Scottish Premiership
Partick ThistlePartick Thistle0CelticCeltic1

Partick Thistle 0-1 Celtic

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland at Firhill

Defending champions Celtic survived a late penalty claim to earn a 1-0 win over Partick Thistle at Firhill.

Olivier Ntcham volleyed Celtic in front by virtue of a deflection off captain Scott Brown.

Kris Doolan passed up a golden opportunity to equalise when he put a free header over from close range.

There was late controversy when referee Andrew Dallas waved away strong shouts for a penalty after Nir Bitton appeared to shove Miles Storey in the box.

But Celtic, not at their fluid best, survived to maintain their winning start to the season and extend their unbeaten domestic run to 51 matches.

Thistle started one of their new signings, Conor Sammon, and the other, Storey came off the bench, as did Leigh Griffiths. James Forrest played through the middle until the striker made his appearance on the hour-mark.

Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham
Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham volleyed the visitors into a first-half lead

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers said before kick-off that he was hopeful of bringing in another player, possibly even before the Astana game in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Celtic have been pushing hard to resign Patrick Roberts from Manchester City, a player whom the visiting support adore and a man whose name they chanted during the game.

Was Rodgers referring to Roberts when talking about a new arrival? He wouldn't say. How Celtic people will hope that he comes back. How the rest of Scottish football will sigh if he does. It's hard enough to lay a glove on Rodgers' team as they are.

The Jags were one of the few sides who had any joy from Celtic last season in domestic competition, taking a 1-1 draw away from Parkhead. The last time they were at Firhill, of course, Celtic won 5-0, and they started off brightly here again, without ever hitting full stride.

Filling in for Griffiths, Forrest had two early chances to opening the scoring, his first effort beaten away well by Tomas Cerny, his second driven wide of goal. The Jags' goalkeeper then made a fine save from a thumping Bitton free-kick.

Celtic got their breakthrough when Jordan Turnbull's header was volleyed goalwards by Ntcham, the ball deflecting past Cerny off what Thistle claimed was the arm of Brown, not that Brown knew anything about it.

He turned his body away from Ntcham's shot and the ball looked to come off him and find the net. Had it not, Cerny would probably have dealt with it comfortably enough.

Kris Doolan (left)
Kris Doolan (left) watches as he passes up a first half chance

They felt a bit hard done by there, but Thistle had an excellent opportunity to wipe out Celtic's lead early in the second half.

Christie Elliott's cross was met by the head of Doolan, who had lost Bitton. From close range, Doolan had to score. For such a dependable striker, you would have expected him to. He didn't. His header flew over.

Celtic could not give themselves the cushion of a second goal against a resolute Thistle defence. Even when they looked like they were going to add a second, Callum Booth cleared off the line from Jozo Simunovic.

The Jags had a huge penalty shout right at the end when Storey went down under a clumsy challenge from Bitton. Celtic, and their uncomfortable makeshift centre-half, looked like they got away with it.

Thistle were left frustrated and angered. For Rodgers, another win, but a problem to solve, too. Does he dare go into Wednesday night's critical game with Astana with the Israeli at the heart of his defence?

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 1Cerny
  • 14Elliott
  • 5Keown
  • 4Turnbull
  • 3Booth
  • 13Barton
  • 8BanniganBooked at 71minsSubstituted forMcCarthyat 82'minutes
  • 11LawlessSubstituted forErskineat 64'minutes
  • 19Edwards
  • 18Sammon
  • 9DoolanSubstituted forStoreyat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Erskine
  • 12Scully
  • 17Nitriansky
  • 20Nisbet
  • 21Penrice
  • 24McCarthy
  • 39Storey

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23Lustig
  • 6Bitton
  • 5Simunovic
  • 63TierneyBooked at 86mins
  • 8Brown
  • 21NtchamSubstituted forArmstrongat 78'minutes
  • 15HayesSubstituted forGriffithsat 62'minutes
  • 42McGregorSubstituted forRogicat 62'minutes
  • 11Sinclair
  • 49Forrest

Substitutes

  • 9Griffiths
  • 14Armstrong
  • 18Rogic
  • 24de Vries
  • 26Benyu
  • 35Ajer
  • 56Ralston
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:
8,041

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home3
Away17
Shots on Target
Home1
Away6
Corners
Home3
Away11
Fouls
Home9
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Partick Thistle 0, Celtic 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 0, Celtic 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Celtic).

  4. Post update

    Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

  6. Post update

    Andrew McCarthy (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Niall Keown.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Scott Brown.

  10. Booking

    Kieran Tierney (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Kieran Tierney (Celtic).

  12. Post update

    Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. Andrew McCarthy replaces Stuart Bannigan.

  14. Post update

    Hand ball by Scott Brown (Celtic).

  15. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Callum Booth.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tomas Rogic (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Stuart Armstrong replaces Olivier Ntcham.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Scott Brown.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Jozo Simunovic (Celtic).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic22005146
2Hibernian11003123
3Aberdeen11002023
4Rangers11002113
5Ross County11002113
6St Johnstone11002113
7Dundee100112-10
8Kilmarnock100112-10
9Motherwell100112-10
10Hamilton100102-20
11Hearts100114-30
12Partick Thistle200214-30
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