Celtic player ratings: The unflustered gondolier shines again but one starter can only muster a 5

We give the Celtic players a mark out of ten for their performance in the Scottish Cup tie against Hearts at Tynecastle Park ...
Celtic's Alistair Johnston jumps on top of his team-mates following Cameron Carter-Vickers' goal in the 3-0 win over Hearts.Celtic's Alistair Johnston jumps on top of his team-mates following Cameron Carter-Vickers' goal in the 3-0 win over Hearts.
Celtic's Alistair Johnston jumps on top of his team-mates following Cameron Carter-Vickers' goal in the 3-0 win over Hearts.

Joe Hart: If you only have one moment as a keeper, it has to be made to count. The Englishman ensured that was so courtesy of a superb instinctive save down to his left from a Toby Sibbick effort at 1-0 that he somehow clawed out from practically behind him before blocking the follow up. 7

Alistair Johnston: Plays as if hewn from the Rockies in his Canadian homeland, so solid and stocky is the full-back. And unyielding, as he was in giving nothing up as his team came under a spell of pressure following their explosive start, all before provided the assist for the clincher second-goal just before the interval with a precision cross. 7

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Carl Starfelt: A hip flexor issue in the warm-up, his manager Ange Postecoglou revealed afterwards, was behind the Swede not re-appearing following the interval. A composed presence until then. 6

Cameron Carter-Vickers: All in space for a simple header to make it 3-0 late on, the imposing defender ate any spaces, and opponents frankly, at the other end to starve the home side of threatening situations. One challenge proved all-too-meaty, though, as he picked a second-half yellow card. 7

Greg Taylor: Not as evident in the final third as he tends to be as a full-back at ease with the inverting asked of him, the Scotland international was competent and content in giving great concentration to his defensive duties. 6

Aaron Mooy: Like an unflustered gondolier in a storm, the Australian seemed to be able to take his time, with gracefulness, as his promptings ensured Hearts were buffeted every which way in a whirlwind start. After, that is, he opened the scoring with a deft finish two minutes in for a seventh goal action – three of these net-rippling moments – in only his past seven starts. 8

Callum McGregor: A technical fulcrum for his team, the Celtic captain can also be a tigerish ball-winner. He couldn’t have been any more of a dominant enforcer in Gorgie had he been welding a Magnum 45. 7

Reo Hatate: A little more on the fringes that his commanding midfielder compadres Mooy and McGregor after drawing a fine save from Zander Clark in the opening stages, he was still busy enough. 6

Jota: The Portuguese winger never just sold but bought and sold Kye Rowles courtesy of a corkscrew run down the right that allowed him to set up Mooy for the opener. His burrowing made him a constant menace for a Hearts backline that never seemed to have him under control. 8

Kyogo Furuhashi: A dinky back-flick from a Johnston low cross allowed him to kill the tie as a contest seconds before the end of the first period, and bag him a 26th goal of a campaign in which the striker has been irrepressible. 7

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Sead Haksabanovic: Lively showings off the bench in recent encounters – coupled with an injury for Daizen Maeda – earned the Montengro international a first start of 2023. His impact on the left proved limited, though, and he gave way to Liel Abada on the hour. 5

Substitutes: Yuki Kobayashi (7) was a composed, assured presence after replacing the injured Starfelt at the break. Liel Abada (6) had a couple of glimpses at goal in his half-hour run-out. Matt O’Riley, Tomaki Iwata and Oh Hyeon-gyu (n/a) strolled through after being introduced for the closing stages.