highest-rated performer on the pitch with a score of 8.5/10. The midfielder clocked up 5 shots on goal throughout and managed 3 successful dribbles out of 3. Not to mention he racked up an 84% pass accuracy rate too.

It was a big day for him yesterday. It’s the first match since his return to the XI in which he was one of the real standouts. It puts him in a great position ahead of Wednesday night’s game against Dundee United at Tannadice.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ange now has plenty of midfield options at his disposal. The form of O’Riley allows him to rest Reo Hatate and potentially take him out of the firing line. Goodness knows he could do with the rest.

It’s also promising to see O’Riley get back amongst the goals once again. We could certainly do with him adding more goals to his game considering the number of positive areas he gets himself into.

He goes into Wednesday night in great form. Hopefully he gets himself back into the starting XI once more – his form certainly deserves it.

In other news, The only concern for Celtic yesterday that still needs to be cleared up