MATT O’RILEY has been firing blanks since the start of the season – but has still hit the record books.
The stylish Celt has had FORTY-TWO shots at goal, more than any other Premiership midfielder, but it is something of a mystery that he has yet to hit the opposition’s net.
O’Riley thought he had broken the barrier with 10 minutes remaining of the champions’ 4-0 midweek win over Hibs at Easter Road.
The Hoops were coasting with a double from Aaron Mooy, one from the penalty spot, Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi when the Denmark Under-21 star was presented with the perfect opportunity.
MOOY THE MERRIER…Matt O’Riley congratulates Aaron Mooy on his first goal for Celtic in the 4-0 win over Hibs at Easter Road. The Aussie midfielder enjoyed the sensation so much he added another in the second-half.
O’Riley was picked out smack in front of goal by slide-rule pass from substitute Giorgos Giakoumakis, but his sidefooted finish, which looked destined to make it 5-0, was clawed off the line by the diving David Marshall as he displayed the agility and lightning reflexes that made him a fans’ favourite during his days at Parkhead.
So, the wait goes on for O’Riley who moved back to his regular role in the advanced midfield position when Callum McGregor came back to the starting line-up after the World Cup break.
With the captain out for two months through injury, the London-born middle-of-the-park operator assumed the responsibility of his anchorman role and performed admirably as the Hoops maintained the momentum that sees them with a nine-point lead as they head into 2023.
Ibrox on Monday seems the ideal place for O’Riley to break his duck.