KYOGO FURUHASHI is slowing down.

Last season, he claimed a hat-trick in his first Premiership start as Celtic dazzled in a 6-0 rout of Dundee at Parkhead on August 8.

This time around, it has taken the Japanese international hitman five games to collect his first trio of the campaign following his breathtaking first-half performance in the overwhelming, record-breaking 9-0 victory against Dundee United at Tannadice.

FIRST OF THREE…Kyogo Furuhashi lashes in a low right-foot drive to open the floodgates on Tayside.

Kyogo was unstoppable against Jack Ross’ side as he set about striking terror into their rearguard with a devastating display that had the opposition out on their feet – and out of the contest – by the time the interval arrived with Filipe Jota chipping in with the other for a 4-0 scoreline at the break.

On the plus side, the £4.6million bargain buy from J-League Vissel Kobe in July last year has now scored six goals in five games.

Last term, it took him THREE months before he reached that total. Following his treble against the doomed Dens Parkers, the fleet-footed forward saw his debut crusade interrupted by injury while on international duty and it wasn’t until October 3 before he struck again in a Premiership outing, netting the first goal in the 2-1 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

CHEEKY…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates his first strike with Liel Abada, who would emulate the three-goal feat in the second-half, about to join in.

His next league strike came in the 3-1 victory over Hibs at Easter Road on October 27 and he claimed his sixth goal in the 4-2 triumph over Dundee on Tayside on November 7. He added a seventh in a two-goal show with Jota also netting a double that afternoon.

Kyogo, who shared the goalscoring spotlight with Liel Abada who fired in a second-half trio at Tannadice, told Celtic TV: “First of all, we’re happy to have the nine goals and I got my goals, but this is because my team-mates gave me good passes and I think we could have had even more goals.

“It was amazing and we could just express what we’ve been working on, so we want to keep working more and keep having good results.

HIGH AND MIGHTY…Kyogo Furuhashi is hoisted into the air by delighted team-mate Liel Abada.

“Recently I’ve just had one goal per game, but I got three goals in this match.

“We just have to focus on each game and we would like to get a good result so that our fans can enjoy our games.

“But we still have a lot to do and a lot more to improve, so we will keep working hard.”

Kyogo and Co go back into action in their first defence of their Premier Sports League Cup against Ross County in Dingwall on Wednesday before the Glasgow derby against Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Ibrox outfit in the east end of Glasgow on Saturday.


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