Celtic survived the controversial dismissal of Daniel Majstorovic to restore their four-point lead at the top of the table by beating Inverness.

Joe Ledley's 16th-minute tap-in after a James Forrest cross proved crucial.

Charlie Mulgrew went close to extending the lead with a couple of long-range efforts with Celtic in control.

Majstorovic was shown a red card for a disputed 60th-minute challenge on Jonny Hayes, but Caley Thistle's Steve Williams was sent off 17 minutes later.

And with that went their chance of causing an upset, or at least preventing Celtic extending a run of consecutive league and cup victories to 17 and restoring their advantage over reigning champions Rangers, who had beaten Dunfermline Athletic 4-1 earlier in the day.

Majstorovic was sent off 30 minutes from the final whistle

Majstorovic was sent off 30 minutes from the final whistle

Majstorovic had replaced the injured Thomas Rogne, but Celtic were otherwise unchanged following their midweek dismantling of Hearts.

Caley Thistle manager Terry Butcher rang the changes after last week's Scottish Cup capitulation by the Scottish Premier League leaders.

Ryan Esson returned to goal at the expense of Jonathan Tuffey, while recent signing Claude Gnakpa was given a start along with Williams and Shane Sutherland as Gregory Tade, Ross Tokely and David Proctor dropped out.

Esson was immediately under pressure and a Victor Wanyama header flew just over the crossbar from a corner.

Gnakpa found Nick Ross in acres of space just outside the Celtic box, but the midfielder failed to control the ball instantly and the chance was gone.

Inverness were threatening to put up stiffer resistence than they did a week earlier until Scott Brown's pass put Forrest behind the Caley Thistle defence and the winger's ball across the face of goal was guided into the net by Ledley.

Mulgrew forced Esson into a fine save just under the bar from a whipped-in free-kick and the defender came close again when he drilled a 25-yard shot low past the far post.

Majstorovic was sent off in controversial circumstances shortly after the break when he clashed with Hayes as the winger nipped in behind the Sweden defender.

Inverness almost immediately wasted a chance to level when Gnakpa fired into the side-netting after being found by Williams but with a couple of team-mates waiting for a pass in front of goal.

Caley Thistle only kept their man advantage until the 77th minute, when Williams was shown his second yellow card of the game after barging into Geogios Samaras.

Ross sliced wildly wide and then was expertly ushered off the ball inside the box by Mulgrew just as the midfielder fancied his chances of an equaliser that never came for the visitors from Inverness.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (4)

Celtic

  • 01 Forster
  • 05 Majstorovic Dismissed
  • 06 Wilson
  • 21 Mulgrew
  • 02 Matthews
  • 08 Brown
  • 16 Ledley
  • 67 Wanyama
  • 09 Samaras
  • 49 Forrest (Commons - 82' )
  • 88 Hooper (Ki Sung-Yeung - 73' )

Substitutes

  • 24 Zaluska
  • 11 Cha Du-Ri
  • 18 Ki Sung-Yeung
  • 20 McCourt
  • 10 Stokes
  • 15 Commons
  • 17 Brozek

Inverness CT

  • 01 Esson
  • 19 Shinnie Booked
  • 22 Gillet
  • 24 Williams Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 25 Gnakpa
  • 26 Meekings (Piermayr - 86' )
  • 07 Hayes
  • 08 Tansey
  • 11 Ross
  • 09 Foran Booked
  • 18 Sutherland (Tudur-Jones - 90' Booked )

Substitutes

  • 12 Tuffey
  • 03 Tokely
  • 14 Proctor
  • 02 Piermayr
  • 04 Tudur-Jones
  • 17 Morrison
  • 20 Winnall
Ref: Mclean
Att: 50,014

Match Stats

Shots

6 3

On target

4 0

Corners

4 4

Fouls

13 14

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:27 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +2:49 Booking

Booking Owain Tudur Jones goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +2:41

Owain Tudur Jones gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Ledley. Direct free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

90:00 +0:18

The assistant referee signals for offside against Claude Gnakpa. Direct free kick taken by Fraser Forster.

89:33 Substitution

Substitution Owain Tudur Jones on for Shane Sutherland.

88:31

The ball is swung over by Johnny Hayes, clearance by Sung-Yeung Ki.

87:05

Foul by Sung-Yeung Ki on Shane Sutherland, free kick awarded. Kenny Gillet restarts play with the free kick.

85:22 Substitution

Substitution Thomas Piermayr replaces Josh Meekings.

85:22

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Brown by Johnny Hayes. Victor Wanyama takes the free kick.

84:02

Georgios Samaras takes a shot. Save made by Ryan Esson.

83:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Kenny Gillet on Kris Commons. Sung-Yeung Ki restarts play with the free kick.

82:02

Centre by Johnny Hayes.

81:07 Substitution

Substitution James Forrest goes off and Kris Commons comes on.

80:35

Nick Ross produces a right-footed shot from close in which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

78:38

Ryan Esson fouled by Joe Ledley, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Ryan Esson.

77:22

Free kick crossed left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew.

77:22 Dismissal

Dismissal Steve Williams is sent off.

77:11

Unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras by Steve Williams results in a free kick.

76:06 Booking

Booking The referee shows Graeme Shinnie a yellow card.

75:58

Graeme Shinnie challenges James Forrest unfairly and gives away a free kick. Adam Matthews takes the direct free kick.

