Brendan Rodgers believes Kyogo Furuhashi needed something special to beat a ‘really good keeper’ in Rangers’ Jack Butland during Celtic’s scrappy 1-0 Old Firm derby win at Ibrox on Sunday lunchtime.
In a game that certainly won’t live long in the memory, Celtic’s Japanese talisman produced a rare moment of magic on the stroke of half-time, hammering a brilliant first-time volley into the far corner to see off a Rangers side who really could have done without this just three days on from that Champions League hammering at PSV Eindhoven.
Jack Butland kept the score down in the Netherlands. But even arguably the finest shot-stopper in the country could not put his 6ft 5ins frame to good use as Kyogo located the postage stamp with a finish of almost laser-guided precision.
“He’s taken it very early and against a really good keeper in Jack Butland,” a relieved Rodgers told the Celtic website at full-time. “He’s finished it so well.”
Kyogo Furuhashi scores Old Firm winner vs Rangers
If only Mick Beale had a forward capable of such dead-eyed ruthlessness in the final third. During a largely insipid second half, substitute Sam Lammers’ squandered one of the very few clear opportunities the hosts’ created; dancing around Joe Hart but squirming a hurried shot into the side netting.
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Of course, things could have worked out a whole lot differently had Kemar Roofe’s 28nd minute ‘opener’ not been chalked off by a highly-contentious VAR call, Cyriel Dessers adjudged – wrongly in Beale’s view – of fouling Gustaf Lagerbielke in the build up.
“I think it’s a harsh decision,” an increasingly under-pressure Beale sighs, speaking to Sky Sports. “On saying that, there is a lot of football to played.
“When I watched it back, he boy pulls his leg back and he’s a lucky boy because Cyriel put his foot on the floor and the boy kicks the back of him.”