Hibs debrief: Captain's performance, Hibs denied late penalty, curious tactical choices

A look back at Hibs’ defeat in the Premier Sports Cup final.

By Craig Fowler
Monday, 20th December 2021, 7:00 am
Paul Hanlon celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 to Hibs. Picture: SNS
Paul Hanlon celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 to Hibs. Picture: SNS

Player of the match

Only two real candidates here: Paul Hanlon and Matt Macey. The goalkeeper was commanding in his box and made two good saves from Tom Rogic. Hanlon made a number of timely interventions in defence and headed his side in front. He did, however, miss an excellent chance to equalise at the end.

Defining moment

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It’s got to be Kyogo Furuhashi’s first goal. It occurred just a minute after Hibs had taken the lead. It was both a gut punch to Hibs and gave Celtic a real lift. The pre-match favourites only started threatening consistently afterwards. It was an excellent touch and finish, but Ryan Porteous will be disappointed to have let the Japanese international run off him.

Ref watch

The first goal looked very tight in terms of whether Kyogo was offside or not, but the Celtric striker was probably just onside. Hibs deserved a late penalty for a foul on Porteous, but it’s hard to tell whether it was missed completely or advantage was played with Kevin Nisbet heading off the post and Hanlon hitting the rebound over.

Benefit of hindsight

Hibs gave Celtic a tough game and should have taken it to extra-time. That said, there were a number of players in the Easter Road ranks who didn’t have the best of games and you can’t help but wonder if caretaker manager David Gray’s to revert to the 4-2-3-1 was the right decision. The three-at-the-back system had the defence looking much more robust in midweek, while Hibs were pretty absent in midfield. Christian Doidge only playing the final ten minutes plus injury-time was another curious choice. The striker was great in his 70 minutes against Dundee on Tuesday and Hibs were crying out for a bigger physical presence in attack throughout this one.

Moment you may have missed

A young Hibs fan ran on the park to try and get a strip from one of his favourites as they stood waiting for Celtic to be presented with the trophy, similar to midweek when one managed to get the shirt of Martin Boyle. The Hampden stewards were a lot less forgiving though, and he was soon chased off.

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