Celtic thrashed Aberdeen 5-0 at Celtic Park on Saturday in what was a comprehensive Trophy Day victory for the home side.

The Glasgow side, who were winless in three games, looked well up for the occasion and launched a constant barrage of attacking moves on the visiting side, who had nothing in return. A double from Kyogo Furuhashi in the first half followed by the same from Hyeon-gyu Oh in the second demonstrated Celtic’s dominance in the fixture, with Carl Starfelt scoring in between each striker’s brace to further consolidate the victory.

Ange Postecoglou made six changes from the side that were beaten 4-2 by Hibernian just three days earlier, with Joe Hart back to his usual role as first-choice goalkeeper. Right-back Alistair Johnston made his return, replacing Anthony Ralston, and he was joined by Greg Taylor in his opposite position in defence ahead of Alexandro Bernabei.

Interestingly, Tomoki Iwata was in central defence for this match instead of Yuki Kobayashi, who did not feature in the squad. In midfield, Matt O’Riley returned to play alongside Reo Hatate and Callum McGregor, while in attack, Jota and Kyogo replaced Sead Haksabanovic and Oh respectively. Meanwhile, Liel Abada kept his place from the defeat at Easter Road.

Here, The Celtic Way rounds up the best StatsBomb data from the game to give you a match report like no other…


The champions looked motivated for this game, and it showed in their utter domination of the xG accumulation. Unlike previous games in the post-split fixtures, it was a fast start by Postecoglou's men, with Kyogo putting a good chance wide in the first minute of the match, his chance scoring him 0.11 in xG just 31 seconds into the game.

Following a number of low-xG chances by players such as McGregor Jota, Hatate, Starfelt and Kyogo, it was the latter who made the breakthrough in the 27th minute. The Japan striker – who recently got recalled to his national team – received a great pass from Taylor and proceeded to turn onto his left foot before smashing it into the corner past Aberdeen goalkeeper Kelle Roos. This shot was calculated as 0.27 xG but achieved a PSxG (post-shot expected goal) of 0.73, highlighting the accuracy and technique of the shot once it left Kyogo’s boot.

It did not take long for Celtic to double their advantage, and it came from the same source as their first goal, as Kyogo signed off his magnificent season with 33 goals. Following a shot from McGregor from outside of the box (0.03 xG), the striker managed to finish off the rebound following Roos’ spillage of the initial chance, scoring a much higher xG of 0.61 in the process, which rose to 0.87 PSxG following the shot.

As the race chart shows, Aberdeen did not have a single effort at goal in the game, with every chance coming from the home side in what was a dominant performance. Despite this, it took until the 78th minute for Celtic to further stretch their lead, and it came from an unlikely scoring source.

Following a corner from O’Riley, Starfelt met the cross and headed it into the net, clipping the underside of the crossbar before doing so. This scored chance was calculated as 0.16 xG, demonstrating how good a header it was from the Sweden defender to find the back of the net for the hosts.

That goal seemed to open the floodgates for Celtic, who scored two out of their last three chances in the game, with the other directly resulting in a goal via a rebound. Oh, who came on early in the second half for Kyogo, matched his injured team-mate as he too grabbed a double for his team.

His first was an extremely well-placed header, following an inch-perfect delivery from Jota to find the striker in the box, who expertly smashed the ball into the side-netting of the goal. This goal generated the highest xG of the match with 0.31, accumulating a massive PSxG of 0.95 once Oh got a connection with the cross.

He would not have to wait too long for a second, as it came just eight minutes later. Following a well-hit free-kick from Jota which rattled the crossbar (0.05 xG), Oh would tap home the rebound following a run into the box, which the Aberdeen defenders failed to deal with. This chance scored 0.21 and 0.92 in xG and PSxG, respectively, to round off the scoring for Celtic, in what was an emphatic victory for the home side.

Our data provider calculated that the game was scored 2.51-0.00 on the xG front, concluding that the only team truly in the game was Celtic, with the away side failing to manage a single chance in the process. The race chart calculated that the home side had a 96 per cent chance of winning this game, with the other four per cent on a draw, giving Aberdeen absolutely no chance of winning this game based on xG alone.

Celtic had 20 shots on goal in this game, with eight of these being on target, scoring five goals. Many of the side’s best chances came from just outside of the six-yard box, which perhaps explains why Celtic’s xG total was so high for this game. In particular, both Kyogo and Oh’s goals from the left-hand side of the box are almost in the exact same area, showing strength in this area of the opposition’s penalty box.

