The ability of Kyogo Furuhashi has never really been in question since he arrived at Celtic Football Club.

Signed from Vissel Kobe in the J1 League in his native Japan, the player was previous manager Ange Postecoglou’s first foray back into the market he left just over a month earlier. Effectively scoring goals against every other team in the league, the one blot on Kyogo’s copybook until this year was his record in the Glasgow Derby against Rangers.

That changed in 2023. Six goals in six appearances for the striker against Celtic’s greatest rivals, with Kyogo announcing himself as a force to be reckoned with in one of football’s most revered fixtures.

READ MORE: Was Celtic's defending in the Glasgow Derby the key factor?

Using Wyscout, The Celtic Way takes a look at all six of Kyogo’s goals in 2023 against Rangers, in order to determine what has clicked for the talismanic figure so suddenly in Scottish football's biggest fixture.

Goal one – Rangers 2-2 Celtic (89 mins)

What a time to break your duck in the Glasgow Derby. After going ahead through fellow countryman Daizen Maeda, the hosts managed to take the lead through goals from Ryan Kent and James Tavernier. Celtic were crying out for an equaliser, with both Kyogo and fellow striker Giorgos Giakoumakis both on the field in search of a late goal. The two would be involved in what transpired, but the former would put the finishing touches on the move.

Note the position of Kyogo just inside the 18-yard box. Quite amazingly, he is completely unmarked in the opposition, with Rangers players too fixated on what is happening with the ball. Despite failing to score in this fixture up to this point, Kyogo must have not believed his luck at the failure of his opponents to mark him. This was to be their fatal error…

The ball goes from Aaron Mooy to Giakoumakis who is pictured on the ground. After a messy passage of play, the ball lands in Kyogo’s vicinity of the park. A first-time shot with his right foot, the forward strikes the ball into the roof of the net without any hesitation, in turn grabbing a late point for the visitors. A sucker punch to the opposition, and an example of things to come when the two sides met again over the course of this year. This is the first example against Rangers of Kyogo's quick decision-making proving to be the difference between the two sides in terms of attacking.

Goal two - Rangers 1-2 Celtic (43 mins)

Kyogo is undoubtedly a big-game player, having showcased this at Hampden back in 2021 against Hibernian in the League Cup final with a double on the day. He would repeat this feat just over 12 months later at the same venue, albeit against a better level of opponent in Rangers. With half-time slowly approaching in a nervy final, It was time for Kyogo to step up again and make the difference.

By this point in the move, Mooy distributes the ball to his full-back of the left-hand side Greg Taylor, who is marauding forward and looking for an opening to cross the ball into the box. Rangers defender Ben Davies thinks he has Kyogo covered, but the striker is intelligent once again, feigning a movement before driving into space. The broken arrow on the still indicates where Kyogo is heading with regard to his movement, with the cross from Taylor finding the intended target in Kyogo. After Daizen Maeda - also in the still just below Kyogo - completely misses the ball, the pass finds Kyogo, who has the easiest of finishes from close range. He now has two goals in two games against Rangers, but he was not done for the afternoon...

Goal three - Rangers 1-2 Celtic (56 mins)

Indeed - ten minutes into the second half - Kyogo would strike again in the same match. With Rangers eager to get back into the match, Celtic found space in which to launch an attack, one which three players were pivotal in executing.

Just outside of the box, Mooy is again involved in the build-up of this chance. Despite being surrounded by Rangers players, the Australian has time to pick out Reo Hatate making a run into the opposition box. Already alert to this, Kyogo can see that an opportunity to get onto the end of a delivery is transpiring and is already making inroads to make sure he is available to pick out. The defensive weakness of Borna Barasic has been targeted and exploited by Celtic over the past few years, so Kyogo sticking close to the left-back may lead to an easier opportunity to convert.

Hatate now has the ball after being successfully picked out by Mooy, but look at the position of Kyogo. In just a few seconds, the speed and sharpness of the striker has allowed him to get in front of his marker, who is out of position at this point. Despite being slight, Kyogo can sometimes get the better of his market physically, which happens to be the case here. Hatate - an expert in this situation - plays a low cross into Kyogo's path, and the forward takes care of the rest. A simple, yet effective goal, that effectively sealed the League Cup for the holders for a second consecutive year. 

Goal four - Celtic 3-2 Rangers (25 mins)

Kyogo's first goal against Rangers at Celtic Park was a magnificent goal from start to finish, with his quick thinking once again providing the catalyst to yet another strike in the Glasgow Derby. Having scored against the opposition both at Ibrox and Hampden, the striker was keen to break his home duck in this particular fixture, and what a way to do so.

