'Dominated Rangers star', 'nutmeg', 'brainfart' - How Celtic players rated in Viaplay Cup final success

Celtic won their 21st League Cup with a 2-1 final success over rivals Rangers. Here is how the players involved rated out of ten.

Joe Hart – 6: It was a quiet afternoon for the former England goalkeeper. Got a hand to Morelos' effort but couldn't keep it out with the effort so close to him. Other than that, Rangers asked few questions of him, with Hart having to sweep up behind the defence a couple of times.

Alistair Johnston – 8: A good game for the Canadian down Celtic's right. Plenty of energy in an attacking and supporting sense. Delivered a brilliant cross for Kyogo who headed over the bar. His main job was to keep Ryan Kent quiet which was exactly what he did, dominating the Rangers winger, making a great challenge deep into stoppage time.

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Cameron Carter-Vickers – 7: The American for perhaps the first time since moving to Scotland was muscled off the ball when going tight to Morelos early on. After that he didn't put a foot wrong. Came up with a crucial intervention in the first half to cut out a low cross which Sakala sliding in. Was strong in his battles from there on with key blocks and interceptions. Got a massive toe to a ball which was set to land at Antonio Colak’s feet.

Carl Starfelt – 7: Gave Celtic fans a heart attack in the second half when he tried to chip the ball over the head of an opponent when in his own box. It was less successful than his Cruyff turn in his own box in the first half. Did really well to cover in behind Greg Taylor on a couple of occasions.

Greg Taylor – 7: A mixed bag for the left-back. Set up Kyogo for the Celtic opener with a fine low cross after providing width and depth on the overlap. Had shown recovery pace earlier after being caught out with the ball in behind for Fashion Sakala to scamper onto. Recovered well to cut out the cross. Had a brainfart in the second half when he lost the ball in the middle of the park and then fouled outside the box, collecting a yellow card in the process. The free-kick was deflected for a corner which Rangers scored from.

Callum McGregor – 7: A captain’s performance at the heart of the midfield. Did the gritty, often overlooked but hugely important work behind Hatate and Mooy. Getting onto loose balls, providing a defensive presence and moving the ball efficiently and effectively.

Reo Hatate – 8: Ran the show in the first half with Aaron Mooy. Always seemed to find space and time to dictate the tempo to his liking. A lovely football player to watch with his vision and weight of pass. Was key in the build-up to the first goal and then slid in Kyogo for the second. No surprise the game got scrappy when he was replaced.

The Celtic starting eleven for the Viaplay Cup final.  (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)The Celtic starting eleven for the Viaplay Cup final.  (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
The Celtic starting eleven for the Viaplay Cup final. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Aaron Mooy – 8: His last significant involvement came with Rangers’ goal when he lost Alfredo Morelos in the box from a corner with the Colombian turning the ball in from close range. He had been heavily involved in the Celtic goals playing the pass before the assist. First slipping in Greg Taylor and then Reo Hatate in threatening positions to deliver crosses. Combined so well with Hatate throughout the game to help Celtic control and dominate the central areas and force Rangers back.

Jota – 6: The Portuguese was on the periphery for large periods of his time on the park. Celtic concentrated a lot of their attacking in the first half down their left with Jota on the opposite flank. It took until the 19th minute for his first meaningful touch. He came to life afterwards for a spell, bringing a good save out of Allan McGregor. In the second half he tied Borna Barisic up in knots but after getting into a good position wasn't able to deliver. Gets a point for a first-half nutmeg.

Kyogo Furuhashi – 8: Ange Postecoglou had said he was itching to get off the bench in the win over Aberdeen last weekend and took out his need to play, to score against Rangers with a double, being in the right place at the right time, as he usually is, to put the finishing touch to well-worked moves. Got into good positions constantly and could easily have scored prior to his first. Got free in the box a couple of times. He tried to knock the ball down once and then headed over from a really good position. Curled an effort from distance wide. Movement and sharpness in the final third was excellent.

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Daizen Maeda – 6: A huge figure for Ange Postecoglou in the Celtic team. His presence nullifies any attacking instincts of the opposing full-back, this time James Tavernier. However, he was very wasteful with the ball in the final third. There was a wild cross out of play, he ran the ball out of the pitch twice and when given the chance to play in Kyogo, he checked back.

Replacements: Liel Abada (6) brought plenty of pace and directness to the right flank and the work rate to match. Was booked for a blatant dive. Both Matt O’Riley and Sead Haksabanovic (6) should have scored late on. Tomoki Iwata and Hyun-Gyu Oh (6) put themselves about and played their part in making sure Rangers didn’t get a foothold.



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