Kilmarnock 1-4 Celtic: Hosts Celtic canter further towards title at Rugby Park

Kilmarnock 1-4 Celtic: Hosts Celtic canter further towards title at Rugby Park
Daizen Maeda scores
Celtic were in full flow when Daizen Maeda headed their second goal

Celtic are seven points away from retaining the Scottish Premiership after a first-half goal blitz against relegation-threatened Kilmarnock.

The visitors were four up within 27 minutes after Kyogo Furuhashi swept them in front with ease, Daizen Maeda headed a quick second and Matt O’Riley struck twice.

Liam Donnelly got one back at the end of a first half that also featured a missed penalty by Kyogo, with neither side finding the net after the interval.

South Korea head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was in attendance at Rugby Park hoping to see Oh Hyeon-Gyu and the striker replaced Kyogo at half-time.

Kilmarnock remain in the relegation play-off spot, a point above bottom side Ross County and below Dundee United on goal difference.

Celtic re-establish a 12-point advantage over Rangers and, with a vastly superior goal difference, Ange Postecoglou’s side effectively need two more wins from six games to clinch back-to-back titles.

  • Follow the latest Kilmarnock news
  • Keep up to date with Celtic

After Fraser Murray conceded possession, Kyogo turned Joe Wright and raced clear on the right. The striker turned back and, as the Kilmarnock defence stood off, struck a low shot past Sam Walker for goal number 29 of the season. Great striker play but the league’s top scorer was afforded too much space.

Celtic’s second was well worked. Sead Haksabanovic released Alistair Johnston in the inside right channel and his chip was nodded back across goal into the net by Maeda.

There was no let-up from the visitors as O’Riley tested Walker at his left-hand post.

But the midfielder scored with his next attempt on 18 minutes, receiving Greg Taylor’s incisive pass and placing the ball low into the net with Killie again too passive.

Christian Doidge’s foolish trip on Taylor gave Kyogo the chance to reach the 30 mark from the spot, but the striker’s effort came back off the post and Maeda knocked the rebound wide.

The fourth was not long in coming, though, as Murray’s sliced clearance went backwards into his own box and Danny Armstrong’s header presented the ball for O’Riley to control and finish.

Beleaguered home manager Derek McInnes took action with defender Jeriel Dorsett and midfielder Alan Power sent on in place of midfielder Murray and striker Doidge, the change in shape eventually stemming Celtic’s flow.

And it was the visitors’ turn to err in first-half added time as captain Callum McGregor was robbed by Donnelly inside the box. The Northern Irishman’s first shot was blocked by Joe Hart, so was Armstrong’s but Donnelly retrieved and forced the ball in to reduce the hosts’ arrears.

The second period was far less incident-packed than the first, but Kilmarnock did carve one excellent chance. Armstrong swung in a brilliant cross from the right and Luke Chambers’ header was superbly blocked by Hart.

Oh was active in front of his international manager, trying his best to get across defenders and finding the side netting on one occasion. Team-mates Carl Starfelt, Tomoki Iwata and Johnston also threatened.

Player of the match – Matt O’Riley

Matt O'Riley scores
A classy all-round display from the midfielder featuring two fine finishes, his second pictured here

Celtic goal hungry again at Rugby Park – analysis

When Celtic visited Rugby Park in August, Celtic were a goal up after seven minutes, three up by half-time and five in front by full-time. The start to this game was eerily familiar for Kilmarnock, with basic errors and lacklustre defending ruling out any possibility of gaining a foothold in the match.

The hosts were always huge underdogs but the ease with which they were bowled over in the opening half-hour was the last thing they need in their battle to avoid the drop, particularly with rivals Dundee United having found form with two wins.

To their credit, Kilmarnock got much closer to their opponents and restricted space in the second half. They now face six games which could define their season.

Comfortable Celtic wins this season are nothing new. Postecoglou’s side have won 9-0, 6-1, 5-0, 5-1 and 4-0 this term, continually rejecting the footballing convention of getting in front and sitting on a lead.

The league leaders need nine more points to reach 100, having moved beyond a century of league goals to 102 for the campaign with this win.

What the managers said

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes: “We help them with the first goal. Some of that type of decision making was really not great. It’s not what we want to see. We were passive after that. Clearly we needed to stop the bleeding. We made the changes and I thought we were instantly better. The second half was just exactly how I wanted us to be.

“I’m determined to get a Kilmarnock team at this club who can beat Celtic and can do so much better than what we showed today. For the time being, our fight isn’t that. Our fight now is to make sure we stay in the league. We’ve got six games against teams we know we can win against.”

