Forget Mooy: Celtic machine who lost possession 17x was “very influential” vs Hibs – opinion

    Scottish champions Celtic continued their march towards the league title with another rampant display away to Hibernian on Wednesday evening, with the Parkhead giants running out comfortable 4-0 winners to maintain their sizeable lead at the summit.

    The Old Firm outfit had gone into the game off the back of a scintillating display at home to St Johnstone just a few days earlier, with Ange Postecoglou’s criticism of his side following the narrow victory over Livingston last week having seemingly had the desired effect.

    Much like against Callum Davidson’s men on Christmas Eve, the Hoops appeared to have the game wrapped up relatively swiftly after racing into a two-goal lead at the break, courtesy of goals from Aaron Mooy and Daizen Maeda.

    The aforementioned Mooy then doubled his tally soon after the interval from the penalty spot to all but seal the points, before Japanese international Kyogo Furuhashi netted his 14th league goal of the season with a composed, well-taken finish just after the hour mark.

    That was to prove the end of the misery for the hosts as the Glasgow outfit comfortably saw the game out to claim their 12th successive Scottish Premiership victory, putting them in a rampant mood ahead of Monday’s meeting with rivals Rangers.

    One man who will likely be hoping to have put himself in contention to feature against the Ibrox side is Aaron Mooy, with the two-goal ace having “been involved in so much of the play” on the night, as per journalist Josh Bunting.

    The Australian international was not the only figure to have impressed, however, with dynamic marksman Maeda having also enjoyed an eventful outing in attack to rubberstamp his importance to Postecoglou’s side.

    Having gone three league games without a goal involvement, the 25-year-old ended that barren run after producing a stunning curling strike late in the first half, with that “wonderful” effort – as lauded by Bunting – coming just moments after the diminutive speedster had inexplicably failed to convert.

    The 12-cap gem had earlier played his part in what was Mooy’s first goal for the club after brilliantly beating his man down the left flank and pulling the ball back into the penalty area, showcasing his devastating threat in the final third.

    Such an impact saw the former Yokohama Marinos ace praised for having been “very influential” – in the words of journalist John McGinley – after recording two key passes in total, while also offering a typically relentless presence defensively after winning six of his 11 ground duels.

    Although the 5-foot-8 ace did lose possession on 17 occasions in his 84-minute outing, he had been a “real handful” on the night, according to ex-Bhoys striker Chis Sutton, to once again justify his selection.

    For all the praise that will deservedly fall the way of Mooy, there should well be notable recognition for Maeda’s impactful performance at Easter Road.

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