Georgios Samaras fired a hat-trick as Celtic saw off a Kilmarnock revival in a pulsating seven-goal encounter.

Goals from Kris Commons and an early brace by Samaras looked to have put Celtic out of sight at a sun-kissed Rugby Park.

Kilmarnock sparked a revival through Sammy Clingan and Sean Clohessy before Samaras sealed his hat-trick.

And substitute Amido Balde smacked home a fifth as the hosts tired late on.

With league leaders Inverness not playing Hibs until later, Celtic had the chance to move top of the table for the first time this season.

Allan Johnston's side, without a home win since February, came racing out of the traps and Kris Boyd forced Fraser Forster into a save after meeting Clohessy's accurate delivery.

The visitors, who welcome Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday, struggled for fluency in the early exchanges.

Sean Clohessy pulled a second goal back for Kilmarnock at Rugby Park

Sean Clohessy continued Kilmarnock's revival with a second goal

However, they sparked into life when Charlie Mulgrew whipped in a ball for Anthony Stokes but the striker was flagged offside as he headed over.

Celtic were beginning to motor and broke the deadlock when Samaras danced down the left and his cross was palmed unconvincingly away by Craig Samson, allowing Commons to drill home with a shot into the ground that bounced into the unguarded net.

With Kilmarnock still reeling, Samaras took advantage of poor marking to arrow a shot beyond Samson from Adam Matthews's cross to double their lead.

And the hosts' misery was compounded when Samaras and Commons played a neat one-two before the former sliced through the statuesque home defence to slot home from close range.

Kilmarnock, rather than caving in following Celtic's three-goal blitz, rallied and reduced the deficit 11 minutes before the break when Clingan thundered a superb free-kick past the helpless Forster.

Pulling a goal back gave Johnston's side a spring in their step and they were given further cheer when Clohessy ghosted past Emilio Izaguirre and played a clever one-two with Clingan before sliding the ball home.

Kilmarnock's strong finish to the half would have changed the managerial team-talks in the respective dressing rooms at half-time and Celtic appeared stung after the break.

Samaras, continuing to probe and run at the home defence, saw a fizzing shot blocked by Ismael Bouzid and Kilmarnock continued to press as both sides attacked with gusto.

Teemu Pukki came within a whisker of grabbing his side's fourth of the afternoon when he engineered space for himself 25 yards out, fizzing in a shot that clipped the bar on the way over.

The second half lacked the goal glut of the opening 45 minutes and substitutions took some sting out of the game.

However, Samaras completed his hat-trick with a close-range header and substitute Balde fired home to extend the visitors' winning margin.

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Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Samson
  • 06 Barr
  • 16 Clohessy
  • 23 McKeown
  • 83 Ismael Bouzid
  • 07 Nicholson (McKenzie - 84' )
  • 08 Clingan
  • 19 Ibrahim (Silva - 78' )
  • 29 Pascali Booked (O'Hara - 72' )
  • 09 Boyd
  • 25 Gardyne

Substitutes

  • 12 Reguero
  • 04 Fowler
  • 26 O'Hara
  • 11 Gross
  • 14 Silva
  • 18 McKenzie
  • 20 Jacobs

Celtic

  • 01 Forster
  • 02 Matthews (Lustig - 40' Booked )
  • 03 Izaguirre
  • 04 Ambrose
  • 05 van Dijk
  • 08 Brown
  • 09 Samaras (Atajic - 90' )
  • 15 Commons
  • 21 Mulgrew
  • 10 Stokes
  • 20 Pukki (Balde - 79' Booked )

Substitutes

  • 24 Zaluska
  • 23 Lustig
  • 06 Biton
  • 18 Rogic
  • 37 Atajic
  • 53 Liam Henderson
  • 17 Balde
Ref: Beaton
Att: 6,149

Match Stats

Shots

8 11

On target

4 5

Corners

2 1

Fouls

11 6

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:17 Full time

Full Time The referee blows the whistle to end the game.

90:00 +3:10

Shot by Rory McKeown went over the bar.

