It was quite a fascinating weekend in the Scottish Premiership. Celtic started the action by labouring before taking the lead and moving into cruise control against Ross County. St Mirren bookended the action by scoring a 95th minute winner at Easter Road. Motherwell rode their luck to earn a point at Dundee, St Johnstone continued to concern their fans by going down 0-2 to Hearts, while Aberdeen failed to make a single attempt on target in a 0-0 at Livingston. Oh, and Kilmarnock failed to read the script by beating Newco.
The excitement Kyogo generated two years ago, on his first league start for Celtic, against Dundee, was palpable. He scored a hattrick, causing us all to hope we had signed the real deal. Two years on and the evidence is overwhelming. His performance on Saturday was just as impressive.
Twice he dropped deep to create a chasm of space behind that he filled with two inch-perfect passes. David Turnbull should have scored with the first, Matt O’Riley made no mistake with the second. His goal was not an easy strike; placing a bouncing ball from 12 yards with enough control to keep it on target, but still managing to beat the keeper. Turnbull’s head-flick and Liel Abada’s early cross both contributed to an excellent move. He is without doubt in the top two Celtic players of this century.
Maik Nawrocki showed enough to indicate why we spent so much money bringing him to Glasgow. His first involvement was a choice to concede a corner within 15 seconds of the start. It’s what we would expect in a Champions League encounter, less so against County, but the player was right to take no chances.
For two years I have lamented the infrequency our central defenders break the lines and carry the ball forward – as Kris Ajer did. Maik took one opportunity to do this, hopefully we’ll see it again.
We are a few weeks shy of two years since Carl Starfelt and Cameron Carter-Vickers teamed up in central defence. In that time, they have not lost a single game over 90 minutes to Scottish opposition. Carl took the more difficult left-sided role, despite being right footed. If, as likely, he moves on this week, he leaves a big jersey to fill.