Celtic continued an impressive winning domestic run as they brushed aside Derek McInnes’ Kilmarnock side at a rain-soaked Parkhead on Saturday afternoon.
Killie have shown they have the ability to beat a team like Celtic, having already done so in the Viaplay Cup second round earlier in the season, but it was a complpetely different story this time round.
Brendan Rodgers’ men showed a maturity as they put in one of the most complete performances of the season to confidently blow the Ayrshire side away.
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Joe Hart – 6
It was a quiet afternoon for the English stopper as he returned to the starting berth, replacing Scott Bain who deputised between the sticks whilst Hart served a one-game suspension. The 36-year-old will be disappointed not to have kept a clean sheet as young midfielder David Watson’s strike found its way past the keeper after 72 minutes.
Alistair Johnston – 6
The Canadian didn’t cover himself in glory for Kilmarnock’s goal, with Kyle Vassell causing some problems for the right-back. Despite this, it was a solid enough performance with not much defensive actions being required from the 24-year-old.
Cameron Carter-Vickers – 7
The American will be encouraged by getting another 73 minutes in his legs following his return to the side mid-week against Lazio. He naturally appeared a bit rusty on his return to the team, but looked closer to his best on Saturday, dealing with the threat of the aforementioned Vassell with relative ease.
Liam Scales – 7
As expected, Scales was the man who kept his place in the team alongside Carter-Vickers upon the American’s return to the side. The Irishman contributed well to Saturday’s victory, especially in the build-up play, and is swiftly becoming a vital cog in Rodgers’ Celtic system.
Greg Taylor – 8
Taylor was impressive again as he lined up against former club Kilmarnock. He was constantly involved in the game down the left-hand side, linking up well with Luis Palma on multiple occasions and got the goal at the end to cap off a good display.
Callum McGregor – 7
Reo Hatate – 8
The Japanese midfielder turned in his best performance of the season by some distance at the weekend. He scored a phenomenal first goal after a mazy run, then grabbed an assist by providing Palma with an opening to put Celtic 2-0 up. The only disappointment for Reo could have been that he didn’t score more than one goal on the day.
Matt O’Riley – 6
One of the quieter displays that the Dane has turned in this season, but he didn’t put much of a foot wrong in the middle of the park. As is often the case when one midfielder stars, as Hatate undoubtedly did, then the others tend to work away effectively in the background.
Daizen Maeda – 7
Kilmarnock’s defensive set-up on the day meant that it was a relatively quiet afternoon by Maeda’s usual standards, but he was constantly running and provided a neat assist for Celtic’s third before being replaced by Yang Hyun-jun late on.
Kyogo Furuhashi – 6
The forward would have hoped to add to his tally for the season, and perhaps should have done so. He had one effort correctly chopped-off by VAR, and continued to cause problems for the Kilmarnock backline with his incessant movement.
Luis Palma – 8
Fans are quickly learning a lot more about the Honduran. What he lacks in running and sheer pace, he makes up for with intelligence and picking up good pockets of space in the tightly-packed opposition defences. Grabbing a goal on his first league start, and a brilliant finish at that, will only further enhance his confidence as well as the acclaim of the Celtic manager.
Nat Phillips – 4
Replaced Cameron Carter-Vickers with just under 20 minutes to play.
James Forrest – 4
The winger will be disappointed not to have been on the scoresheet after replacing Palma on 73 minutes, failing to convert a rebound that fell his way.
The Norwegian got five minutes on the park after missing mid-week’s game through suspension.
The Korean was brought on for injury-time after replacing Kyogo.
Replaced Daizen Maeda for the final few minutes.
JAMES MCKENZIE // Follow James HERE