Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic thrashed Dundee United 9-0 as hat-tricks from Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada helped set a new Scottish Premiership record for the biggest away win on Sunday.
Ange Postecoglou’s side ran riot at Tannadice thanks to the trebles from Furuhashi and Abada, as well as goals from Jota, Josip Juranovic and Carl Starfelt.
The Scottish champions’ biggest win since defeating Aberdeen by the same score in 2010 broke the previous record for the largest away margin of victory in the Premiership era.
Celtic moved back to the top of table above Rangers after their fifth win from five games.
“We knew Dundee United were going through a rough spell and they were probably a bit vulnerable today. We got on top of them early which allowed us to play our football,” Celtic manager Postecoglou told Sky Sports.
Turning to his hat-trick heroes, he added: “Kyogo is such an important part of what we do. It’s not just his goals, it’s the way he harassed the opponents… Liel is a fantastic young player and everything we’ve asked of him in the last 12-14 months he’s just taken every challenge.”
Dismal United’s worst home defeat means they have now conceded 23 goals in their last four matches, including a 7-0 loss against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League third qualifying round second leg.
“Humiliating and embarrassing, that’s the only way to describe it,” said United manager Jack Ross.
“You shouldn’t lose a game by that many goals, you shouldn’t lose a game in that manner of performance. Every ounce of criticism that falls on my shoulders is deserved because, from a personal pride perspective, it’s really sore.
“In terms of that humiliation and embarrassment the players should feel that way, because that’s the way I feel.”
Celtic started the demolition job in the 15th minute as Furuhashi slotted home from Jota’s pass.
The floodgates were well and truly open from the 40th minute when Japan forward Furuhashi swept into the top corner from 22 yards.
Celtic went for the kill and scored a brilliant third in first-half stoppage time.
Abada squared for Furuhashi to tap in after a flurry of passes cut through hapless United.
Celtic weren’t finished by any means and the fourth goal arrived just before the half-time whistle as Abada got in behind and crossed for Jota to net from close range despite United appeals for offside.
Half-time brought no respite for Ross’s side and Matt O’Riley squared for Abada to knock home in the 50th minute.
Juranovic drilled home five minutes later after O’Riley’s free-kick had hit the wall.
Celtic’s seventh goal came just before the hour when Jota found Reo Hatate and the Japanese midfielder squared for Abada to knock home.
Postecoglou brought on four substitutes and Abada dinked the ball home after Daizen Maeda had helped on Aaron Mooy’s lofted ball in the 77th minute.
Starfelt headed David Turnbull’s corner in off the post four minutes later and the Celtic fans chanted: “We want 10”.
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