90:00 +0:51 Substitution

Substitution Georgios Samaras goes off and Bahrudin Atajic comes on.

90:00 +0:24

Booking for Amido Balde.

90:00 +0:24 Booking

Booking

90:00 +0:11

Assist by Mikael Lustig.

90:00 +0:11 Goal scored

Goal! - Amido Balde - Kilmarnock 2 - 5 Celtic Amido Balde grabs a goal with a right foot finish. Kilmarnock 2-5 Celtic.

88:58

Corner from the right by-line taken by Sammy Clingan.

88:38

A cross is delivered by Sean Clohessy.

87:24

Assist by Charlie Mulgrew.

87:24 Goal scored

Goal! - Georgios Samaras - Kilmarnock 2 - 4 Celtic Georgios Samaras grabs a goal with a headed effort. Kilmarnock 2-4 Celtic.

86:31

Charlie Mulgrew takes the free kick.

86:14

Kris Commons fouled by Ismael Bouzid, the ref awards a free kick.

83:54 Substitution

Substitution Rory McKenzie replaces Barry Nicholson.

82:38

Free kick taken by Craig Samson.

82:27

Free kick awarded for a foul by Amido Balde on Barry Nicholson.

81:52

Clearance by Kris Boyd.

81:44

Corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

78:50 Substitution

Substitution (Celtic) makes a substitution, with Amido Balde coming on for Teemu Pukki.

78:21

Shot by Teemu Pukki went wide right of the target.

77:27 Substitution

Substitution Rabiu Ibrahim leaves the field to be replaced by Mendes David Silva.

72:29

Sammy Clingan restarts play with the free kick.

72:24

Virgil van Dijk gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sammy Clingan.

71:52

Mikael Lustig restarts play with the free kick.

71:35 Substitution

Substitution Manuel Pascali leaves the field to be replaced by Mark O'Hara.

70:58

Manuel Pascali gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Teemu Pukki.

69:12

Craig Samson takes the free kick.

68:57

Anthony Stokes is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

68:51

A cross is delivered by Kris Commons.

66:02

Teemu Pukki takes the chance to get an effort at goal and hits the bar.

64:46

Fraser Forster takes the free kick.

64:27

Georgios Samaras fouled by Barry Nicholson, the ref awards a free kick.

64:17

Clearance made by Virgil van Dijk.

64:14

Michael Gardyne delivers the ball.

63:00

Booking for Mikael Lustig for unsporting behaviour.

63:00 Booking

Booking

62:55

Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Sammy Clingan. Fraser Forster catches the ball.

62:13

The referee penalises Mikael Lustig for handball.

61:04

Rabiu Ibrahim makes a clearance.

60:56

Charlie Mulgrew takes the free kick.

60:16

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras by Barry Nicholson.

59:15

Free kick taken by Virgil van Dijk.

58:58

Michael Gardyne is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

57:48

Michael Gardyne crosses the ball.

57:03

A cross is delivered by Rory McKeown.

56:30

The ball is delivered by Kris Commons.

54:40

Sammy Clingan crosses the ball in from the free kick.

54:18

Mikael Lustig challenges Rory McKeown unfairly and gives away a free kick.

54:06

Mikael Lustig manages to make a clearance.

54:02

A cross is delivered by Sean Clohessy.

51:59

Free kick taken by Ismael Bouzid.

51:56

Anthony Stokes is caught offside.

51:07

Charlie Mulgrew takes a shot and went wide of the right hand post.

51:01

Clearance by Darren Barr.

50:55

Mikael Lustig delivers the ball.

49:01

Ismael Bouzid restarts play with the free kick.

48:41

Foul by Efe Ambrose on Michael Gardyne, free kick awarded.

48:28

Kris Commons takes a shot.

46:45

Efe Ambrose takes the free kick.

46:36

The referee shows Manuel Pascali a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

46:36 Booking

Booking

46:14

Manuel Pascali gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Virgil van Dijk.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +2:09 Half time

Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.

45:00 +1:11

Anthony Stokes has an effort at goal and missed to the right of the net.

45:00 +0:38

Free kick taken by Scott Brown.

