Scottish Premiership
Celtic6Inverness CT0

Celtic 6-0 Inverness CT

Celtic could not be contained and were only limited by the accuracy of their finishing as they swept past Inverness.

Anthony Stokes struck an accomplished hat-trick, with three more goals coming from Leigh Griffiths, Efe Ambrose and Teemu Pukki.

Despite being comfortable on the ball, Inverness ended up looking beleaguered.

They had no answer to Celtic, and Aaron Doran's second-half penalty was saved by Fraser Forster to cap a galling occasion for the visitors.

The remaining targets for these two teams are self-imposed.

Interview - Celtic manager Neil Lennon

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Interview - Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Celtic's competitive instincts are being honed by the ambition to finish with more than 100 points, while Inverness want to claim more points than last season, with each place they climb in the table bringing higher prize money.

There was an opportunity, too, for individuals to thrive, with Celtic in particularly starting with a line-up that was arguably the strongest they could select even with a full squad to choose from.

There will be alterations over the summer as players arrive and depart. Even so, this will be the core of the side that attempts to reach the Champions League group stages in the summer qualifying rounds, and there was cause for optimism.

The front three, with Stokes and Griffiths in front of Kris Commons, were deft, full of movement and guile, and clinical. Commons was the orchestrator in the early stages, but then Stokes grew to prominence and the game began to revolve around him.

Teemu Pukkis scores for Celtic against Inverness
Pukki's late strike wrapped up an impressive win for the Scottish Premiership champions

The opening goal - a Stokes header from Griffith's corner - came either side of three excellent Dean Brill saves.

The Inverness goalkeeper was agile as he kept out a Commons effort from close range, a fierce Stokes shot from distance and then Adam Matthews, who tried to squeeze a shot inside the goalkeeper's near post.

If Brill's involvement was indicative of the game's nature, it was telling also that one Inverness counter attack ended with the midfielder Ross Draper passing the ball back to his own goalkeeper.

Inverness were capable of some neat and constructive passing exchanges, but they ran out of purpose in the final third. Sitting so deep, they were also vulnerable to periods of pressure, and one ended with a Griffiths cut back that Commons could not connect with.

The ball ran to Stokes, though, and he fired it into the net.

Inverness retained their idealism, but it was occasionally a hindrance. The intention was to always play the ball out of defence, but Greg Tansey was careless with one pass, which Stefan Johansen intercepted.

Interview - Inverness CT boss John Hughes

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Interview - Inverness CT boss John Hughes

As the Norwegian surged into the penalty area, he was tripped by Gary Warren, and Stokes converted the penalty with aplomb for his treble.

There was no limit to Celtic's ambition. It was briefly interrupted when the visitors were awarded a penalty after contact between attacker Billy McKay and defender Virgil van Dijk, even though there was no discernible foul.

Forster dealt with the spot-kick anyway, saving from Doran.

Hitting the woodwork twice in 10 seconds, through Stokes and Van Dijk, was a reminder to Inverness of the challenge they faced, then Griffiths scored with a shot across Brill.

An Ambrose header - after which he made a point of celebrating with the departing assistant manager Johan Mjallby - and a Pukki strike completed the scoring.

It was chastening for Inverness, but a reminder of the slick assurance Celtic are capable of.

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Forster
  • 2MatthewsSubstituted forLustigat 69'minutes
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 25Johansen
  • 4Ambrose
  • 5van Dijk
  • 8Brown
  • 21MulgrewSubstituted forHendersonat 72'minutes
  • 10StokesSubstituted forPukkiat 71'minutes
  • 15Commons
  • 28Griffiths

Substitutes

  • 9Samaras
  • 17Balde
  • 20Pukki
  • 23Lustig
  • 24Zaluska
  • 33Kayal
  • 53Henderson

Inverness CT

  • 12Brill
  • 3Shinnie
  • 18Tremarco
  • 8DraperSubstituted forPolworthat 79'minutes
  • 5WarrenBooked at 53mins
  • 6Meekings
  • 10Doran
  • 16Tansey
  • 7Mckay
  • 11RossSubstituted forChristieat 69'minutes
  • 19Williams

Substitutes

  • 1Esson
  • 14Devine
  • 20Polworth
  • 36Christie
Referee:
Craig Charleston
Attendance:
45,712

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamInverness CT
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home24
Away10
Shots on Target
Home10
Away4
Corners
Home15
Away3
Fouls
Home8
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 6, Inverness CT 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 6, Inverness CT 0.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Graeme Shinnie.

Attempt missed. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Foul by Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic).

Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Graeme Shinnie.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Josh Meekings.

Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

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

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Liam Polworth replaces Ross Draper.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 6, Inverness CT 0. Teemu Pukki (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kris Commons.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 5, Inverness CT 0. Efe Ambrose (Celtic) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kris Commons with a cross.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Josh Meekings.

Attempt missed. Teemu Pukki (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Gary Warren.

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Aaron Doran (Inverness CT).

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Liam Henderson replaces Charlie Mulgrew.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Teemu Pukki replaces Anthony Stokes.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Ryan Christie replaces Nick Ross.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Mikael Lustig replaces Adam Matthews.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 4, Inverness CT 0. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Anthony Stokes.

Foul by Stefan Johansen (Celtic).

Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) hits the right post with a header from very close range.

Anthony Stokes (Celtic) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the left side of the box.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Josh Meekings.

Attempt missed. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Danny Williams (Inverness CT).

Attempt missed. Ross Draper (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top left corner.

Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Penalty saved! Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the top right corner.

Penalty conceded by Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Inverness CT. Billy McKay draws a foul in the penalty area.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Celtic3529517292
2Aberdeen3519881765
3Motherwell3519412161
4Dundee Utd35169101957
5Inverness CT3515812-153
6St Johnstone3515713952
7St Mirren359818-1935
8Hibernian3581017-1834
9Ross County359719-1934
10Partick Thistle3571315-2034
11Kilmarnock359620-1833
12Hearts359719-2319
View full Scottish Premiership table

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