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glory night Reaction from Celtic camp as they hammer Rangers in Old Firm showdown

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Celtic's Reo Hatate celebrates scoring against Rangers. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Celtic's Reo Hatate celebrates scoring against Rangers. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Celtic's Reo Hatate celebrates scoring against Rangers. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Ange Postecoglou claimed his Celtic side were “everything we wanted to be as a football team” after demolishing Rangers 3-0 to go top of the cinch Premiership.

In a frenetic first half at Parkhead, Reo Hatate marked his Old Firm debut by grabbing a stunning brace before winger Liel Abada added a third from a cross from the Japanese midfielder with Rangers keeper Allan McGregor limiting the damage.

Postecoglou’s men are one point ahead of their fellow Glasgow giants and afterwards he said: “I am really proud of the group. I thought the first half was outstanding, not just the goals we scored but the way we played.

“Their keeper pulled off some great saves and it was everything we wanted to be as a football team.

“Particularly with the context of the game and the opposition because they are a good side.

“They have been on top all year and only lost one game. It’s the same team that won the championship last year. So our performance in the first 45 was outstanding.

“We knew the occasion and magnitude of the game and the consequences. In the second half we had to defend, which I thought we did well again.

“We limited them to shots from outside the box. I am really proud of the players. It was a big occasion, we know that, and I thought they played at a great level.”

With no away fans inside Celtic Park, the former Australia boss acknowledged the raucous atmosphere in favour of the home side.

He said: “I have been pretty lucky, I have had some special experiences in my football career and tonight was right up there.

“From the moment we walked out, the wall of noise, the energy in the stadium was just outstanding.

“From my perspective the anxiety grows because I wanted to repay that, I wanted the players to repay that and they fed off the energy in the right way, they rose to the occasion and gave the fans the kind of performance that the supporters deserve.”

Postecoglou praised Hatate, signed from Kawasaki Frontale in January, albeit he was keen to stress that the victory was a team effort.

He said: “I am being asked about all the players. No-one has exceeded my expectations. I kind of knew what I was getting.

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“I don’t want to single anyone out because I thought it was an unbelievable effort from the whole group.

“Reo is not fit enough yet, he has a lot of work to do and still has improvement to do but I knew what I was getting, he is a quality player.

“Tonight he showed his temperament as well because on the big occasion when he needed to he had the quality.

“But he wasn’t the only one. I thought the whole group was outstanding.”

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