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Celtic 1-0 Hibernian

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths knocks in the opening goal for the champions
Griffiths scored for the second time in two games but picked up an injury

Leigh Griffiths scored the only goal before limping off as Premiership leaders Celtic held on against a spirited but blunt Hibs.

Scott Sinclair spurned an incredible chance, hitting the post after a Griffiths free-kick had been saved.

But the home side moved ahead when Griffiths met a cross from Kieran Tierney to covert at the back post.

Celtic 1-0 Hibernian
Celtic 1-0 Hibernian

Hibs saw more of the ball after the interval but could not find a way past replacement goalkeeper Dorus de Vries.

Home manager Brendan Rodgers showered his counterpart, Neil Lennon, with praise in the preamble, suggesting that his fellow Northern Irishman might just be a perfect fit for the vacant Scotland job. Lennon responded by thanking Rodgers for his kind words.

As build-ups go it was two men tickling each other’s tummy. It wasn’t going to last.

Celtic began with Griffiths up front and Moussa Dembele on the bench. Again. Dembele’s immediate future is one of the hottest topics in Scottish football these days. Is he staying or is he going? Is his attitude good or not good? There’s been conflicting messages coming out of Celtic Park, but a substitute he was for this one.

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths appeared to suffer a recurrence of a calf problem in the first half
Griffiths appeared to suffer a recurrence of a calf problem in the first half

Griffiths got the nod and it was the striker who almost helped open the scoring after a quarter of an hour. His free-kick was beaten away by Ofir Marciano and when the breaking ball fell to Sinclair you would have lumped every last penny you possessed on him scoring from a few yards out.

Instead of adding to his impressive goal tally, Sinclair scooped his effort on to the woodwork in what will go down as the miss of not just this season but many other seasons besides.

Five minutes later, Celtic engineered another fine chance, created by Sinclair but spurned by Griffiths whose sclaffed volley went wide.

These were fairly dizzying moments. Brandon Barker forced a fine save from Craig Gordon. Then, Martin Boyle caused Celtic more problems. Just when Hibs thought they were getting themselves into it, though, they went behind.

It was Tierney’s cross from the left that caused the problem to begin with. In trying to deal with the delivery, Paul Hanlon got freaked by Griffiths’ presence behind him close to the six-yard box. Hanlon’s header was weak and only served to set up the striker, whose placed his shot across goal. Retreating madly, Hibs could do nothing to keep it out.

Griffiths ran away not to celebrate the goal but to make a gesture of apology to the visiting fans down that end of Celtic Park. His old club still means a huge amount to him.

For Griffiths, this was, sadly, his last act. After two goals in two games, another knock was the least thing he needed, but that’s what he got just after the half-hour. He retired a frustrated man, replaced by Dembele, who didn’t have a whole lot of impact. One shot, one yellow card for diving and that was about the size of it.

Leigh Griffiths issued a gesture of apology to the Hibs fans after scoring for the first time against his boyhood heroes and former team
Griffiths issued a gesture of apology to the Hibs fans after scoring for the first time against his boyhood heroes and former team

At the break, Rodgers had to make another change, Gordon having picked up an injury towards the end of the half. On came 37-year-old De Vries for just his seventh appearance for the club.

Having missed one sitter, Sinclair then went and missed another great chance six minutes into the new half. From close-range, he didn’t get enough power in his shot and allowed Marciano to kick clear. Such wastefulness has, previously, cost them points against Hibs who had managed to score six times in three games with Celtic before this one.

Hibs tend to struggle to convert in front of goal but they’ve had a habit of raising their strike-rate when Celtic are the opposition.

The memory of their last encounter – Celtic were 2-0 up and hung on for a 2-2 draw at the end – would have reminded Celtic that nothing was done with the score at a mere 1-0.

The visitors enjoyed a huge amount of possession in the second half. They had a shot from distance from the impressive John McGinn that was pushed away by De Vries. Later on, Tierney had to defend smartly to deny substitute Jamie MacLaren.

Celtic became flat, meandering their way through the remainder of the game, but they deserved their win, even if they were nowhere close to producing their best stuff. Griffiths, not for the first or the last time, won the day.

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
    Substituted forde Vriesat 45′minutes
  • 35Ajer
  • 20Boyata
  • 5Simunovic
  • 63Tierney
  • 8Brown
  • 21Ntcham
  • 49Forrest
    Substituted forKouassiat 71′minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 11Sinclair
  • 9Griffiths
    Substituted forDembeleat 36′minutesBooked at 82mins

Substitutes

  • 6Bitton
  • 10Dembele
  • 12Gamboa
  • 22Edouard
  • 24de Vries
  • 59Miller
  • 88Kouassi

Hibernian

  • 1Marciano
  • 25Ambrose
  • 4Hanlon
  • 24McGregor
  • 16Stevenson
  • 17Boyle
    Substituted forMurrayat 55′minutes
  • 10McGeouch
  • 8SlivkaBooked at 37mins
  • 7McGinn
  • 20Barker
    Substituted forMaclarenat 84′minutes
  • 32Shaw
    Substituted forSwansonat 69′minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Matulevicius
  • 11Swanson
  • 14Rherras
  • 15Murray
  • 19Maclaren
  • 31Bain
  • 36Porteous
Referee:
Bobby Madden

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home13
Away7
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away10

Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Celtic 1, Hibernian 0.

Full Time

Posted at90’+3′

Second Half ends, Celtic 1, Hibernian 0.

Posted at89′

Attempt blocked. Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Posted at89′

Moussa Dembele (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at89′

Foul by Paul Hanlon (Hibernian).

Posted at87′

Attempt blocked. John McGinn (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Posted at85′

Attempt blocked. Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Posted at84′

Substitution, Hibernian. Jamie Maclaren replaces Brandon Barker.

Booking

Posted at82′

Moussa Dembele (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

Posted at82′

Moussa Dembele (Celtic) has gone down, but that’s a dive.

Posted at79′

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Dorus de Vries.

Posted at79′

Attempt saved. John McGinn (Hibernian) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Posted at76′

Attempt saved. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner.

Posted at74′

Foul by Jozo Simunovic (Celtic).

Posted at74′

Simon Murray (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Posted at71′

Substitution, Celtic. Eboue Kouassi replaces James Forrest.

Substitution

Posted at69′

Substitution, Hibernian. Danny Swanson replaces Oli Shaw.

Posted at68′

Attempt blocked. James Forrest (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Posted at67′

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

Posted at64′

Attempt missed. James Forrest (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Posted at60′

Attempt saved. Brandon Barker (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Posted at59′

Attempt blocked. Brandon Barker (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Posted at55′

Substitution, Hibernian. Simon Murray replaces Martin Boyle.

Posted at53′

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

Posted at53′

John McGinn (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at51′

Attempt saved. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Posted at50′

Kieran Tierney (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at50′

Foul by Efe Ambrose (Hibernian).

Posted at49′

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Lewis Stevenson.

Posted at48′

Attempt missed. John McGinn (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Posted at47′

Vykintas Slivka (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at47′

Foul by Olivier Ntcham (Celtic).

Substitution

Posted at45′

Substitution, Celtic. Dorus de Vries replaces Craig Gordon because of an injury.

Second Half

Posted at

Second Half begins Celtic 1, Hibernian 0.

Half Time

Posted at45’+2′

First Half ends, Celtic 1, Hibernian 0.

Posted at45’+1′

(Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at45’+1′

Foul by Efe Ambrose (Hibernian).

Posted at45’+1′

Foul by Callum McGregor (Celtic).

Posted at45’+1′

Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at42′

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Kristoffer Ajer.


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