Celtic, the Premiership leaders, hosted Ross County this afternoon at the Paradise. They had to script a victory to maintain the lead at the top of the standings and the outing proved to be a stroll in the park for the Hoops, thanks to a hattrick from Giorgos Giakoumakis. He also set it up for Daizen Maeda, as also the marching order of Kayne Ramsey added more misery to the Staggies’ dreadful 4-0 defeat.
Below are the Celtic players rated in their commanding victory against Ross County.
Joe Hart: 7
Hardly had to make a save between the sticks en route to registering another clean sheet while guiding the Bhoys from the last line of defence.
Josip Juranovic: 7.5
Enjoyed his minutes with overlapping runs, crosses and cut insides. Was involved in the build-up to Giakoumakis’ second goal. Was taken off for Anthony Ralston with half an hour remaining.
Cameron Carter-Vickers: 7.5
Had little trouble in the heart of the defensive line due to limited attacking moves from the away side. Tried to play it out from the back and showed passing accuracy while instigating moves from the deep.
Carl Starfelt: 7.5
Was in the right place at the right time. Looked focused and composed alongside Carter-Vickers as the pair grabbed another clean sheet without too much of a bother.
Greg Taylor: 8
Looked lively down the left-hand flank with overlapping runs and link-up play with Hatate and Jota. Tested Ross Laidlaw in the Staggies’ goal at the backend of the first half.
Callum McGregor: 8.5
Dictated the show from his usual deep-lying midfield role. Had his impact in the attacking third with on-target attempts and layoffs for his teammates. Often made down the middle runs to create chances high up the pitch. Made way for Nir Bitton before the final quarter.
Reo Hatate: 8.5
Dominated the midfield game with his high work ethic, swift movements, ball-carrying ability and clinical passing through the opponents’ defence. A comfortable occasion for the Japanese ace as the visitors failed to threaten Celtic enough with a man down for the majority of the fixture. Was eventually replaced by David Turnbull who returned from a long injury layoff.
Tom Rogic: 7
Started brightly with his creative spark, but the Aussie wizard was forced to leave the pitch with an injury following a wild tackle from Kayne Ramsey midway through the first half. Ramsey was sent off for the same, whereas Matt O’Riley replaced Rogic in the centre of the pitch.
Daizen Maeda: 9
A great offensive display from the Japanese attacker who played his part in Giakoumakis’ second and then slotted home to make it 3-0 at around the 27th-minute mark.
Filipe Jota: 8.5
Excellent down the flank as he kept on switching his position and set it up beautifully for Giakoumakis at the back post who made no mistake to head home early into the game. Kept on causing menace in the Staggies’ defence, also forced Laidlaw to make saves before making way for Liel Abada around the hour mark.
Giorgos Giakoumakis: 10
Exhibited his poaching traits once more with yet another hattrick. Assisted Maeda to make it 3-0 as the Greek ‘number 9′ dominated the aerial as well as physical duels while spearheading the Hoops’ attack.
Celtic Subs Vs Ross County
Matt O’Riley: 8
Enjoyed his time on the pitch since replacing Rogic. Earned a spot-kick in the second half which was slotted home by Giakoumakis to net his hattrick.
Anthony Ralston: 6.5
Made his presence known with marauding runs and liveliness from the right-hand flank.
Liel Abada: 6.5
Had some swift movements down the right since his introduction as Jota’s replacement.
Nir Bitton: 6.5
Was brought in to inject fresh legs, vision and experience in the middle of the park.
David Turnbull: 6.5
Massive 15 minutes for the young Scotsman who is now back in action after months of injury absence.