Inverness CT 2-4 Celtic
Celtic blew Inverness away with a great performance, before late slackness cost them a more comprehensive win.
They were quickly out of the blocks as Victor Wanyama headed in from Adam Matthews' corner.
Tony Watt curled in the second and battered in the fourth, with a well-worked move allowing Charlie Mulgrew to slot past Ryan Esson in between.
Ross Draper fired in two late goals to take the edge off Neil Lennon's joy and perhaps Terry Butcher's ire.
Lennon's side had struggled in the Highlands against Ross County last week, but there was never any threat of a repeat.
The visiting manager had expressed a desire pre-match for his side to start the game well, and he got his wish as Gary Hooper nutmegged Simon King before firing in a fierce shot, which Esson did well to push away.
It was from the resultant corner that Wanyama leapt to head emphatically past Esson, though the marking was suspect.
Celtic's lead was almost doubled on seven minutes after a hefty Draper challenge was penalised and Mulgrew crashed the free kick off the top of the crossbar from 25 yards.
The home side had spent virtually the entire first quarter of an hour on the backfoot, but Aaron Doran served notice of their ability on the offensive, bringing out a decent save from Fraser Forster with a long-range drive.
But as Caley Thistle pressed for an equaliser, Celtic picked them off on the counter-attack.
Mulgrew cleared from his own goal-line, it was helped on by Emilio Izaguirre and Wanyama to Filip Twardzik, who threaded the ball through to Watt. The striker drifted past King and curled the ball coolly beyond Esson.
Terry Butcher was infuriated by the ease with which Celtic were able to play through his side, but they almost got a goal straight back as Doran's cutback found Andrew Shinnie inside the six-yard box, but the striker poked the chance wide.
Watt might feel he should have had a second goal seven minutes before the break.
Hooper played a beautiful pass into the path of Twardzik down the left channel and when the young Czech rolled the ball across goal, Watt looked certain to score, but the angle beat him and he found only the side-netting.
Butcher no doubt had some harsh words to say to his players at the interval, but they were rendered meaningless after just three minutes of the second half.
A free kick earned by Hooper on the left side of the penalty area was rolled by Matthews into the path of Mulgrew, who side-footed into the bottom right-hand corner of Esson's net.
Watt again came within inches of a second goal after getting the better of Esson, but though he missed out on that occasion, he didn't have to wait too long to notch Celtic's fourth, rifling in from eight yards after good play down the left by Izaguirre.
Celtic took their foot off the gas, perhaps feeling they had earned the right to do so, but they were punished.
Draper burst into the box with nine minutes remaining to beat Forster at his near post and four minutes later he latched on to Conor Pepper's chipped pass to beat Forster at the second attempt.
That late slackness aside, there was plenty to please the Celtic manager, while his Caley Thistle counterpart will look to address some of his team's defensive frailties.
- 01 Esson
- 02 Raven (Meekings - 55' )
- 03 Shinnie
- 05 Warren
- 15 King Booked
- 08 Draper Booked
- 10 Shinnie
- 11 Ross (Pepper - 66' )
- 17 Doran
- 07 McKay
- 18 Sutherland (Morrison - 54' Booked )
- 12 Reguero
- 14 Meekings
- 19 Morrison
- 20 Laing
- 21 Polworth
- 22 Pepper
- 40 Whyte
- 01 Forster
- 02 Matthews (Bangura - 67' )
- 03 Izaguirre (Chalmers - 76' )
- 06 Wilson
- 21 Mulgrew
- 23 Lustig
- 20 McCourt
- 56 Twardzik
- 67 Wanyama
- 32 Watt
- 88 Hooper (Forrest - 65' )
- 24 Zaluska
- 43 Chalmers
- 36 Irvine
- 42 McGregor
- 49 Forrest
- 14 Bangura
- 30 Slane
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.90:00 +1:24
Patrick McCourt takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.90:00 +0:16
Unfair challenge on Gary Warren by Mohamed Bangura results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ryan Esson.88:42
Shot from just outside the area by Mohamed Bangura misses to the right of the target.87:19
Free kick awarded for a foul by Josh Meekings on Mohamed Bangura. Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.86:28
Assist on the goal came from Conor Pepper.86:28 Goal scored
Goal! - Ross Draper - Inverness 2 - 4 Celtic Ross Draper finds the back of the net with a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Inverness CT 2-4 Celtic.85:38
Ross Draper takes a shot. Save by Fraser Forster.83:07
Filip Twardzik fouled by Andrew Shinnie, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.82:31
Gavin Morrison produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.81:14
Andrew Shinnie provided the assist for the goal.81:14 Goal scored
Goal! - Ross Draper - Inverness 1 - 4 Celtic Ross Draper finds the net with a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Inverness CT 1-4 Celtic.78:08
Corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew to the near post, clearance by Ross Draper.76:59
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Patrick McCourt, Victor Wanyama takes a shot.76:37
Gary Warren gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tony Watt. Charlie Mulgrew takes the free kick.75:52 Substitution
Substitution Emilio Izaguirre goes off and Joe Chalmers comes on.75:11
Conor Pepper takes a shot. Save made by Fraser Forster.74:34
Inswinging corner taken by Graeme Shinnie.73:30
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Graeme Shinnie by James Forrest. Free kick crossed by Aaron Doran, Fraser Forster makes a save.71:40
Mohamed Bangura takes a shot. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Filip Twardzik, save by Ryan Esson. Clearance made by Andrew Shinnie.
