View: Celtic midfielder Matt O'Riley Old Firm display shows he's a big game player
Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley was instrumental in the Hoops’ 4-0 demolition of Rangers in the first Old Firm derby of the 2022/23 season.
The 21-year-old midfielder has been a revelation since his move from League One side MK Dons and his performance against the Gers has been a long-time coming.
O’Riley notched two first-half assists in what was an instrumental first-half display from the youngster.
His underlying stats have been impressive so far this season and he has now started to match his numbers on the pitch.
The 21-year-old stepped up in the Old Firm clash, particularly with the quality of his passing.
His ability to play quality through passes was there for all to see on Saturday and it was taken to another level against Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side.
As per Wyscout, O’Riley has averaged a through pass accuracy of 39 per cent so far in the 2022/23 season.
However, in Celtic’s biggest game of the season, he raised his quality and managed a pass accuracy of 50 per cent.
This was also replicated in his crossing statistics, with O’Riley improving his crossing accuracy by 15 per cent against Celtic compared to the rest of the season.
Furthermore, the Celtic midfielder was also consistently trying to make stuff happen for Postecoglou’s side, with the midfielder playing six passes into the Rangers penalty area with a 75 per cent accuracy rate.
It wasn’t just O’Riley’s passing that stood out on Saturday, it was the quality he showed when he was on the ball looking to beat a Rangers defender.
He attempted three dribbles and had a 100 per cent success rate.
One aspect of O’Riley’s game that still needs to develop is his goalscoring, but at the moment he is underperforming his XG by 0.15, which is a good sign because goals could start to flow for the former Fulham youngster.
His performance on the biggest stage oozed class and is a huge positive for Celtic going forward.
With The Hoops in beginning their Champions League campaign this week, Celtic fans will be hoping for O’Riley to replicate his recent form on a European stage.