Japan’s Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda both scored as Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic trounced St. Johnstone 7-0 on Saturday, while Kyogo Furuhashi made his return for the Glasgow team after 3½ months out with a hamstring injury.
Hatate neatly swept home an eighth-minute opener, his left-footed effort finding the right bottom corner from inside the box, and Maeda made it 3-0 with a header off Jota’s cross from the left in the 36th minute at Celtic Park.
Hatate won a penalty that gave Celtic a 4-0 lead after 52 minutes and they added two more before Furuhashi made his long-awaited return in the 74th minute.
Furuhashi was quickly involved as he sent a long ball from the middle of the pitch to his fellow forward Maeda, who controlled the ball on his chest before Liel Abada side-footed home to complete the scoring 12 minutes from time.
Celtic, which beat crosstown rival Rangers 2-1 away in the Glasgow derby last weekend, is now nine points clear at the top of the table ahead of Rangers’ game on Sunday.
Elsewhere in Europe, Genki Haraguchi scored his second goal of the season as Union Berlin thrashed Hertha Berlin 4-1 away in the German Bundesliga.
Haraguchi scored the 31st-minute opener, meeting a Sheraldo Becker cross from the left with a diving header to net against his first club in Germany at a familiar Olympiastadion.
“I did well to sneak in behind the defenders. That was exactly what I was aiming to do and it paid off,” he said. “It was a bit of an emotional goal (scoring against Hertha) … I could fully express my passion (with the performance).”
Hertha leveled through an own goal four minutes after the break but goals from Grischa Promel, Becker and Sven Michel sealed the derby win.
In Spain, Takefusa Kubo came off the bench in the 54th minute and helped relegation-threatened Mallorca end their seven-game winless streak as they beat defending La Liga champions Atletico Madrid 1-0 at home.
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