Kilmarnock 1-4 Celtic: O'Riley scores twice in a first half demolition

Kilmarnock 1-4 Celtic: Matt O’Riley scores twice in a first-half demolition as Ange Postecoglou’s side restore their 12-point lead to close in on the Scottish Premiership title and surpass ONE HUNDRED league goals this term

  • Celtic restored a 12 point lead in the Scottish Premiership with a dominant win
  • The league leaders cruised into a 4-0 lead within 30 minutes at Rugby Park
  • Celtic are now seven points away from retaining the Scottish Premiership title

Celtic scored four goals and missed a penalty inside the first 27 minutes as they moved another step closer to the cinch Premiership title with a 4-1 victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Goals from Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda and Matt O’Riley’s double ensured Celtic need only seven points from their last six matches to retain their crown.

Relegation-threatened Kilmarnock can take encouragement from their performance after boss Derek McInnes made a double change in the 31st minute, with Liam Donnelly’s goal proving a consolation.

Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota were absent for Celtic, who brought in Yuki Kobayashi, Tomoki Iwata and Sead Haksabanovic. Kilmarnock also made three changes as fit-again Kyle Vassell returned along with Ash Taylor and Fraser Murray.

Murray was making his first league start for five months and might have another lengthy wait after an afternoon to forget.

Matt O’Riley scored twice as Celtic eased into a 4-0 lead inside the opening 30 minutes

Kyogo Furuhashi put the league leaders into an seventh minute lead against Kilmarnock

Daizen Maeda doubled Celtic’s advantage as the visitors dominated the opening stages 

He gifted Celtic a seventh-minute opener with a backpass that was intercepted by Furuhashi. Joe Wright got back but could only delay the Japan striker, who checked back and drilled into the far corner.

Celtic were two ahead five minutes later following a lengthy spell of possession. Alistair Johnston got ahead of Murray on the right flank and crossed for Maeda to head home at the far post.

Killie were in disarray. Wright’s mistake offered O’Riley a chance but the defender recovered to block, only for the midfielder to net moments later in the 18th minute. The former MK Dons player was found by a pinpoint pass from Greg Taylor before taking a touch and swiftly dispatching the ball into the corner of the net.

Furuhashi missed a great chance to net his 30th goal of the season when he hit the post from the spot after Christian Doidge had caught Taylor with a clumsy challenge.

Taylor cleared Danny Armstrong’s header off the line before another mistake from Murray led to the fourth goal. The former Hibernian player’s backward clearance ultimately ended up with O’Riley, who shot into the top corner.

Wide player Murray was taken off in a double substitution that was all about damage limitation. Striker Doidge also made way as midfield enforcer Alan Power and defender Jeriel Dorsett came on.

The change stemmed the tide of chances although Sam Walker stopped a Furuhashi effort following some slack passing from the hosts. Seconds later the Celtic centre-forward was winning a challenge on opposite number Vassell on the edge of his own box.

Killie pulled a goal back in the final minute of the half following a rare mistake from Callum McGregor. Donnelly dispossessed the Celtic captain inside the box and finally netted after goalkeeper Joe Hart had saved from him and Armstrong.

Furuhashi had the chance to score his second of the match from the penalty spot

Furuhashi saw his penalty come back off the post to deny him a 30th goal of the season

Liam Donnelly, left, pulled a goal back for Kilmarnock in the closing stages of the first half

Ange Potsecoglou’s side need just seven points from their final six games to secure the title

Defeat keeps Derek McInnes’ team in the relegation play-off spot in the Scottish Premiership

Oh Hyeon-gyu was given 45 minutes to impress watching South Korea manager Jurgen Klinsmann as he replaced Furuhashi. The striker just missed O’Riley’s cross as he slid in and later fired just wide at the near post after a cross from Rocco Vata, who had come on midway through the half with Aaron Mooy and David Turnbull.

Killie were showing some fight though and Hart pulled off a great save from Luke Chambers’ close-range header.

Carl Starfelt missed Celtic’s best second-half chance when he sent a free header over from six yards and Iwata came close from 25 yards.

Celtic handed a late debut to 18-year-old Ben Summers before Vassell came close twice for the hosts.


Kilmarnock (4-4-2): Walker, Mayo, Taylor, Wright, Chambers (Jones 83), Armstrong, Donnelly, Watson (Lyons 84), Murray (Power 31), Vassell, Doidge (Dorsett 31).

Subs not used: Hemming, Alebiosu, McInroy, Robinson, Wales. 

Scorers: Donnelly 41


Manager: Derek McInnes

Celtic (4-2-3-1): Hart, Johnston, Kobayashi, Starfelt, Taylor, McGregor (Turnbull 68), Iwata, O’Riley (Mooy 68), Maeda (Vata 68), Haksabanovic, Furuhashi (Oh 45).

Subs not used: Bain, Bernabei, Summers, Ralston, Welsh

Scorers: Furuhashi 7, Maeda 12, O’Riley 18, 27

Booked: Oh, Johnston

Manager: Ange Postecoglou

Referee: David Dickinson

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