Celtic did win on Saturday vs Motherwell but it was marred by a debatable red card for skipper Callum McGregor when trying to prevent a goal late on in the game. The situation over the sending off and the stray pass that led to it has been calmed by the way the team and Ange Postecoglou have dealt with it.
The Hoops should have been seeing the game out to close a 2-1 win over Motherwell. Sure it hadn’t been a brilliant performance and the Motherwell goal came from Josip Juranovic, but a win is a win and gets three points regardless.
So when Reo Hatate made a poor pass towards the end of the game allowing Ross Tierney through on goal, skipper McGregor brought that run to an end with a professional foul. Referee John Beaton issued a red card immediately and perhaps didn’t take the time to consider whether Stephen Welsh could have intervened meaning there wasn’t a clear chance on goal.
Hatate though was not happy at his howler and looked furious as the game ended with the Hoops playing through to a win after going down to ten men late on. The Japanese midfielder had had a very good match until that point and had scored a sensational winning goal in the second half.
Hatate’s incredible reaction to Celtic red card revealed
As reported by Football Scotland, Greg Taylor revealed that Hatate was very apologetic, something that nobody was expecting:
Reo was very apologetic, which he didn’t have to be because he’s the reason we won. He’s got high standards but nobody was expecting an apology.
“He has been outstanding thus far. He’s a top player and got the winner when the game was in the balance. I’m sure he’ll continue to progress into a real top player.”
Taylor was joined by Postecoglou, who reminded everyone that Hatate is still developing and has not been a professional for very long:
“He was good today. He was unlucky first half with his strike as well [that hit the post]. Reo’s developing well, he’s a player who has still got a hell of a lot of potential.
“I try to explain to people his background, like a lot of Japanese players he only came out of university at 22. He’s only really been a professional footballer for three-odd years.
“So, I kind of knew after the impact he had in his first year as a professional that if it was his baseline he was going to improve.”
It was a frustrating scenario at the end, it was a costly slip, though saved by McGregor from being worse. Privately it’ll be dealt with to learn and move on from. And in public it’s good to hear Taylor and Postecoglou supporting Hatate with great team spirit and togetherness.