Celtic, the Champions of Scotland, kicked off the new season with the Flag Day fixture against St Johnstone this afternoon at Celtic Park. Neil Lennon was hoping for a perfect start in front of the home crowd, and the Bhoys did not disappoint at all as they clinched a sensational 7-0 win to showcase their supremacy in Scottish football.
Below are the Celtic players rated in their stunning win against the Saints.
Scott Bain: 7
The custodian was rarely tested between the sticks as he enjoyed a comfortable afternoon and started the new season with a clean sheet.
Hatem Abd Elhamed: 8.5
There’s a new right-back in town as the Israeli professional made his presence known with a stunning debut. He not only threatened with overlapping runs, link-up play with James Forrest, pinpoint crosses and cut insides but also made quick recovery using his pace to win the ball back.
His game, however, ended prematurely as he was forced to leave the pitch minutes into the second half. Anthony Ralston replaced him at the back.
Nir Bitton: 7.5
Had injury woes in the recent past but is now back to full fitness and started the game in the absence of Jozo Simunovic and Christopher Jullien. The visitors failed to threaten enough and Britton maintained his composure in deep defence alongside Ajer.
Kristoffer Ajer: 8
Has been a revelation in the heart of the backline and exhibited his excellence yet again with sheer dominance, calmness and ball-playing ability.
Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo: 7
Enjoyed a comprehensive league debut in place of Kieran Tierney. Was not as influential as Elhamed but settled in well in new surroundings and kept on combining with Johnston with timely runs as well as sublime crosses.
Scott Brown: 7.5
The hosts dominated the midfield game, and the skipper kept on disrupting the Saints moves at ease. Won the ball back time and again and distributed it across the pitch to form attacking moves from the deep-lying role.
Callum McGregor: 7.5
Operated box-to-box as he carried the ball forward from the deep with his down the middle runs, quick link-up play and smart distribution traits.
James Forrest: 8
Troubled the opponents relentlessly from the right flank. Could not find the net but assisted Ryan Christie twice in the first half.
Ryan Christie: 10
A spectacular display from the Scotsman as he registered a hat-trick in style to continue his form of last season while operating as a midfield attacker. Was taken off and replaced by Olivier Ntcham minutes after grabbing his third of the afternoon.
Micahel Johnston: 8.5
A perfect start from the youngster as he showed great footwork and control to find the net within ten minutes into the game. Created a few more chances from the left, played his part in Christie’s third and was cheered by the fans while making way for Leigh Griffiths late in the game.
Odsonne Edouard: 9
The Frenchman was menacing since kickoff and set it up for Johnston to open the account. Assisted Ntcham in the second half and found the net to make it 6-0 having missed a few opportunities early on.
Anthony Ralston: 7
The youngster had a decent spell as he was not at all troubled defensively and spent his time in the advanced areas since replacing the injured Elhamed.
Olivier Ntcham: 8
The Frenchman had his controversies but proved his excellence after firing in Celtic’s 5th seconds into his introduction. Assisted Griffiths to make it 7-0 with four minutes remaining of the regulation period.
Leigh Griffiths: 8
Back in the league action and again in the scoresheet! The Scotsman took the Hoops in the seventh heaven at Paradise with a smart finish into the bottom corner from a distance. Played his part in Edouard’s goal minutes before.
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