Celtic kicked off their Scottish Premiership defence with a solid win over Livingston on Saturday afternoon, emerging as 3-1 victors at Celtic Park.
With the club primarily focused on qualifying for the UEFA Champions League this summer, these early league fixtures could be seen by some as a bit of a distraction, but Brendan Rodgers named a strong eleven for the match against Kenny Miller’s side.
One of the changes he did make was bringing Jonny Hayes back into the side as a replacement for Kieran Tierney, who was rested.
The Irishman was making his first competitive appearance for the club since breaking his leg against Dundee last December.
His fine cross broke the deadlock minutes into the match, finding Tom Rogic who netted a rare header.
Given his lengthy absence and the fact he was tasked with producing a more defensive minded performance than he is used to, he can be happy with his display before eventually being substituted off an hour in.
Many fans certainly were, taking to to Twitter this weekend to share their thoughts on his return…
Good start to the season. I liked what I saw today. Hayes looking good. Ajer doing well. Good to have Leigh back and TOM ROGIC 😉
SIlly goal at the end to give away but ah well it happens!! COYBIG
— We EARNED Our STAR! 1967 (@JGlasgowCelticK) August 4, 2018
Enjoyed that today. Rogic MOTM. Good to see Johnny Hayes back. Adds something that we tend not to have which is a decent ball into the box.
— Timothy Leary (@sharko67) August 4, 2018
— Steven Boyle ???????? #JC9 YES 9 (@Boyler_ste11) August 4, 2018
Good to see Jonny Hayes get a good run out ????
— nollaig1967???????????? (@nollaig1967) August 4, 2018
Good to see Jonny Hayes back! Honestly think he’s got a part to play this season. Great SPFL player ????
— Kieren Kerr (@KierenKerr) August 4, 2018
Good start so far. Good to see Jonny Hayes back after long term injury. Think he could have a good season for us. ???? ????
— Chris ???????????????????????????? (@chris1991q) August 4, 2018
— Dominik Diamond (@DominikDiamond) August 4, 2018
Thought Hayes played well. First game back ffs. How do we expect people to progress at the club if we have no patience. Gives a good option on the left. Doesn't always need to cut inside. Very good delivery at times. Cross for the 1st goal ????
— Muz (@muz4891) August 5, 2018
I must have missed him having a bad game, yesterday. As far as I could see he contributed pretty well and played his part. He put in a delightful cross for Rogic to score the first goal.
— ᴘʜɪʟ ᴍᴄɢɪɴʟᴀʏ ⭐️ (@philbertosilva) August 5, 2018
What did you make of Jonny Hayes’ performance on Saturday? Let us know in the comments…