45:00 +0:31

Free kick awarded for a foul by Kris Boyd on Scott Brown.

44:49

Kris Commons crosses the ball.

41:58

Michael Gardyne provided the assist for the goal.

41:58 Goal scored

Goal! - Sean Clohessy - Kilmarnock 2 - 3 Celtic Sean Clohessy scores with their left foot. Kilmarnock 2-3 Celtic.

39:49 Substitution

Substitution Adam Matthews leaves the field to be replaced by Mikael Lustig.

39:28

The ball is delivered by Sean Clohessy.

39:19

Clearance made by Charlie Mulgrew.

39:09

Corner from the right by-line taken by Sammy Clingan.

36:37

Scott Brown takes a shot and went wide left of the net.

34:57 Goal scored

Goal! - Sammy Clingan - Kilmarnock 1 - 3 Celtic Free kick scored by Sammy Clingan. Kilmarnock 1-3 Celtic.

33:51

Michael Gardyne fouled by Virgil van Dijk, the ref awards a free kick.

32:29

Georgios Samaras sends in a cross.

31:38

Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

31:25

Free kick awarded for a foul by Sean Clohessy on Georgios Samaras.

30:18

The ball is sent over by Anthony Stokes.

29:50

Craig Samson takes the free kick.

29:35

The assistant referee flags for offside against Anthony Stokes.

27:36

Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.

27:15

Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Gardyne on Efe Ambrose.

26:08

Assist by Kris Commons.

26:08 Goal scored

Goal! - Georgios Samaras - Kilmarnock 0 - 3 Celtic Georgios Samaras scores a right footed goal. Kilmarnock 0-3 Celtic.

23:58

The assist for the goal came from Adam Matthews.

23:58 Goal scored

Goal! - Georgios Samaras - Kilmarnock 0 - 2 Celtic Georgios Samaras scores with a right foot finish. Kilmarnock 0-2 Celtic.

23:47

The ball is delivered by Adam Matthews.

23:27

Adam Matthews crosses the ball.

23:03

Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.

22:56

The referee blows for offside.

21:45

Rory McKeown delivers the ball.

19:40

Assist by Georgios Samaras.

19:40 Goal scored

Goal! - Kris Commons - Kilmarnock 0 - 1 Celtic Kris Commons slots the ball left footed into the goal. Kilmarnock 0-1 Celtic.

19:21

Clearance by Craig Samson.

19:12

A cross is delivered by Georgios Samaras.

17:19

The ball is crossed by Barry Nicholson.

15:25

Barry Nicholson delivers the ball.

14:42

Craig Samson restarts play with the free kick.

14:25

The referee blows for offside.

14:15

Charlie Mulgrew delivers the ball.

13:31

Shot from the free kick by Michael Gardyne went wide of the right-hand post.

12:17

Fraser Forster takes the free kick.

12:00

Anthony Stokes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Manuel Pascali.

11:16

Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.

10:59

The referee blows for offside.

9:36

Scott Brown manages to make a clearance.

9:30

Sean Clohessy crosses the ball.

9:23

Clearance made by Virgil van Dijk.

9:19

The ball is sent over by Rabiu Ibrahim.

8:25

Clearance by Darren Barr.

8:19

Adam Matthews sends in a cross.

7:07

Emilio Izaguirre takes the free kick.

7:03

Manuel Pascali gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras.

6:24

Header at goal by Michael Gardyne misses to the right.

6:17

Michael Gardyne sends in a cross.

5:49

Charlie Mulgrew crosses the ball in from the free kick.

5:15

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kris Commons by Rabiu Ibrahim.

3:46

Michael Gardyne takes a shot and went wide right of the net.

2:43

Kris Boyd gets a header at goal. Fraser Forster parries the ball away.

2:36

Sean Clohessy crosses the ball.

1:14

Adam Matthews takes the free kick.

1:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Rabiu Ibrahim on Adam Matthews.

1:00

Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.

0:55

The assistant referee flags for offside against Michael Gardyne.

0:30

The ball is crossed by Georgios Samaras.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

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