CELTIC came through a rocky start against Hibernian as the hosts flew out of the blocks at Easter Road, but their class ultimately told as Ange Postecoglou’s side put on a scintillating attacking show to blow Lee Johnson’s men away.

Aaron Mooy opened the scoring for Celtic to settle the champions down, before a brilliantly taken second from the hugely impressive Daizen Maeda before the interval had them sitting pretty.

Any faint home hopes of a Hibs comeback were blown out of the water as Mooy converted a penalty for his second of the night after Lewis Stevenson was adjudged to have handled in the box, before Kyogo raced away and calmly added a fourth to send Celtic to Ibrox on January 2nd in fine fettle.

Here are five talking points as Celtic made it 10 goals against Hibs this season in just two matches so far.


The midfielder was again used as an auxiliary full-back here, with Anthony Ralston still injured and Josip Juranovic fit enough only for a place on the bench following his return from the World Cup.

It had looked early on as if Celtic manager Postecoglou might have to ask Juranovic to get stripped ahead of schedule though as the Japanese was targeted by Hibs, with Elie Youan clearly fancying himself up against Hatate, who was looking like a fish out of water.

Hatate was good going forward as you might expect, putting one cross in that Maeda should have converted, but his defensive frailties made it plain that he is an emergency option in the backline for good reason.

If Juranovic is still in Glasgow come Monday, he is a shoo-in to come back into the side for the trip to Ibrox.


If Juranovic does indeed make the line-up for the game against Rangers, then the question for Postecoglou then becomes what to do in his midfield.

Mooy started here once more to ostensibly fill in for Hatate, but he pressed home his claim for a start against Rangers with another impressive display, capped off by his first goals for the club.

His first was a fine finish, backing up the attack and picking up on the scraps following a Maeda cross to calmly slot Celtic into the lead. And it came at a crucial time, with Hibs having started the match the better.

Then, in the second half, it was the midfielder who stepped up to coolly roll home Celtic’s third from the penalty spot, perhaps putting some questions into his manager’s mind over how to set up at Ibrox.

Postecoglou has preferred a midfield three of Callum McGregor, Hatate and Matt O’Riley whenever the trio have been fit and available, but Mooy may just be forcing a rethink.

O’Riley is the man who may be under pressure. It’s not as if the Danish under-21 international is playing badly at all, quite the opposite, but he is going through a dry spell in front of goal and Mooy must be a serious contender to start on Monday.

The fans chanted his name long and loud at the final whistle, showing how far he has come.

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The winger has often blown hot and cold since his arrival in Glasgow, so much so that eyebrows were raised when he was selected for Japan’s World Cup squad and compatriot Kyogo was left behind in Glasgow.

He vindicated Hajime Moriyasu’s call by slotting home a goal for his country during the tournament, and he has returned to his club looking like he could at last prove himself as a consistently dangerous asset playing off the left for Celtic.

Chris Cadden had a torrid time of it trying to contain Maeda here, and ultimately, he was overwhelmed.

It was Maeda who provided the cross for Mooy’s opener, and it was he who hit a stunning second as he drifted in off the left and sent an unstoppable rocket across David Marshall and into the far corner.

In typical Maeda style, it came moments after he had missed an open goal, heading off the bar from a couple of yards out, but it is his moments of quality that are now becoming more common within his game.

He also played a huge role in the penalty that led to Celtic's third, and he looks like he will play a huge role in the team going forward, justifying his selection here ahead of Jota.


Celtic’s selection woes at right-back have been the focus of discussion over the past week, but there was concern over the welfare of the outstanding Greg Taylor on the other side of the defence as he went down in the second half and hobbled off to be replaced by Alexandro Bernabei.

It would be a huge blow for Celtic if Taylor was to miss out for the game against Rangers, with Bernabei still to make much of an impact in the first-team, and Celtic fans will hope the decision to remove him here was purely precautionary.

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There was a moment way back in Celtic’s pre-season training camp in Austria where Vata produced an outstanding finish – albeit in a friendly against modest opposition – that suggested that they may just have a special talent on their hands.

Even he probably didn’t expect to be troubling the first-team at any point this season, but he was rewarded for his form in the Celtic B team and his hard work behind the scenes in training as he made his competitive bow here late on at Easter Road.

He had one or two nice touches during his short time on the field, not being overawed on the slightest, and he may well get further chances to show what he can do as Postecoglou utilises his squad in the second half of the season.