Celtic 4-0 Raith Rovers: Hosts ‘lack urgency’ but ease into last-eight of Scottish Cup

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Giorgos Giakoumakis scored his fourth goal of the season for Celtic
Giorgos Giakoumakis scored his fourth goal of the season for Celtic

Manager Ange Postecoglou criticized Celtic’s work rate as they cruised past Raith Rovers into the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.

Liam Scales’ stunning strike gave the Glasgow side a first-half lead.

But Celtic were below par until Giorgos Giakoumakis and Daizen Maeda scoring in quick succession and Nir Bitton scored on the rebound from his late, saved penalty.

“I think the urgency wasn’t quite there,” Postecoglou told BBC Scotland.

“It’s not about singling out individuals. We have an intent and ambition to be a certain kind of team, training is intense, so game-day we are intense no matter who starts.”

There was further good news for Celtic with centre-half Christopher Julien making his comeback after a 13-month injury lay-off.

Postecoglou’s side will find out their opponents in the last eight on Monday following the tie between Peterhead and Dundee.

In their last three games, Celtic had been adept at taking the game to their opponents early on, with eight of their 10 goals being scored before half-time.

They set their stall out early against John McGlynn’s Championship visitors, with Mikey Johnston and Bitton shooting over and Rea Hatate drilling a shot into the hands of goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald.

Scales broke Rovers’ resistance when he opened up his left foot and cracked a shot in off a post.

Celtic were fortunate not to concede a penalty when a bouncing ball appeared to hit the arm of defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, but Rovers’ appeals were dismissed by referee Steven McLean.

There were other nervous moments in Celtic’s box as the fifers committed men forward, but the visitors struggled to get a meaningful shot on target and goalkeeper Joe Hart was a virtual spectator.

Giakoumakis hit the crossbar, but it would not have counted with Johnston already flagged for offside.

Celtic had hit a lull before Jota’s introduction gave them a lift, the winger creating a chance for Tom Rogic before he was instrumental in Giakoumakis making it 2-0.

The Greek striker timed his run to beat the offside trap and knocked in Jota’s inch-perfect cross.

Soon, it was three when Maeda got to a corner. MacDonald made a great save initially but could only knock it off the Celtic man and back over the line.

A controversial penalty made it four when Sean Mackie was harshly penalised for handball. Bitton bundled it home after his first effort was saved by MacDonald, with the 4-0 scoreline a touch harsh on Rovers.

Man of the match – Liam Scales

Celtic's Liam Scales celebrates making it 1-0
Celtic left-back Liam Scales scored a stunning strike to make it 1-0 and was excellent throughout

What they said

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: “We weren’t great in the first half. We didn’t work hard enough, we didn’t play at a tempo, took too many touches of the ball. The second half was better.

“We made seven changes to the team, so you know it’s not going to be as fluent or as cohesive.”

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn: “I thought we were very well organized and disciplined in our play. We knew Celtic would come out the traps and bombard us early on and we wanted to get beyond that period, which I thought we did.

“There was a claim for a penalty, but I haven’t seen it back. I am proud of the players and we have to get our league campaign going again.”

Player of the match

JotaJota

Celtic

  1. Squad number17player nameJota

  2. Squad number20player nameCarter-Vickers

  3. Squad number41player nameHatate

  4. Squad number5player nameScales

  5. Squad number18player nameRogic

  6. Squad number7player nameGiakoumakis

  7. Squad number38player nameMaeda

  8. Squad number56player nameRalston

  9. Squad number15player nameHeart

  10. Squad number11player nameabada

  11. Squad number57player nameWelsh

  12. Squad number2player nameJulien

  13. Squad number6player nameBitton

  14. Squad number21player nameIdeguchi

  15. Squad number49player nameForrest

  16. Squad number19player namejohnston

Raith Rovers

  1. Squad number1player nameMacDonald

  2. Squad number2player nameTumilty

  3. Squad number4player nameMusonda

  4. Squad number16player nameStanton

  5. Squad number8player nameMatthews

  6. Squad number6player nameBenedictus

  7. Squad number3player nameDick

  8. Squad number20player nameWilliamson

  9. Squad number9player nameGullan

  10. Squad number7player nameConnolly

  11. Squad number22player nameRoss

  12. Squad number11player nameZanatta

  13. Squad number18player nameVarian

  14. Squad number99player namepoplatnik

  15. Squad number25player nameArnott

  16. Squad number21player nameMackie

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-3-3

  • 15Heart
  • 56Ralston
  • 20Carter-VickersSubstituted forJulienat 74′minutes
  • 57Welsh
  • 5Scales
  • 18RogicSubstituted forIdeguchiat 69′minutes
  • 6Bitton
  • 41Hatate
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forabadaat 69′minutes
  • 7GiakoumakisSubstituted forMaedaat 69′minutes
  • 19johnstonSubstituted forNeves Philippeat 55′minutes

substitutes

  • 1Barkas
  • 2Julien
  • 3Taylor
  • 11abada
  • 16McCarthy
  • 17Neves Philippe
  • 21Ideguchi
  • 29Bain
  • 38Maeda
  • 42McGregor
  • 84Doak

Raith Rovers

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1MacDonald
  • 2Tumilty
  • 4Musonda
  • 6BenedictusSubstituted forMackieat 80′minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 3Dick
  • 20WilliamsonSubstituted forZanattaat 45′minutes
  • 16Stanton
  • 7ConnollySubstituted forVarianat 64′minutes
  • 8MatthewsBooked at 87mins
  • 22RossSubstituted forArnottat 85′minutes
  • 9GullanSubstituted forpoplatnikat 64′minutes

substitutes

  • 11Zanatta
  • 17Thomson
  • 18Varian
  • 21Mackie
  • 25Arnott
  • 26Mitchell
  • 29Young
  • 99poplatnik

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