Celtic overcame second-tier outfit Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday to secure a record-breaking eighth domestic treble.

Goals from Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada gave the Hoops a comfortable lead and, after Dan MacKay pulled a goal back for Caley in the last ten minutes, Jota struck in stoppage time to seal the cup.

A fifth trophy out of six for the departed Ange Postecoglou secured the Parkhead side’s 41st Scottish Cup and a remarkable fifth treble in seven years. 

After nearly a month without competitive football, Inverness initially put up stubborn resistance at the National Stadium, restricting a sluggish Celtic side to few chances in the opening exchanges.

However as half-time approached, Matt O’Riley crossed for Kyogo to slam home the opener and get the party started.

At a time when Celtic were struggling to find a way through, O’Riley’s clever movement and composed cross unlocked the resolute Caley Thistle backline, allowing Kyogo to fire in his 34th goal of the season. 

O’Riley’s breakthrough assist capped another fine overall display by the Danish under-21 international in another big game.   

Here, we highlight key moments from O’Riley’s influential performance at Hampden Park that helped secure a world-record eighth domestic treble for Celtic…

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Shot (18 mins)

After a quiet opening 15 minutes, Celtic’s Young Player of the Year had the first effort of the game as the 20-minute mark approached.

Arriving in the box, O’Riley got to the ball first from a headed clearance by Inverness. On the stretch, and with the ball bouncing back up, it was a difficult one for O’Riley but he was able to make decent contact with his shot into the ground looping just over the bar.

Cross (35 mins)

Inverness continued to frustrate Celtic as the half went on though, shackling the talents of the likes of O’Riley effectively.

The eventual winner did then start to go through the gears towards the end of the half. O’Riley, who was being closely watched by Caley midfielder Scott Allardice throughout the match, started to find more space between the lines.

Although Allardice was happy to let O’Riley go behind him on occasion, the close distances between Inverness’s midfield and defence still denying him space, in the last ten minutes of the half the 22-year-old midfielder was starting to free himself more readily.

An example of this came just before the opening goal when O’Riley was able to exploit space down the inside channel between the Caley Thistle centre-back and left-back.

Getting a few yards of space away from Allardice, O’Riley allowed an angled pass down the inside channel from right-back Alistair Johnston across his body before firing across the goal.

On this occasion, Thistle keeper Mark Ridgers was able to gather but it was a sign of things to come.

Assist (37 mins)

Just two minutes later, O’Riley exploited the same space to receive the ball from the Canadian full-back again.

Even before Johnston had received the ball himself, O’Riley was on the move, looking to exploit that same space.

Despite getting in front of him again in the build-up, Allardice did well to catch up with O’Riley but the Celtic midfielder's quality on the ball then showed.

Standing up Allardice in the box, O’Riley’s excellent close control and quick feet put Caley man on the back foot.

One touch to then get the ball out of his feet with his left gave O’Riley the space to fire in an accurate low cross with his right that Kyogo, of course, expertly dispatched.

It was an architectural Postecoglou Celtic goal; O’Riley’s brilliant understanding of space and movement, coupled with excellent technical ability, showed the silky midfielder at his very best.

Kyogo shot (40 mins)

O’Riley’s movement off the ball helped create the opportunity for Kyogo to bag a quick-fire second just minutes later too.

Taking up the centre-forward position to occupy the Caley centre-backs, O’Riley’s positioning allowed Kyogo to pull off into that inside right channel.

Kyogo should arguably have then done better after Hatate’s through ball gave him a clear sight of goal. The Japanese forward sent the ball just by the far post but it was an opportunity that would have not been possible without the clever movement of O’Riley again.

Wyscout data

Wyscout data also sheds light on O’Riley’s contribution at the National Stadium on Saturday.

The former MK Dons man registered an expected assists (xA) value of 0.37, the second highest in the team on the day behind skipper Callum McGregor, who was also outstanding (0.65 xA).

O’Riley completed 28 of his 32 attempted passes, which included one key pass for Kyogo’s opener.

He had the most shots (four), hitting the target with half of them, while both of his crosses found a teammate in green and white.  

Wyscout’s data also highlights some of O’Riley’s contributions off the ball. In terms of defensive duels, he was involved in five and came out on top in four of them (80 per cent). He also made a joint team-high six interceptions.

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Many commented post-match that if, as is now true, the final on Saturday was Postecoglou’s last match as Celtic manager then it was fitting that the goal scorers were Kyogo, Abada and Jota.

It was equally as fitting that Matt O’Riley, as he has done so often under Postecoglou, was the one who provided the moment that unlocked the door.

Arriving in the Australian manager’s first January transfer window, O’Riley has brought intelligence and guile to Postecoglou’s Celtic midfield. His output off the ball has also been a key part of this Celtic side's success. 

The former Fulham youngster has been touted for a move away from Glasgow’s east end himself. Whoever replaces Postecoglou will no doubt attempt to resist any move for O’Riley in their first months as manager.

O’Riley, as he has shown already in his career in green and white to date, is one the biggest creative forces in Scotland who should play a big role in the next Celtic manager’s plans, whoever that may be.