Celtic coach Johan Mjallby praises Beram Kayal workrate

Beram Kayal and Gary Hooper
Beram Kayal (left) helped Gary Hooper to a double against Hibernian

Assistant coach Johan Mjallby singled out the contribution of Beram Kayal in the 3-1 win league against Hibs as Celtic went back on top of the table.

First half goals from Anthony Stokes and a double from Gary Hooper sealed the victory, but Mjallby praised Kayal for his hard graft.

"He is good on the ball - he goes after attackers and wins the ball back for us," Mjallby told BBC Radio Scotland.

"He's very important and it's probably why the supporters rate him so highly."

Celtic tore Hibs to shreds in a first 45 minutes full of high-energy pressing and sparkling movement from the strike partnership of Stokes and Hooper

Stokes fired Celtic into an early lead, then Hooper converted from a penalty before rifling his second of the night.

A Liam Miller penalty reduced Hibs' deficit, and, six minutes from time, Hooper sent another Celtic penalty wide after Freddie Ljungberg was brought down by Paul Hanlon.

The victory puts Celtic back on top of the Scottish Premier League table, two points ahead of rivals Rangers.

Mjallby was impressed that Celtic had given themselves a comfortable first-half lead, but was mildly disappointed by a slower second half performance.

"We slacked off a wee bit in the second half, but sometimes that happens," explained the Swede.

"It was still a professional performance and we're very happy.

"We asked the players to keep on going, because you never know the situation at the end of the season with goal-difference.

"Hibs maybe didn't threaten us too much, but we were disappointed with the second-half performance, but we have no excuses - it shouldn't happen - although, attacking-wise, we were absolutely brilliant."