Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side kept their hopes of securing a domestic treble alive on Monday night, with the Bhoys besting Dundee United 3-0 in the Scottish Cup quarter-final at Tannadice.
In a dominant performance – with the Hoops enjoying 60% possession, having 14 efforts at goal and ensuring the Tangerines failed to hit the target with a single shot – a first-half Callum McGregor strike and a second-half brace from Giorgos Giakoumakis proved to be the difference between the two sides – with the victory setting up a semi-final clash against Rangers at Hampden Park on April 16.
In terms of Celtic’s individual performances, McGregor was arguably the stand-out, with the 28-year-old midfielder picking up the Man of the Match award on the night, however, the second-half cameo of Karamoko Dembele will also have pleased Postecoglou greatly, as the 19-year-old was a real live wire upon his introduction.
Indeed, being brought on in the 76th minute of the tie, the £225k-rated winger immediately looked as if he would make things happen for Celtic – which he duly did with two minutes of normal time remaining, brilliantly turning Ross Graham with a subtle dummy on the right flank, before driving into the United penalty area and setting up Giakoumakis for the Hoops’ third of the night.
Subsequently, the England U18 international received praise for the impact he made on the fixture, with The Athletic’s Kieran Devlin stating he believed that there were “some nice flashes from Dembele after he came on,” while Lewis Laird claimed that the 19-year-old “looked a threat whenever he got on the ball.”
As such, considering his impressive performance in the cup tie, surely Postecoglou has now been convinced that Dembele is deserving of a new contract at Parkhead, with the teenager’s current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
Indeed, after showing flashes of his true ability against Dundee United, it would not be surprising to see the youngster kick on over the remainder of the current campaign – something which would undoubtedly come as a huge plus to Celtic.