Neil Lennon and Chris Sutton hail Wicklow Bhoy's man-of-the-match performance in Old-Firm
Chris Sutton and Neil Lennon have hailed Liam Scales for his performance in Celtic's 1-0 Old-Firm win over Rangers.
The Wicklow native was thrust into the action in the absence of Celtic's first-choice centre halves Cameron Carter Vickers and Maik Nawrocki and both Lennon and Sutton were blown away by his performance.
Scales spent last season on loan at Aberdeen but due to an injury-crisis at Parkhead, he is now front and centre for Brendan Rodgers' team, and he didn't disappoint in something of a breakthrough showing at the club.
"Scales was outstanding, on his Glasgow derby debut," said Neil Lennon on Sky Sports after the game.
"I thought he was very composed on the ball. His positioning was brilliant. I thought he handled the game absolutely brilliantly, so huge kudos to the kid."
"I'm not convinced that it's going to be the centre back pairing (Scales and Gustaf Lagerbielke) going forward, but that's a huge feather in their caps today."
Meanwhile, Chris Sutton was just as effusive in his praise of the 25-year-old Wicklow man, who moved to Celtic from Shamrock Rovers in 2021, having won two League of Ireland titles with the Hoops.
"We have to credit Scales especially," said the Sky Sports co-commentator, "He's had a really excellent game."
"It's about grabbing your opportunity, and I think Liam Scales has done that this afternoon."
"Well played Liam Scales," tweeted Sutton after the game, "A lot of focus on the Celtic back line with key players out but so much to be admired about his performance. (But he) barely put a foot wrong."
Well played Liam Scales. A lot of focus on the Celtic back line with key players out but so much to be admired about his performance. Barely put a foot wrong 👏👏🍀
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) September 3, 2023
And Sutton is right. There was a lot of focus on Scales coming into the game, with some Celtic fans unimpressed by his performances in his first year at the club back in 2021. But he has now kept two clean sheets in a row, and was rewarded in his first Old-Firm by being named as the man-of-the-match.
"It's huge, we've had a couple of disappointing results in a row, but that was a massive win. I enjoyed it," he told Sky Sports afterwards.
"It gives us a good boost now going into the international break.
"We felt we dominated the ball in the first half, we had to defend then when they had their spells. We showed a lot of character.
🗣️ "It's always a foul!"
Gustaf Lagerbielke and Liam Scales have their say on 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 disallowed Rangers goal and share their delight at sealing a 1-0 win at Ibrox 👇 pic.twitter.com/pymqeiXQVX
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) September 3, 2023
"It's two clean sheets in a row but we're happy and we're happy after that."
"Look I'm taking it game-by-game," said Scales.
"A couple of injuries have given me the opportunity, and all I can do is take it game-by-game while I'm in."
Liam Scales was superb in the Glasgow Derby for Celtic!🇮🇪☘️
🥶8 ground duels won
🙌🏼8 aerial duels won
Well done Liam!👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/7uUmXq0gn3
— Rep of Ireland Player Tracker (@reptracker) September 3, 2023