Emilio Izaguirre concedes a free kick for a foul on Conor Pepper. Josh Meekings restarts play with the free kick.66:27
Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.66:27 Substitution
Substitution Mohamed Bangura replaces Adam Matthews.66:27
Foul by Josh Meekings on James Forrest, free kick awarded.66:10
Foul by Gavin Morrison on James Forrest, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.66:10 Booking
Booking Gavin Morrison receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.65:24
Graeme Shinnie restarts play with the free kick.65:24 Substitution
Substitution Conor Pepper comes on in place of Nick Ross.65:24
Victor Wanyama concedes a free kick for a foul on Graeme Shinnie.64:47 Substitution
Substitution (Celtic) makes a substitution, with James Forrest coming on for Gary Hooper.63:07
The assist for the goal came from Adam Matthews.63:07 Goal scored
Goal! - Tony Watt - Inverness 0 - 4 Celtic A goal is scored by Tony Watt from close range to the top left corner of the goal. Inverness CT 0-4 Celtic.61:18
Andrew Shinnie takes a shot. Save made by Fraser Forster.60:53
Gavin Morrison takes a shot. Victor Wanyama gets a block in.59:56 Booking
Booking The referee shows Simon King a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.58:48
Josh Meekings takes a shot. Save made by Fraser Forster.53:40 Substitution
Substitution (Inverness CT) makes a substitution, with Josh Meekings coming on for David Raven.53:40 Substitution
Substitution Shane Sutherland leaves the field to be replaced by Gavin Morrison.53:40
Emilio Izaguirre produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.51:47
Filip Twardzik is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ryan Esson.50:48
Simon King challenges Gary Hooper unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kelvin Wilson takes the direct free kick.50:22
Unfair challenge on Aaron Doran by Gary Hooper results in a free kick. Graeme Shinnie takes the free kick.49:54
Gary Hooper takes a shot. Save made by Ryan Esson.47:48
Assist on the goal came from Adam Matthews.47:48 Goal scored
Goal! - Charlie Mulgrew - Inverness 0 - 3 Celtic Charlie Mulgrew gets on the score sheet with a goal from just inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Inverness CT 0-3 Celtic.46:37
David Raven gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary Hooper. Adam Matthews restarts play with the free kick.45:01
The second half kicks off.45:00 +0:13 Half time
Half Time It is the end of the first-half.44:43
Outswinging corner taken by Adam Matthews from the right by-line, clearance made by Shane Sutherland.42:24
Nick Ross gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mikael Lustig. Free kick crossed by Charlie Mulgrew, clearance made by Graeme Shinnie.41:10
Victor Wanyama fouled by Graeme Shinnie, the ref awards a free kick. Fraser Forster takes the free kick.38:28
Shot from close range by Tony Watt bounces off the post.37:58
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Hooper by Graeme Shinnie. Kelvin Wilson restarts play with the free kick.34:07
Unfair challenge on Graeme Shinnie by Mikael Lustig results in a free kick. Graeme Shinnie takes the free kick.33:19
Free kick awarded for a foul by Shane Sutherland on Patrick McCourt. Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.30:46
Handball by Simon King. Filip Twardzik takes the direct free kick.28:19
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Filip Twardzik.26:02
Andrew Shinnie produces a right-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the right-hand upright.24:41
Filip Twardzik provided the assist for the goal.24:41 Goal scored
Goal! - Tony Watt - Inverness 0 - 2 Celtic Tony Watt scores a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Inverness CT 0-2 Celtic.22:00
Aaron Doran takes a shot. Charlie Mulgrew gets a block in.21:12
Billy McKay is caught offside. Mikael Lustig takes the indirect free kick.17:43
Graeme Shinnie takes the inswinging corner, Victor Wanyama manages to make a clearance.16:49
Corner from left by-line taken by Aaron Doran.16:30
Aaron Doran takes a shot. Save made by Fraser Forster.14:04
Corner from right by-line taken by Adam Matthews.10:14
Outswinging corner taken by Adam Matthews, clearance made by Shane Sutherland.9:38
Corner taken by Filip Twardzik from the left by-line, clearance by Graeme Shinnie.7:01
Effort from deep inside the area by Filip Twardzik clears the bar.5:43
Strike on goal comes in from Charlie Mulgrew from the free kick,5:43 Booking
Booking Ross Draper is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.5:27
Ross Draper challenges Tony Watt unfairly and gives away a free kick.4:23
Effort on goal by Tony Watt from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.3:20
Assist on the goal came from Adam Matthews.3:20 Goal scored
Goal! - Victor Wanyama - Inverness 0 - 1 Celtic Victor Wanyama finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the box. Inverness CT 0-1 Celtic.2:58
Outswinging corner taken by Adam Matthews from the right by-line,2:33
Gary Hooper takes a shot. Ryan Esson makes a save.0:00
The referee gets the game underway.
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