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Watch that incredible Daizen Maeda goal celebration

Yesterday Daizen Maeda was supposed to be watching the Glasgow Derby from the Directors Box, nursing the muscle injury that brought his season to an end.

The forward turned in an incredible performance in the April 7 draw at Ibrox, panicking James Tavernier into giving away a goal after 21 seconds followed by a display of near perpetual motion.

News of an injury was devastating to the Celtic support, just as Callum McGregor and Reo Hatate were returning to form and fitness Brendan Rodgers was going to lose his most potent attacking weapon.

Following a midweek Q and A with investors word came out from Rodgers that Maeda was defying logic with his recovery, surely not supporters thought of a WhatsApp rumour that seemed to be too good to be true.

Brendan Rodgers confirmed it at his next media conference. Yes he was back in training, soon he’d be on the grass with the post split Glasgow Derby on May 11 the target comeback date.

Last Saturday against Hearts he was given a heroes welcome when he came on for the last 15 minutes, there was no holding back, with Maeda it is all or nothing and it certainly wasn’t nothing.

Social media provided great build up to yesterday’s match, Rodgers has three wingers to choose from but for this match Nicolas Kuhn made way from Maeda when the team news was announced at 11.15.

Maeda was in the mood early on, Tavernier was very selective about when he left his own half, he was on the back foot and chasing Maeda in front of the baying fans in the Green Brigade and North Stand, it wasn’t a clash of Gladiators as a Proper Football Manager predicted.

Celtic took the lead in the 35th minute through Matt O’Riley, there was a two minute pause with a green flare removed from the pitch, when play restarted Cameron Carter-Vickers pinged a diagonal ball into Maeda territory. What happened next?

Not only was Captain Disappointed exposed and shown up but the worst five minutes in John Lundstram’s career was about to get underway as the Scary Scouser raced back to steer Maeda’s cut back beyond Jack Butland into his own net.

When you are running at full pelt it is hard to put the brakes on, especially when thousands of fans are going wild after witnessing the most enjoyable three minutes of the season.

So Maeda continued his run, gently going down the gears as he stepped on and over an advertising board to meet the adoring fans.

For a good few seconds he was one of the bhoys, celebrating a 2-0 lead in a potential title clincher.

Eventually he had to return to accept the congratulations of his team-mates and a yellow card from Willie Collum.

As assists go it was certainly the Assist of the Season if such an award existed, with two SPFL matches left to play there is one real award for Maeda to get his hands on to go with the other two league winners medals that he has picked up since his January 2022 move from Yokohama F Marinos.

CLICK HERE for Celtic fans celebrate in Santa Ponsa.

CLICK HERE for the SPFL Premiership table.

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