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: “Our fist half was outstanding, probably as well as we’ve played all year. Second half, we got a bit sloppy and never got into any rhythm. Overall, knowing the challenge here today, really pleased.

“(O’Riley’s contribution) has been outstanding all year. Good for him to get a couple of goals. Our football was brilliant, everyone was kind of in sync. Our finishing composure, apart from the penalty, was excellent. Disappointing for (Kyogo) that he couldn’t get his goal from the penalty. I’m sure more will come.”

What’s next?

Kilmarnock visit St Mirren on Saturday (15:00 BST), when Celtic will be at home to Motherwell.



Formation 4-4-2

  • 20Walker
  • 2Mayo
  • 5Taylor
  • 19Wright
  • 24ChambersSubstituted forJonesat 84′minutes
  • 11ArmstrongSubstituted forWalesat 90′minutes
  • 34WatsonSubstituted forLyonsat 84′minutes
  • 22Donnelly
  • 15MurraySubstituted forPowerat 31′minutes
  • 26DoidgeSubstituted forDorsettat 31′minutes
  • 23Vassell


  • 1Hemming
  • 3Dorsett
  • 4Power
  • 10Jones
  • 16Robinson
  • 17Lyons
  • 21McInroy
  • 25Alebiosu
  • 29Wales


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Hart
  • 2JohnstonBooked at 86mins
  • 4Starfelt
  • 18Kobayashi
  • 3Taylor
  • 24Iwata
  • 42McGregorSubstituted forTurnbullat 68′minutes
  • 9HaksabanovicSubstituted forSummersat 88′minutes
  • 33O’RileySubstituted forMooyat 68′minutes
  • 38MaedaSubstituted forVataat 69′minutes
  • 8FuruhashiSubstituted forOhat 45′minutesBooked at 71mins


  • 13Mooy
  • 14Turnbull
  • 19Oh
  • 25Bernabei
  • 29Bain
  • 53Summers
  • 56Ralston
  • 57Welsh
  • 69Vata

David Dickinson


Live Text

  1. Match ends, Kilmarnock 1, Celtic 4.

  2. Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, Celtic 4.

  3. Attempt missed. Alistair Johnston (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by David Turnbull.

  4. Ben Summers (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Foul by Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock).

  6. Attempt missed. Kyle Vassell (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Jordan Jones with a cross.

  7. Attempt missed. Kyle Vassell (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  8. Substitution, Kilmarnock. Bobby Wales replaces Daniel Armstrong.

  9. Rocco Vata (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  10. Foul by Lewis Mayo (Kilmarnock).

  11. Substitution, Celtic. Ben Summers replaces Sead Haksabanovic.

  12. Attempt missed. Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Daniel Armstrong following a corner.

  13. Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Alistair Johnston.

  14. Alistair Johnston (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Foul by Alistair Johnston (Celtic).

  16. Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  17. Attempt missed. Tomoki Iwata (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by David Turnbull.

  18. David Turnbull (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Foul by Alan Power (Kilmarnock).

  20. Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Alistair Johnston.

Player of the match

O’RileyMatt O’Riley

with an average of 8.44


  1. Squad number2Player nameMayo

  2. Squad number4Player namePower

  3. Squad number20Player nameWalker

  4. Squad number22Player nameDonnelly

  5. Squad number24Player nameChambers

  6. Squad number23Player nameVassell

  7. Squad number5Player nameTaylor

  8. Squad number10Player nameJones

  9. Squad number11Player nameArmstrong

  10. Squad number34Player nameWatson

  11. Squad number3Player nameDorsett

  12. Squad number19Player nameWright

  13. Squad number29Player nameWales

  14. Squad number26Player nameDoidge

  15. Squad number17Player nameLyons

  16. Squad number15Player nameMurray


  1. Squad number33Player nameO’Riley

  2. Squad number8Player nameFuruhashi

  3. Squad number38Player nameMaeda

  4. Squad number3Player nameTaylor

  5. Squad number24Player nameIwata

  6. Squad number18Player nameKobayashi

  7. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor

  8. Squad number2Player nameJohnston

  9. Squad number4Player nameStarfelt

  10. Squad number1Player nameHart

  11. Squad number9Player nameHaksabanovic

  12. Squad number69Player nameVata

  13. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull

  14. Squad number53Player nameSummers

  15. Squad number13Player nameMooy

  16. Squad number19Player nameOh Hyeon-Gyu

…. to be continued
Read full article at the Original Source
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source : BBC Sport –