ANGE POSTECOGLOU hailed Reo Hatate after the midfielder’s winning goal secured the 2-1 victory against Motherwell at Parkhead.
The champions squandered several opportunities, thumped the woodwork on a couple of occasions and dominated possession, but just couldn’t convert the chances into goals.
However, Hatate made certain the Hoops would go back to the top of the Premiership with his dynamic effort in the 64th minute that flashed past the helpless Liam Kelly in the Well goal.
Filipe Jota played a vital role with a swiftly-executed left-wing corner-kick and the Japanese international provided the pulverising finish from just outside the box.
REO GRAND…Motherwell keeper Liam Kelly is left helpless as Reo Hatate’s winning goal zoomons into the net.
WINNING FEELING…Reo Hatate is all smiles as he is about to be congratulated by Callum McGregor.
The encounter ended on a sour note when skipper Callum McGregor was red-carded for a challenge on Ross Tierney following a wayward pass from Hatate, but the home side claimed another victory.
Delighted boss Postecoglou said: “It was a great goal and Reo was unlucky with his strike in the first-half, as well.
“We created chances but we just weren’t as clinical or sharp as we should have been to take them and put the game away. But all in all, it was important to win and we move on.
“It was an important three points, particularly after the last result.
“It’s a funny old game – we created enough chances to win it comfortably, but a couple of self-inflicted wounds kept them in the game.
“But it was great character shown by the boys to see the game out and it was an important three points.”
NET PROFIT…Kyogo Furuhashi thumps the Hoops into the lead after Liam Kelly had pushed out Matt O’Riley’s header.
SEEING RED…Callum McGregor is banished by referee John Beaton.
Celtic opened the scoring in the first-half through Kyogo Furuhashi after Kelly had pushed out a bullet header from Matt O’Riley.
Josip Juranovic, who deflected Well’s equaliser beyond a helpless Joe Hart, hit the crossbar with a free-kick and Hatate also clattered the upright as Postecoglou’s men turned up the pressure.
The Greek-Australian gaffer, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “We had another couple of really good opportunities that we should have put away and then the game was done and dusted.
“So, you keep the opposition in the game by not taking your chances. Then a couple of lapses in concentration and they stay in it and it makes it a bit nervy at the end, but we got through it.
“It’s only the first game of 13, so we know what the schedule is like, but we’ve worked very hard up to this point to get the guys ready for it.”