Ange Postecoglou has enjoyed his first Scottish Premiership victory in style as new signing Kyogo Furuhashi marked his home debut for Celtic with a hat-trick as the Hoops hammered Dundee 6-0.
The Japan international scored twice from close range in the first half and went off to applause from a crowd of 24,500 soon after completing his treble midway through the second period at Parkhead.
Furuhashi’s goals came after he had been on target in his first start during Thursday’s Europa League win against Jablonec.
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And it wasn’t just his play up front that caught the eye. The forward also impressed with his workrate when winning the ball back and charging down clearances.
Tom Rogic, Anthony Ralston and substitute Odsonne Edouard were also on target against the Premiership newcomers as Celtic made it 10 goals in two consecutive wins after new manager Ange Postecoglou had started his tenure without a win in three matches.
“He’s a clever guy,” Postecoglou told BBC Scotland when asked about the recently-arrived Furuhashi.
“It’s not a surprise to me. I knew what I was getting bringing him over. He got the goals and could’ve had a couple more, but his workrate off the ball was sensational.” The Australian added: “That kind of workrate and work ethic inspires his teammates and gains the trust of the players around him.
“There’s definitely more to come from him. He’s literally had three or four training sessions with us.”
Victory was all the sweeter for Celtic fans after reigning champions Rangers, their bitter Glasgow rivals, suffered a shock defeat by Dundee United on Saturday.
Furuhashi turned in a low cross to open the scoring in the 20th minute and five minutes later he was on target again from a similar move.
Rogic made it 3-0 in the 49th minute before Furuhashi, following a fine ball from Ryan Christie, completed his treble with a shot into the corner.
Ralston was on target in the 84th minute before Edouard’s last-minute penalty completed the scoring after defender Jordan Marshall, already on a booking, was shown a straight red card for pulling back Liel Abada.
The victory came just three days after Celtic’s 4-2 Europa League success over Czech club Jablonec, with the Scottish giants evolving under former Socceroos boss Postecoglou after a tough start to the season.
“We were relentless and didn’t take our foot off the pedal so it was pleasing,” Postecoglou told Celtic TV.
“We played some good football and also worked awfully hard.
“We started the game really well which set the tone and it was a good performance from the players.
“I’m delighted for them, and they got their rewards for their hard work.”
Celtic return to action on Friday morning (AEST) for the second leg of the Europa League third-round qualifier against Jablonec.