72:15 Substitution

Substitution Sung-Yeung Ki comes on in place of Gary Hooper.

70:55

Free kick awarded for a foul by Steve Williams on Georgios Samaras. Free kick taken by Scott Brown.

70:31

Johnny Hayes delivers the ball, save by Fraser Forster.

69:56

Georgios Samaras concedes a free kick for a foul on Richie Foran. Free kick taken by Kenny Gillet.

67:39

The ball is crossed by Johnny Hayes.

67:12

Johnny Hayes sends in a cross, clearance by Kelvin Wilson.

66:36

Johnny Hayes sends in a cross.

62:59

Claude Gnakpa has an effort at goal from outside the box which misses left.

61:57

Greg Tansey takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Georgios Samaras manages to make a clearance.

61:26

Corner from the right by-line taken by Johnny Hayes, clearance by Kelvin Wilson.

59:31 Dismissal

Dismissal Daniel Majstorovic sent from the field by the ref for professional foul.

59:06

Foul by Daniel Majstorovic on Johnny Hayes, free kick awarded. Greg Tansey takes the free kick.

58:50

James Forrest delivers the ball, clearance made by Steve Williams.

58:24

Charlie Mulgrew sends in a cross, Graeme Shinnie manages to make a clearance.

56:58

Corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew, Ryan Esson manages to make a clearance.

56:43

Joe Ledley takes a shot. Blocked by Kenny Gillet.

54:16

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Hooper by Steve Williams. Direct free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

52:56

Kelvin Wilson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Claude Gnakpa. Josh Meekings takes the direct free kick.

52:23

Unfair challenge on Kelvin Wilson by Claude Gnakpa results in a free kick. Fraser Forster takes the free kick.

51:06

Daniel Majstorovic concedes a free kick for a foul on Claude Gnakpa. Greg Tansey restarts play with the free kick.

49:58 Booking

Booking Steve Williams goes into the book.

49:48

Steve Williams challenges Gary Hooper unfairly and gives away a free kick. Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.

49:03

The assistant referee signals for offside against Nick Ross. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.

48:36

Kelvin Wilson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Claude Gnakpa. Johnny Hayes restarts play with the free kick.

45:20

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Hooper by Steve Williams. Direct free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +0:18 Half time

Half Time The half-time whistle blows.

44:23

Inswinging corner taken by Johnny Hayes from the right by-line.

43:42

Joe Ledley concedes a free kick for a foul on Richie Foran. Free kick taken by Johnny Hayes.

43:18

The ball is crossed by Johnny Hayes, Charlie Mulgrew manages to make a clearance.

42:43

Adam Matthews delivers the ball, clearance made by Ryan Esson.

39:00

Charlie Mulgrew produces a cross, Kenny Gillet manages to make a clearance.

38:22

Graeme Shinnie fouled by Victor Wanyama, the ref awards a free kick. Kenny Gillet takes the direct free kick.

37:32

Nick Ross is caught offside. Fraser Forster takes the direct free kick.

35:58

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Greg Tansey. Unfair challenge on Fraser Forster by Shane Sutherland results in a free kick. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.

35:50

Johnny Hayes crosses the ball, blocked by Adam Matthews.

34:39

Effort from outside the penalty box by Charlie Mulgrew goes wide right of the target.

34:22

Centre by James Forrest, Kenny Gillet makes a clearance.

33:29

The referee gives a free kick against Victor Wanyama for handball. Kenny Gillet takes the direct free kick.

31:04

Corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew from the right by-line, Richie Foran manages to make a clearance.

30:03

Graeme Shinnie is adjudged to have handled the ball. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.

29:20

Unfair challenge on Graeme Shinnie by Victor Wanyama results in a free kick. Greg Tansey takes the direct free kick.

27:52 Booking

Booking Richie Foran goes into the book.

27:42

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Brown by Richie Foran. Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.

24:46

The assistant referee flags for offside against Claude Gnakpa. Direct free kick taken by Fraser Forster.

23:28

The offside flag is raised against Georgios Samaras. Free kick taken by Josh Meekings.

19:51

Outswinging corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew, clearance by Steve Williams.

18:54

Unfair challenge on Charlie Mulgrew by Richie Foran results in a free kick. Charlie Mulgrew restarts play with the free kick.

15:38

Assist on the goal came from James Forrest.

15:38 Goal scored

Goal! - Joe Ledley - Celtic 1 - 0 Inverness Joe Ledley gets on the score sheet with a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Celtic 1-0 Inverness CT.

9:55

Claude Gnakpa takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.

9:16

Johnny Hayes sends in a cross.

8:41

Free kick awarded for a foul by Daniel Majstorovic on Claude Gnakpa. Ryan Esson restarts play with the free kick.

6:14

Claude Gnakpa fouled by Daniel Majstorovic, the ref awards a free kick. Kenny Gillet takes the free kick.

4:52

Foul by Joe Ledley on Claude Gnakpa, free kick awarded. Johnny Hayes takes the direct free kick.

1:35

Corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew from the left by-line, Victor Wanyama takes a shot.

1:18

Georgios Samaras takes a shot. Claude Gnakpa gets a block in.

0:46

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Brown by Greg Tansey. Free kick taken by Kelvin Wilson.

0:26

The ball is delivered by Claude Gnakpa, Victor Wanyama makes a clearance.

0:00

The match begins.

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