Celtic, on average, take 18.94 shots per 90 minutes, indicating that they outperformed in this metric against Aberdeen, showing their productiveness in creating chances on this particular day.

Aberdeen, on the other hand, had no shots on goal whatsoever in this game, failing to contribute a single chance in proceedings. They average 11.26 shots per game, so they clearly underachieved in this particular metric.

Kyogo was Celtic’s busiest attacking force in this game in terms of shots, with the striker taking five and accumulating 1.10 in xG, scoring twice in the process. Perhaps the most efficient was Oh, however, as he too scored twice while only achieving 0.65 xG for his four shots. Jota had three shots on 0.28 xG, whilst Hatate and Starfelt had two on 0.08 and 0.22 xG, respectively, with the latter scoring his header in the process.

As previously mentioned, Aberdeen had no shots whatsoever, so no statistics could be discussed for the away side in this section.

Possession, passing & positions

As is the case in the vast majority of games that they play, the home side enjoyed the bulk of possession in proceedings. Celtic had 76 per cent possession of the ball, completing 631 of their 717 total passes at an 88 per cent success rate. Aberdeen, however, completed 147 of their 226 passes in total, at a 65 per cent pass rate on just 24 per cent possession of the ball.

The passing network gives an idea of where most of the game was played and who was the most involved. This is a reminder that the warmer the colour, the more influential the player and the thicker the passing lines, the more passes between the players.

StatsBomb measures pass contributions in on-ball value (referred to as OBV, a term breakdown can be read here).

For Celtic, Johnston’s return to the team was fruitful in terms of OBV, as he scored 0.36 off of 61 passes, followed by McGregor’s 103 passes accumulating 0.34 OBV in the process. Iwata also had a warmer OBV output, with the defender’s 78 passes scoring 0.28 in on-ball value.

Despite their dominance, Celtic also produced the lowest individual OBV in the game too, thanks to O’Riley. The midfielder’s 43 passes scored -0.25, lower than any Aberdeen total in the process.

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For the away side, Jack MacKenzie was Aberdeen’s top performer for OBV in the game, his 15 passes achieving a total of 0.24 OBV, with captain Graeme Shinnie not far behind on 0.18 OBV thanks to 15 passes. Attacker Duk was Aberdeen’s lowest OBV earner, scoring -0.12 off of seven passes, with Matthew Pollock next to him on -0.09 OBV from 11 passes.

Celtic’s passing network from the players that started indicated that a lot of success came from the right-hand side of the pitch, where Iwata and Johnston were operating, and McGregor in the middle of midfield. These three had the warmest colours, indicating their influence in the overall game in OBV accumulation.

For Aberdeen, any potential joy would have to come from the left-hand side of defence and midfield, where both MacKenzie and Shinnie were located, respectively, as their OBV colours were the warmest.

Hatate led the key passers stat for Celtic, with his four accumulating 0.25 in xG. O’Riley was next with 0.31 off of three, whilst Taylor, McGregor and Jota scored 0.30, 0.20 and 0.37 off of two key passes, respectively.

As was the same with shots, Aberdeen had no players complete a single key pass, once again highlighting both their ineffectiveness and Celtic’s sheer dominance in proceedings.

Pressing and defending

Celtic initialised 91 pressures in this match compared to Aberdeen’s 101 but were able to regain the ball 22 times to their opponent’s 12, highlighting a greater success rate in less work off of the ball.

As is very often the case, O’Riley was top of the pressures chart, with 14 pressures initialised from the Denmark midfielder. However, Johnston and Hatate were not far behind him, with the pair managing 11 and 10 pressures, respectively.

Johnston achieved the most counterpressures for Celtic, with five, while Hatate and O’Riley both managed four. These three players led the press for the team and their efforts were rewarded in the scoreline as a result.

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For Aberdeen, Leighton Clarkson achieved the most pressures in the game, with 19, as well as Marley Watkins, who made 15 of his own. Jayden Richardson and Watkins only managed three counterpressures, which was the highest total for the away side.

On the defensive side of the game, it was a really good showing for Hatate, who managed four total tackles and interceptions, which was a high for the home team altogether. Starfelt also played well defensively, winning seven aerial duels and making four clearances in what was a solid defensive display from the Sweden international.

For Aberdeen, Shinnie was busy defensively in the midfield as he made six tackles and interceptions in total, which was the most in the game for both sides. Angus MacDonald made 10 clearances for his side in what was an unpleasant afternoon for the defender at Parkhead.