Hibernian winger Martin Boyle has admitted that his team got “outplayed” by Celtic over the weekend, as he praised Neil Lennon’s nine-in-a-row champions.
The Hoops had some nervy moments in the first half on Sunday but still managed to get in at the break 2-0 ahead thanks to goals from Callum McGregor and Albian Ajeti. Mohamed Elyounoussi then added a third after Celtic dominated Jack Ross’ Hibees in the second 45.
The stats were there for all to see post-match too. Celtic managed 65% possession and had 20 shots on goal to Hibs’ nine. Nine of Celtic’s efforts were on target, whilst Hibs failed to trouble Vasilis Barkas whatsoever (BBC).
Boyle believes that Hibs could’ve been luckier at times, but was gracious enough to admit they were simply beaten by the better team.
As quoted by the Scotsman, Boyle said: “It was disappointing, the chances we had and passed up and we got punished for it. We came out in the second half still believing we had a chance and believing we could create more, but Celtic just upped it to another level and pushed and we got punished on the counter.
“I thought we were fantastic against Rangers the previous week. We rode the wave at times. But this week we were a bit unfortunate, we got outplayed at times. It is a hard place to come. There will not be many teams who will take points from Celtic Park.
“They are two different tests, at home to Rangers and away to Celtic. Obviously, you know what you are getting. We never took our chances this week and we got punished, they are a really good side and we are away from home.”
Boyle failed any Celtic audition this may have been
If Boyle looked at this game as a chance to impress Celtic boss Neil Lennon, he failed to do so. The Hoops have been linked with the Australian international, with a switch to Celtic speculated last January (Scottish Sun).
However, stat-tracking experts WhoScored rated him as Hibs’ worst performer on the day with a mark of 5.83 out of 10. That includes the three subs who came on at Parkhead too.
He did manage the highest passing accuracy mark in the Hibs team with 93.3%, but with only 35 touches, his effect on the game going forward was minimal.
Boyle will have been looking for more here. Even if he has just signed a new Hibernian contract, don’t tell me he doesn’t want teams like Celtic to be interested in signing him further down the line. Despite impressing against Rangers last week, the Australian simply didn’t do enough on Sunday.
Yet fair play to him for admitting that Celtic were simply the better side on the day. The Hoops dominated the entire 90 minutes, and but for a couple of sloppy moments in the first half, you couldn’t really pick holes in anything we produced.
Hopefully it’s the same on Thursday night when we travel to Sarajevo in the Europa League playoff round.