Celtic, the reigning League Cup winners, clashed heads with bitter rivals Rangers this evening at Hampden Park. The red-hot Hoops were firm favourites to defend the title and they eventually took control of the game before Kyogo Furuhashi found the net late in the first half.
The Gers were denied by the woodwork minutes after the break and the Hoops hitman doubled the lead before the hour mark which proved to be the decider. Alfredo Morelos pulled one back midway through the second half, but the champions managed to handle the pressure en route to conquering the season’s first silverware.
Below are the Celtic players rated in their 2-1 win against Rangers.
Joe Hart: 6
Could not stop Morelos from finding the target. Was not tested enough on other occasions as he was lucky to see Ryan Kent’s strike getting denied by the woodwork.
Alistair Johnston: 7
Managed the game well between defence and attack. Linked up well with Mooy and Jota down the wide. Had some nervy moments against Kent in the defensive third.
Cameron Carter-Vickers: 8
Showed his physical as well as aerial supremacy against Morelos. Maintained his aggression while making clearances and winning challenges at the back.
Carl Starfelt: 8
Was in the right place at the right time to make key blocks and interceptions. Handled the pressure well during the final quarter of the contest.
Greg Taylor: 7.5
Made some tactical fouls to break down the Gers’ attacking threats. Crossed it expertly from the flank which was mishit by Maeda before Kyogo’s finish.
Callum McGregor: 8
Dominated the midfield game with his passing variation, vision and directness. Went for the 50-50 challenges and won them most of the time.
Aaron Mooy: 7.5
Set it up perfectly for Hatate who laid on for his compatriot to double the lead early into the second half. Should have cleared Tavernier’s corner which eventually fell into Morelos’ path.
Reo Hatate: 8.5
Another exquisite performance from the Japanese sensation who was relentless with his pressing and passing game. Showed sheer determination to regain possession and script attacking threats straightaway from the middle of the park. Made way for Tomoki Iwata with 15 minutes remaining.
Filipe Jota: 7
Forced Allan McGregor to make a save. But he faded away with time which led to his substitution moments after Morelos’ goal. Liel Abada was brought in to replace the Portuguese winger.
Daizen Maeda: 8
Should have done better at times with his final passes. However, his work ethic and fluidity across the pitch are inimitable. Received plaudits from the fans while making way for Haksabanovic late in the game.
Kyogo Furuhashi: 9
Battered the Light Blues yet again as he scored once each in both halves and sealed another trophy for the Glasgow giants. Was taken off for Oh Hyeon-gyu late in the match.
Celtic Subs vs Rangers
Liel Abada: 6
Was brought in to inject freshness and add more directness to the Hoops’ attack.
Matt O’Riley: 6.5
Calmed things down in midfield to defend the narrow lead for the rest of the game.
Oh Hyeon-gyu: 6
Could not offer much since coming on in place of Furuhashi.
Tomoki Iwata: 6.5
Was brought in to marshall the defence during the decisive minutes.
Sead Haksabanovic: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.