Scottish Premiership
Inverness CT1Celtic3

Scottish Premiership: Inverness CT 1-3 Celtic

Celtic's Leigh Griffiths and Tom Rogic celebrate
Leigh Griffiths (left) scored Celtic's second goal

Celtic went seven points clear at the top of the Premiership with victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Callum McGregor, for the second successive match, provided the early inspiration with a confident strike.

Inverness striker Miles Storey rounded goalkeeper Craig Gordon to equalise.

But Leigh Griffiths, who apologised for missing several changes in the Europa League defeat against Ajax, scored from close range before Danny Devine found his own net.

Defeat leaves Inverness only two points ahead of the relegation play-off place but, given the tightness of the league, within four of the top six.

Conditions in the build up to the match were fairly atrocious but thankfully subsided to allow the game to proceed.

Celtic seized an early initiative when McGregor, who struck early in the midweek defeat by Ajax, used the wet surface to arrow a low shot beyond goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams into the corner.

Inverness responded well, with Gary Warren going close with a header from a corner and Josh Meekings sliding a right-foot curler wide.

Celtic's Mikael Lustig narrowly missed with another header from a corner when he really ought to have hit the target.

A lack of support for Storey seemed problematic in terms of Inverness sustaining any pressure, but they did begin to pin Celtic back without overly troubling Gordon.

Set-pieces often make Celtic look fragile at the back and, on occasions, they seemed to get away with balls into dangerous areas.

Celtic's Carlton Cole and Leigh Griffiths celebrate
Carlton Cole (left) had a hand in Celtic's third goal on his debut for the Scottish champions

Celtic, though, also carried a threat from set-pieces, with Jozo Simunovic close with a looping header back across goal that narrowly evaded the far post.

The game became flat after a bright start as Inverness contained Celtic's threat well.

Pressure on the ball allowed Storey to use his pace as he ran through on Gordon and, while the goalkeeper did well to parry, the striker reacted well and slotted home the rebound to put the home side level.

Celtic needed more creativity and introduced Scott Allan at the expense of Stuart Armstrong, who was looking short of confidence.

The former Hibernian midfielder provided a spark, and combined superbly with Kieran Tierney on the left. Griffiths was the beneficiary as he slammed a low cross home from close range.

Debutant Carlton Cole then almost made an immediate impact after superb work on the right from McGregor and, although the striker did everything right in heading the ball down, Fon Williams got a touch over the bar.

Caley Thistle manager John Hughes signalled almost all-out attack as the game neared a conclusion and Stefan Johansen rescued Celtic with a clearance off the line as the ball edged towards goal from a corner.

However, when Cole looked certain to score, the ball eventually hit his hand, came off Devine and rolled into the net to secure the three points.

It will be a welcome result for Celtic after a difficult week for Deila with a cushion now in the league that many would believe sets them up to retain their title.

Line-ups

Inverness CT

  • 25Fon Williams
  • 6Meekings
  • 5Warren
  • 14Devine
  • 19Williams
  • 16Tansey
  • 8Draper
  • 20PolworthSubstituted forHornerat 84'minutes
  • 4VincentSubstituted forMbuyi-Mutomboat 74'minutes
  • 27VigursSubstituted forSho-Silvaat 74'minutes
  • 39Storey

Substitutes

  • 1Esson
  • 2Raven
  • 15Wedderburn
  • 17Horner
  • 18Sho-Silva
  • 28Mbuyi-Mutombo

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23Lustig
  • 5Simunovic
  • 20Boyata
  • 63Tierney
  • 25Johansen
  • 6BittonBooked at 66mins
  • 14ArmstrongSubstituted forAllanat 54'minutes
  • 18RogicSubstituted forColeat 61'minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 90+2'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Izaguirre
  • 4Ambrose
  • 7Ciftci
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 19Allan
  • 24Cole
  • 26Bailly
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
5,976

Match Stats

Home TeamInverness CTAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home6
Away9
Shots on Target
Home2
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away8
Fouls
Home12
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Inverness CT 1, Celtic 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Inverness CT 1, Celtic 3.

Attempt missed. Tobi Sho-Silva (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Gary Mackay-Steven replaces Leigh Griffiths.

Attempt missed. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Attempt saved. Carlton Cole (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Own Goal by Danny Devine, Inverness CT. Inverness CT 1, Celtic 3.

Attempt saved. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Lewis Horner replaces Liam Polworth.

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Carlton Cole (Celtic).

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

Carlton Cole (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Dedryck Boyata.

Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Tobi Sho-Silva replaces Iain Vigurs.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo replaces James Vincent.

Iain Vigurs (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Mikael Lustig (Celtic).

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Gary Warren.

Danny Devine (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Carlton Cole (Celtic).

Booking

Nir Bitton (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Owain Fon Williams.

Attempt saved. Carlton Cole (Celtic) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

James Vincent (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

Nir Bitton (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Carlton Cole replaces Tomas Rogic.

Goal!

Goal! Inverness CT 1, Celtic 2. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Scott Allan.

Hand ball by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Scott Allan replaces Stuart Armstrong.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Gary Warren.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ross Draper.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Danny Devine.

Foul by Josh Meekings (Inverness CT).

Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Ross Draper (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

goal