Celtic winger Mikey Johnston produced a fantastic performance as the Republic of Ireland returned to winning ways with a convincing 4-0 win against Gibraltar on Monday night (16 October).
First-half goals from Evan Ferguson and Johnston, and two second-half goals from Matt Doherty and Callum Robinson sealed the win for Stephen Kenny’s side.
The Bhoys winger was outstanding during the game and scored his second international goal before the half-hour mark.
The Irish Daily Mail (print edition, 17 October, page 55) has described Johnston as “exciting”, adding that he was Ireland’s most “dangerous” player before being taken off. Journalist Mark Gallagher has given him an 8/10 rating for his performance.
Ireland lost 2-0 against Greece on Friday which ended all hopes of an automatic qualification. Kenny wanted his side to end their miserable campaign on a high, and they finally got the result they wanted, thanks to the introduction of Jamie McGrath and Johnston.
Rodgers should take note
To be honest, it was quite a bizarre goal, although full credit goes to Johnston. The ball ricocheted off the post and came back at Johnston who showed great movement to get to the end of Doherty’s cross before his shot came back off the woodwork.
Johnston, a product of Celtic’s youth academy, made his senior debut in 2017 and has managed 80 appearances so far in all competitions, scoring 11 goals. Last season he managed 12 Scottish Premier League appearances only, but he hasn’t got a single game so far.
At 24, he should be playing regularly at club levels, and warming the bench isn’t ideal for him. He will be hoping that Rodgers will take note of this performance and will include him in the first-team in coming games.
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