O’Riley, Maeda & Taylor continue to improve under Rodgers

Celtic continued their unbeaten league run on Saturday afternoon as they dispatched of Livingston 3-0 at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Livingston has notoriously been a tough place for teams in Scotland to visit, with Celtic in particular having some high-profile struggles against the Lions in West Lothian.

This performance deserves even more credit due to the fact that Celtic completed the game with 10 men as a third red card in the space of a week, this time dished out to Joe Hart, meant Celtic had to play with a man down for over an hour.

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Here is A Celtic State of Mind’s team ratings for Saturday’s win at the Tony Macaroni Arena:

Joe Hart – 4

Hart had actually started the game positively, doing well to make a sharp, reaction save to deny the onrushing Livingston attacker.

However, his game will ultimately be judged by a moment of poor decision-making, as Hart committed to rushing out at Mohammed Sangare after 28 minutes. The Livingston forward got in ahead of Hart, who wiped him out, forcing Celtic to play out the rest of the game with 10 men.

Alistair Johnston – 7

The Canadian had a good performance, particularly in defence. He didn’t venture forward as much as he did last week against Dundee, preferring to play to his strengths and putting in the usual consistent display that we have grown accustomed to.

The second-half moment between the right-back and the travelling supporters, who let him know he could let a ball go over his head to safety, was one to savour.

Liam Scales – 7

The Irish centre-back continued his recent run of good form with another impressive display at the weekend.

He won his aerial duels well against the physically imposing Livingston forwards and particularly excelled in his interceptions and one-on-one defending as he consistently foiled opposition attacks.

Gustaf Lagerbielke – 7

It would have been easy for the Swede to put in a nervy performance following his sending-off in Rotterdam against Feyenoord during the week. Instead, Lagerbielke was up for the physical battle, as he contested well with Livi forward Joel Nouble.

Greg Taylor – 8

Greg Taylor has been slowly but surely returning to his best form, and he continued this improvement with his most impressive performance of the season at the weekend.

The player-of-the-match was slick with his passing, picking out Hatate with a great throughball which led to Celtic winning a penalty.

The defensive side of his game was just as effective, winning the ball which started the move for Celtic’s second goal.



Callum McGregor – 7

The captain had a few slack moments on the ball, but the positives far outweighed the negatives as he formed part of the midfield that kept Livingston at bay whilst the team was down to ten men.

Reo Hatate – 8

Hatate looked far sharper yesterday than he did during the week, a performance against Feyenoord that saw the Japanese midfielder come under a lot of scrutiny.

His creativity allowed him to dictate a lot of Celtic’s attacking play and he won and scored the penalty that gave the Hoops an early lead.

Matt O’Riley – 8

The Dane showed off his impressively well-rounded skill-set as his defensive and attacking acumen was on full display. He got on the scoresheet early in the second-half, a goal his performance definitely deserved.


Daizen Maeda – 8

Staying on the topic of players whose performances warranted a goal, Maeda continued his strong start to the season on Saturday as his high-press and energy stood out.

Rodgers stated post match: “I think when you have Daizen Maeda in your team, you don’t really have 10 men! He puts in the workrate of two players, an unbelievable mentality.”

The manager said it best, and Maeda capped off an impressive display with a top-drawer strike as he left the Livi defender for dead before curling in a peach beyond Shamal George.

Kyogo Furuhashi – 7

Kyogo could have been on the score-sheet early on as he latched onto a great pass from Taylor, but just couldn’t finish off the chance. He was also unlucky not to have a pair of assists, with Maeda spurning two guilt-edged chances that his countryman laid on a plate for him.

James Forrest – 5

Forrest had quite a positive start to the game, but he was the unlucky one to be subbed for Scott Bain after Hart’s red card.


Scott Bain – 6

Bain was called upon to fill in for Hart following his red card, and he didn’t have much to do as the nine men in front of him managed the game incredibly well.

Oh Hyeon-gyu – 6

The South Korean forward was eager to get on the scoresheet and passed up a massive opportunity to grab a goal, blasting a left-footed volley wide of the mark after some good play from Tomoki Iwata.

Tomoki Iwata – 6

The Japanese utility man put in a solid display when he came on, getting half-an-hour in his legs.

He took up some good spaces and helped add some more solidity to the Celtic team for the final half-hour.


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