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Rocking- Matt O’Riley reacts to title statement

Matt O’Riley made another massive title contribution today as Celtic beat Hearts 3-0 to move six points clear at the top of the SPFL with three matches left to be played. 

The midfielder was in majestic form throughout, it is hard to believe that he is only 23-years-old while delivering performances of such maturity, highlighted by a brilliantly struck 87th minute penalty that killed off any prospect of a late comeback from the visitors. 

Reunited with Reo Hatate and Callum McGregor, O’Riley’s form has risen over the last few matches after the understandable distraction of a rejected bid from Atletico Madrid. 

When you step up and pop in a Panenka at Ibrox you need to be in a sound state of mind, in extra-time and in the Scottish Cup penalty shoot-out two weeks ago there wasn’t a hint of nerves as the former Fulham graduate delivered when the pressure was highest. 

Celtic Park was highly charged before today’s match, a third minute opener from Kyogo Furuhashi raised the temperature further with O’Riley and his team-mates feeding off the fervour as they chased down the points needed to close in on a third successive SPFL title. 

Today’s second goal will be remembered as one of the goals of the season. Last season O’Riley delivered the pass for Jota to net spectacularly past Jon McLaughlin in the 4-0 Glasgow Derby victory, a similar pass in the 21st minute was flighted perfectly for Kyogo to drive in Celtic’s second goal. 


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Celtic completely dominated the second half, substitutions were made but Brendan Rodgers knows that O’Riley is central to how his side delivers results. 

Penalties have been something of a nightmare for Celtic over the last three seasons, only Josip Juranovic seemed convincing from 12 yards out but in less than 18 months he had been and gone. 

With three minutes left to play today Celtic were awarded a penalty, Zander Clark is a bit of a specialist but couldn’t get near it as O’Riley tucked his shot high into the net before enjoying the well deserved congratulations of team-mates and fans. 

Displays like today make it less likely that O’Riley will be a Celtic player next season but there are four matches left in this season, only a fool would bet against O’Riley signing the season off in style before he heads off on international duty.

CLICK HERE for Celtic fans in Santa Ponsa.

CLICK HERE for O’Riley’s Instagram account.

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