If ever there was an audition for the vacant manager’s role at Celtic, then it was passed with flying colours on Saturday afternoon at Parkhead. The Bhoys were at their free-flowing best putting in a performance that rolled back the years.
Celtic smacked their opposition for six, displaying arguably their best form of the entire season yet.
It was an outcome that could prove timely for their interim manager. John Kennedy may only have a few more weeks left in the job with Eddie Howe so relentlessly linked with a move to Paradise.
Though, Kennedy staked his claim beautifully this weekend as the Hoops finally rid themselves of the tight shackles that have been holding them back.
Moi Elyounoussi has found a rich vein of form and added to his strike against Rangers by netting twice on Saturday and picking up an assist. From an attacking point of view, there was much to savour in a 6-0 rout of Livingston.
That being said, those in the defensive ranks were near perfect. Celtic’s backline has been questionable at best this term. They shipped 19 strikes in six Europa League outings and have conceded 14 more goals than Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.
This, however, was one of their most comfortable afternoons yet. Kristoffer Ajer defended well and played a role in Elyounoussi’s opening strike.
Yet, it was Stephen Welsh who was arguably the most dominating. This has been a breakthrough campaign for the defender and on Saturday, he looked a player beyond his years.
Like Ajer, the centre-back was quick to step forward and it was his constant pressing that ultimately led to Celtic’s third goal of the contest.
The 21-year-old also took more touches (128) than anyone else by 33. It was a combative display from the young Scotsman, a player who appears to be getting better by the game.
He was strong in the tackle and won a whopping 88% of his defensive duels. That means that Welsh only lost one duel throughout the entire game.
Celtic may have won the game 6-0 but a rare clean sheet will do this team wonders. With Ajer and Welsh pressing from defensive positions, it allowed the Hoops to get further up the field and score goals in abundance.
This was a near-complete performance from the Glaswegians.