Ange Postecoglou’s stature within Scottish football continues to reach new heights, after his Celtic side thrashed Rangers 4-0 in the Old Firm derby on Sunday morning (AEDT).
Postecoglou’s men brutally dismantled their bitter Glasgow rivals from the opening whistle, taking just eight minutes to open the scoring through Liel Ababa.
'CRAZY DREAM': Elon Musk's Manchester United tweet leaves fans in frenzy
Jota made it 2-0 after 32 minutes, before Abada added a third just before the halftime interval. David Turnbull capitalised on a blunder from Rangers goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin in the 78th minute to complete the rout.
Postecoglou was typically modest when discussing the result post match, giving much of the credit to his playing group.
“I'm really proud of the players,” Postecoglou told Celtic TV post match.
“I know I’ve been saying that a lot lately, but that was an enormous effort today."
Postecoglou said the impressive victory was a sign his players had the ability to lift for the big games, and that their preparation for Rangers had been on the money.
“We kind of knew what was at stake. A big game, everyone was suggesting it was our first real test, even though I thought we’ve had some tests already, but I think the boys showed that in such a big game, they were able to perform at the highest possible level," he said.
“That’s the easy part of my job. We’ve got some outstanding players who, depending on the day, can do a job for us."
The victory meant Celtic are now unbeaten in their last 38 Scottish Premiership games. The Hoops have won all six of their games to start the season, while scoring 25 goals and conceding just once. They are now five points clear atop the league table.
Fans and pundits alike heaped praise on the Australian manager following his team’s clinical performance.
I'm not sure there's been a better coaching hire recently in global football than ange postecoglou at celtic.
— Jordan Gardner (@mrjordangardner) August 28, 2022
What an unbelievable job Ange Postecoglou has done. He inherited a bin fire and now he’s built a team that’s head and shoulders above everyone in Scotland. What a gaffer.
— Thomas Wynne Lewis 🏴 (@TomiCaws) September 3, 2022
Ange Postecoglou proven to be comfortably the best left-field football appointment in years. The player recruitment too. If clubs are willing to think outside the box and recruit smartly there are usually rewarded.
— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) September 3, 2022
An Ange Postecoglou masterclass.
Celtic destroy Rangers 4-0 in the derby.
Have a read. ⚽️🏐✍🏻 https://t.co/A6bxkNuS2h
— Anthony Haggerty (@ahaggerty10) September 3, 2022
My reasoned, balanced take is that Ange Postecoglou's Celtic are irresistible and one of the best Celtic teams I've ever seen.
3-0 up on Rangers before half-time for the second time in 7 months.
— John McGinley (@jhnmcgnly) September 3, 2022
Ange Postecoglou drives Celtic to thumping derby win
While the attacking prowess of Postecoglu’s teams are generally what captures the majority of headlines, the Celtic boss was quick to praise his side’s solidity in defence.
“I thought our defensive work was outstanding through the whole team,” Postecoglu said.
“If there was one thing that stood out today - our press, our ability to close them down and not give them time in any part of the field, including when they got into our box. It was outstanding today.”
Postecoglu will have very little time to savour the derby win, with Celtic set to welcome reigning European Champions Real Madrid to Parkhead on Wednesday morning (AEDT) for match day one of the UEFA Champions League.
But rather be daunted by the prospect of facing such a prolific opposition, Postecoglu is excited by the challenge that awaits.
“It’s why you want to be at this football club - you want to be part of these big occasions, big nights,” Postecoglu said.
“It’s another great challenge for us and you want to measure and test yourself against the best and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.