Joe Hart: Do not underestimate how much that save on to the post in the fifth minute held a potential early Celtic wobble together. His composure when receiving the ball seems to be improving, as does his choice of pass when he does release it longer. Hart made another solid and timely stop before the half-hour after Starfelt had given the ball away cheaply and generally directed his defence with conviction throughout the rest of the match. 7

Anthony Ralston: If Croatia international Josip Juranovic is indeed jetting in to sign for Celtic in the next couple of days he has a battle on his hands in the shape of Anthony Ralston. The right-back’s recent improvement is showing no signs of abating and he oozed belief in defence and attack, even beating Thijs Oosting with a Kieran Tierney-esque shimmy in the 20th minute to hit the byline and cross. Even if he is to be displaced by Juranovic – or whichever right-back Celtic eventually recruit – apologies are well and truly due to him, from myself as much as anyone, for the way he has risen to the challenge these past couple of weeks. 8

Stephen Welsh: Played left centre-back rather than right and dealt well with the subtle differences in play that enforced on him. On current evidence, Welsh has to be considered the main man when it comes to central defence. Covered for Starfelt more than once defensively – including a well-timed block shortly after half-time – and was more than happy to drive forward with the ball to take the team up-field when required too. 8

Carl Starfelt: Beaten rather easily by Zakaria Aboukhlal early on after diving in and getting nutmegged. The Moroccan went down too easy afterwards in an attempt to win a penalty but that does not detract from Starfelt’s rashness. He was switched to right centre-back – where he played most of his football at IFK Goteborg – but if it was an attempt to make him feel more comfortable than he’s looked so far it didn’t really pay off. The Swede did redeem himself somewhat with some solid, basic defending as the first half came to a close and enjoyed a more relaxed second period. 5

Greg Taylor: Looked mostly assured in possession again but there were a couple of shaky moments defensively. His delivery was lacking at times while there is a feeling he could occasionally try to take a man on more often as Ralston has learned to do on the opposite flank. On the whole an industrious shift, though there will be better displays to come. 6

Callum McGregor: Appears almost omnipresent at times, popping up wherever he is required but always at the centre of matters. Once again his constant availability to receive the ball put the defence at ease throughout the match while his calming influence paid dividends when AZ tried to ramp up the pressure later on. What also shouldn’t be overlooked is that it was the captain who nicked in to win the ball back and then showed great resolve to retain it in the build-up which led to Kyogo’s opener. 7

READ MORE: Risk brings reward for Ange Postecoglou as Celtic secure 2-0 lead in tie with AZ Alkmaar

David Turnbull: Roamed around the midfield picking passes where he saw fit and generally trying to create whatever havoc he could. His tendency to delay releasing the ball can sometimes work against him but, nonetheless, he is a persistent threat whether from set-pieces or open play and appears to be starting to enjoy the flip side of the game, with a couple of well-timed tackles and a fledgling tenacious side to his play when pressing. 7

Tom Rogic: Despite his recent performances, to some Rogic starting this game was viewed as a somewhat risky vote of confidence in him from the manager. If so, he proved Postecoglou correct after just 11 minutes with a drive forward into the left channel before whipping a delightful ball across for Kyogo to finish. The Australian played an incisive through pass to Abada shortly after but the Israeli could not quite make the most of it. Otherwise, Rogic was at his jinking, irrepressible best and posed a particularly tricky problem the AZ defensive midfielders did not seem to be able to find an answer to. 7

Liel Abada: Started in place of Odsonne Edouard and was always a willing runner. Abada tested the AZ keeper with a good, low drive in the 15th minute and appeared to have the beating of Oosting whenever he got the chance to face him up, an avenue Celtic probably should have tried to utilise more all things considered. A move to the left flank did not appear to suit him much before he was substituted after 58 minutes. 6

Kyogo Furuhashi: The Japan international showed phenomenal awareness and balance to finish in mid-air from Rogic’s inviting cross and generally harried the AZ defence every second he could while leading the line on his own for much of the first hour. He shifted to the left wing thereafter, from where he played the ball in for Forrest’s deflected strike before going off in the 75th minute. 7

James Forrest: Back on the left wing due to Abada’s return and forced an impressive save from Hobie Verhulst with a long-range curler in the 25th minute while always looking to link up with Kyogo and the midfielders where possible. Forrest switched to the right shortly before half-time and remained there after the break, drifting in-field to find space in the box and collect Kyogo’s pass, roll the defender and net Celtic’s second with a deflected shot. 7

Substitutes – Odsonne Edouard (for Abada 58): Followed up his one-goal-one-assist display against Hearts with a half-hour cameo in which he linked up well with Rogic in particular, setting the Australian up for a dipping 20-yarder that made the goalkeeper wince. The Frenchman was denied a goal by a smashing double save in the 85th minute. 6

James McCarthy (for Rogic 75): Booked for a flailing elbow after going up for a 50-50 aerial challenge with Teun Koopmeiners. 5

Adam Montgomery (for Furuhashi 75): Saw a shot cleared off the line by Bruno Martins Indi as part of an 85th-minute flurry in front of the AZ goal. 5

Ismaila Soro (for Turnbull 88): On to see out the final few minutes. 5

Substitutes not used: Scott Bain, Vasilis Barkas, Nir Bitton, Albian Ajeti, Scott Robertson, Liam Shaw, Osaze Urhoghide.