The Australian contingent in Scotland persists on, as young Aussies are solidifying their spots in the Premiership.
Celtic 2 – Aberdeen 1
Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic have done their title hopes no harm as they overcame Scott Brown’s Aberdeen at home in an intense fixture at home.
Another Europa League battle in the mid-week did not prevent Celtic from putting their best foot forward again on Sunday. Through some individual brilliance from Portuguese striker Jota and one of the most bizarre, deflected goals courtesy of Callum McGregor, Postecoglou’s men did just enough to edge out Aberdeen.
Statically speaking, Celtic were in full control for most of the match. Through acquiring 62% of possession and taking 20 shots on goal compared to four, one could argue that Aberdeen was fortunate to be in the match for so long.
Whilst it may not have been one of the most convincing victories of the season, the match had ‘Angeball’ written all over it. Through the relentless high press and lots of chances on both ends, the match personified Postecoglou managing philosophy of entertaining football.
However, in what was a must win match during the week, Postecoglou’s side were defeated by Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League. The Hoops just couldn’t do enough to get the three points away from home, conceding late in the 87th minute to quell Celtic’s aspirations of getting out of their Europa League group.
Scottish media questioned Postecoglou’s use of substitutions during the match, claiming that they were not as impactful as they potentially could have been. Postecoglou admitted in a press conference that the substitutes did not provide the spark Celtic needed to take them over the line in the second half.
Notably Tom Rogic has still not played for the Hoops since sustaining a hamstring injury earlier this month. However, Postecoglou is confident the Australian playmaker will be available to return against Hearts later this week.
Upcoming fixture: Celtic vs Hearts – 4 Friday December 6:45am AEDT, Matchday 16
Hearts 2 – St Mirren 0
In a relatively even match, Cameron Devlin’s Hearts were able to overcome St Mirren despite scares early on.
In what was supposed to be an easy ride for Devlin’s side, Matthew Millar’s St Mirren’s put up a commendable fight that went on deep into the second half. Ultimately, a wonder strike and a scrappy goal was just enough to take the Jambos to their seventh victory of the season.
Devlin put on a decent display in the heart of the midfield. As the Heart’s utilised the strength of 3-4-3 formation, with overlapping wingers and a solidified box to box midfield, Devlin worked his way into the game and was well and truly on top by the second half.
Despite a yellow card in the 68th minute, the 23-year-old was able to contribute well to the Jambos victory, through winning majority of defensive battles and making some crucial tackles, Devlin has done his start to his time in Scoland no harm
In typical Devlin style, he was able to get right under the skin of the St Mirren players, which ultimately led to the sending off St Mirren centre back, Joe Shaughnessy in the 90th minute.
Cameron Devlin has played the full 90 minutes nine of 11 league appearances so far this season. Furthermore, based on his current for he is surely one of the best performing Australian midfielders playing in Europe currently.
Accordingly, this has caught the eye of Socceroos manager Graham Arnold, who spoke in a press conference earlier this month about the defensive midfielders form, “It’s great to see that he is doing well at Hearts, the fans are loving it and he is really enjoying it”
However, despite Graham Arnold praises for Devlin regarding his consistent performances in the Premiership, the Socceroos manager has hinted that he may not be called up for the national team in the short term.
“We have a good number of players in that position, so I want Cam to settle at Hearts, do well there, keep doing what he is doing, and put himself on the radar,” Arnold said.
This may imply that Arnold is looking out for Devlin’s long-term career progression and therefore allowing him to develop in the Premiership without disruption – whilst setting undertones of a possible Cup selection instead.
Upcoming fixture: Celtic vs Hearts – 3 December 6:45am AEDT, Matchday 16
Ross County 1 – Dundee United 1
Is it to be? Can one dare to dream about the possibility of a young 22-year-old Australian goalkeeper saving a historical club from relegation? Well recent performance will have the dreamers turn realists, as Ashley Maynard-Brewer put on another exceptional performance for Ross County whilst they tussled for a well needed point against Dundee United.
Off the back of some integral saves from Maynard-Brewer and being reduced to 10 men, Ross County valiantly came from behind to seal a draw against fourth placed Dundee United.
The young Olyroos shot stopper pulled off an outstanding save in the early minutes of the match, stopping a swerving long-range effort with his extended right arm and commanding his defence early on – it was indicative of what the rest of his performance would entail.
While seeing off eight shots on goal from a relentless Dundee United attacking brigade, Maynard-Brewer held his nerve for the duration of the match and was integral in getting a much-required point for the Staggies.
In what could almost be described as a resurgence, Ross County are now only three points away from safety after acquiring seven points from their last four matches.
Certainly, it is still an uphill battle for the Staggies to avoid relegation; however, positive results against Dundee United and a shock win against Martin Boyle’s Hibernian has generated a ray of optimism for the 12th placed side.
Upcoming fixture: St Mirren vs Ross County – 2 December 6:45am AEDT, Matchday 16
In other news surrounding Australians in the SPL
Martin Boyle: Over the last week, Martin Boyle has well and truly faced the very highs and the very lows of football. Coming off a career best performance against Rangers in the Scottish Cup by scoring a hat-trick, to being red carded on Thursday for abusing the referee in a loss to Ross County, it was truly a unique week for the winger.
Accordingly, the Socceroos star was suspended for Hibernians 2-1 victory against St Johnstone.
Matthew Millar: Matthew Millar did not feature off the bench for St Mirren, as they were defeated away by Cameron Devlin’s Hearts 2-0.
Image Supplied: Getty Images