Scottish Premiership
Partick ThistlePartick Thistle0CelticCeltic3

Partick Thistle 0-3 Celtic

By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland at Firhill
  • Both Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong score
  • Stefan Johansen adds a third for Celtic in second half
  • Ronny Deila's men move three points clear at top
  • Celtic go eight consecutive games without conceding

Celtic's two debutants scored as Partick Thistle were overcome to move the champions three points clear at the top of the Premiership.

Gary Mackay-Steven took less than a minute to register his first goal for the club, before Stuart Armstrong soon added a second.

They fitted seamlessly into the Celtic side, who attacked at times with impressive pace and precision.

The excellent Stefan Johansen added a third to secure a comfortable victory.

Craig Gordon stretched his run without conceding to eight games, with the last man to beat him being Armstrong when he was in a Dundee United shirt.

Thistle boss Alan Archibald made five changes from the weekend defeat to Inverness, but they rarely troubled the visitors as they ended a fourth game without a win.

Celtic's two ex-Dundee United stars were very quickly into their stride in their new colours.

Mackay-Steven was immediately influential, robbing Frederic Frans, scurrying forward and then feeding John Guidetti.

The result was a corner kick, and when the ball broke to Mackay-Steven inside the penalty area he turned it low and hard past Scott Fox.

With Johansen playing centrally and Armstrong on the left, there was a line of guile and penetration behind the lone striker, Guidetti. For a Partick defence that had been hapless last weekend, the challenge was daunting: how to contain Celtic's blistering attacks.

The home side were not helped by the instances when players were caught in possession, or when they tried to spring Lyle Taylor behind the Celtic defence but rushed the delivery of the pass. Taylor was able to trouble the Celtic centre-backs, but the quality of possession wasn't good enough for Thistle to take advantage.

Instead, Celtic eased into command. Johansen was prominent, playing first-time passes and clever through-balls, but so, too, was Armstrong. He did not tend to play wide while at Dundee United, but he was busy in the opening half and forced a diving save from Fox.

The goalkeeper had to be similarly sharp to save a Johansen effort after Scott Brown had robbed Stuart Bannigan.

Stuart Armstrong, the last player to score against Celtic, got his first goal for his new club.
Stuart Armstrong, the last player to score against Celtic, got his first goal for his new club

When another opportunity was presented to Armstrong, by his former United teammate Mackay-Steven, the midfielder chose to slip a clever angled pass into Guidetti's path. The striker could not finish, but returned the ball to Armstrong and he confidently converted.

Partick were not forlorn, and Taylor headed over Stephen O'Donnell's cross just before the interval.

It was the home side who were purposeful at the beginning of the second half too, with Bannigan claiming that his shot inside the area was blocked by Emilio Izaguirre's hand.

The referee Crawford Allan was close at hand and wasn't convinced it was a penalty kick, and the riled home side soon created another chance when Ryan Stevenson crossed and Taylor flicked wide from in front of the near post.

Celtic were unruffled, though, and there was time for more impressive play from Johansen, who was elegantly decisive throughout.

When Guidetti drew the Partick defenders towards him, the ball broke forward to Johansen, who clinically shot low across Fox and inside the far post.

Moments later, the midfielder chipped the ball to Guidetti at the back post, but the striker volleyed over.

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Fox
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 13Frans
  • 6Balatoni
  • 5Booth
  • 18Osman
  • 8BanniganSubstituted forFraserat 81'minutes
  • 28McDaid
  • 10Stevenson
  • 14ElliottSubstituted forHigginbothamat 71'minutes
  • 29TaylorSubstituted forDoolanat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Craigen
  • 9Doolan
  • 11Lawless
  • 12Gallacher
  • 15Higginbotham
  • 21Richards-Everton
  • 22Fraser

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 26Gordon
  • 2MatthewsSubstituted forFisherat 72'minutes
  • 22Denayer
  • 5van Dijk
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 8Brown
  • 6Bitton
  • 16Mackay-StevenSubstituted forMcGregorat 83'minutes
  • 25JohansenSubstituted forHendersonat 70'minutes
  • 14Armstrong
  • 9Guidetti

Substitutes

  • 4Ambrose
  • 10Stokes
  • 12Scepovic
  • 24Zaluska
  • 41Fisher
  • 42McGregor
  • 53Henderson
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
5,776

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home9
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home3
Away5
Fouls
Home9
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Partick Thistle 0, Celtic 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 0, Celtic 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ryan Stevenson (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Gary Fraser (Partick Thistle).

  6. Post update

    John Guidetti (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Declan McDaid (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by John Guidetti (Celtic).

  9. Post update

    Callum Booth (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Celtic).

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Gary Fraser (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  12. Post update

    Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Celtic).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Callum McGregor replaces Gary Mackay-Steven.

  15. Post update

    Frederic Frans (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by John Guidetti (Celtic).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. Gary Fraser replaces Stuart Bannigan.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Post update

    Stuart Bannigan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Darnell Fisher (Celtic).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic23173346123454
2Aberdeen24163541212051
3Inverness CT24153635221348
4Dundee Utd23143646301645
5Hamilton2612593932741
6St Johnstone24104102125-434
7Dundee258983738-133
8Kilmarnock2485112330-729
9Partick Thistle2467113231125
10St Mirren2553172041-2118
11Motherwell2453161646-3018
12Ross County2426162149-2812
View full Scottish Premiership table

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