Once again, Taylor plays a large part in this move for Celtic regarding a Kyogo opportunity. Despite being marked by James Tavernier, the left-back spots an opening in between John Souttar and Ben Davies directly to the in-form striker. Davies is so preoccupied with what is happening with Taylor on the ball that he fails to pick up on Kyogo, who is already getting into position to receive the pass.

The pass is successful, and Kyogo now has possession of the ball, although his back is to the goal. He has two options in this scenario: does he pass the ball to Mooy, who is unmarked, or does he turn and attempt a shot at goal? Not one to try the safe option, we all know what happens next...

Kyogo does the latter, which totally bamboozles Davies in the Rangers defence. By turning on the ball, he allows for breathing space between him and the defender, which results in a virtually uncontested shot between just Kyogo and Allan McGregor in the Rangers goal. From this point on, Kyogo will very rarely miss the target from such close proximity, which is all thanks to his split-second decision to manoeuvre the angle of his opportunity rather than pass it off to one of his teammates. This is why his reputation as Scotland's premier striker is virtually undeniable at this point, especially now with the consistent strike-rate against his team's biggest rivals and competitors.

Goal five - Celtic 3-2 Rangers (63 mins)

Despite scoring that wonderful aforementioned goal in the first half, he would be at it again against the same opponent following the restart, though this goal was more fortuitous with how it transpired. With the game at 1-1 following a Tavernier free-kick, it was time for Kyogo to step up to the plate once more.

Directly proceeding this opportunity, the now-departed winger Jota has his shot blocked by Ben Davies. The ball falls to the Portuguese player, who admittedly does not know a lot about the flight or trajectory of where it is going to land. Luckily for him, Kyogo has tracked its movements and gives himself a couple of seconds to survey the situation.

In a flash, Kyogo again pounces on the chance presented to him and turns his body onto the settling ball, taking a first-time shot to the surprise of the Rangers defence. The shot is clean and accurate and makes its way into the left-hand corner of McGregor's net. In what is becoming a regular occurrence here, Kyogo's speed of movement and decision-making is the difference between an opportunity arising and being successful or not. He is simply too fast for the opposition to keep up with, with his unpredictability being another feather to his bow in terms of attacking prowess.

Goal six - Rangers 0-1 Celtic (46 mins)

The most recent goal of this ever-growing highlight-reel, it is the first goal that Kyogo has scored under a manager other than Postecoglou against Rangers. It is probably the pick of the bunch, too, and it transpired exactly where the striker scored his first goal versus Rangers at the beginning of this year. Like many of his goals, Kyogo tends to pounce on the stroke of half-time, and this was the case once again.

Following a goal-kick from Joe Hart in the Celtic box, Connor Goldson headers the ball weakly into the path of Matt O'Riley. The Dane takes a leaf out of Kyogo's book and thinks fast, electing to cushion the ball to the striker with a header of his own. Like all of the goals so far, Kyogo is remaining vigilant in this scenario and is watching the flight of the ball before deciding when to pounce on the opportunity. 

The header is perfect, and suddenly the Rangers defenders find themselves behind Kyogo as he rushes into the opposition's area. Not unlike former Rodgers' former striker at Liverpool Luis Suarez, Kyogo again elects to take the shot on the first time of asking on the half-volley, which takes everyone by surprise. The shot is true and connected with well, beating the impressive Jack Butland for the one and only time on the day. In turn, this secured Celtic a much-needed win against their rivals, which put them four points clear at the time of writing.


What is clear from these six examples against Rangers is that Kyogo can do it all in terms of a forward player. From tap-ins to half-volleys, the range of goals that the Japanese striker has in his arsenal is incredible to witness. What sets him apart from other strikers - both former and current - is his football IQ, which is completely off the scale and is getting displayed regularly, especially in domestic competition. That contract extension is looking more and more astute as the days and weeks go on for Celtic's main attacking force.

READ MORE: Why Brendan Rodgers smashed egg all over the doubters' faces

Indeed, the club have not had a striker this versatile and intelligent since Henrik Larsson, and with his CV getting filled with more and more goals - especially now against Rangers - it surely will not be long until the two are potentially mentioned in the same breath, especially if Kyogo keeps this form up.

The "King of Kings" may finally have a worthy heir in the shape of Kyogo.