Scottish Premiership
Celtic1Hibernian0

Celtic 1-0 Hibernian

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Highlights: Celtic 1-0 Hibernian

Leigh Griffiths scored the only goal before limping off as Premiership leaders Celtic held on against a spirited but blunt Hibs.

Scott Sinclair spurned an incredible chance, hitting the post after a Griffiths free-kick had been saved.

But the home side moved ahead when Griffiths met a cross from Kieran Tierney to covert at the back post.

Hibs saw more of the ball after the interval but could not find a way past replacement goalkeeper Dorus de Vries.

Home manager Brendan Rodgers showered his counterpart, Neil Lennon, with praise in the preamble, suggesting that his fellow Northern Irishman might just be a perfect fit for the vacant Scotland job. Lennon responded by thanking Rodgers for his kind words.

As build-ups go it was two men tickling each other's tummy. It wasn't going to last.

Celtic began with Griffiths up front and Moussa Dembele on the bench. Again. Dembele's immediate future is one of the hottest topics in Scottish football these days. Is he staying or is he going? Is his attitude good or not good? There's been conflicting messages coming out of Celtic Park, but a substitute he was for this one.

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths appeared to suffer a recurrence of a calf problem in the first half
Griffiths appeared to suffer a recurrence of a calf problem in the first half

Griffiths got the nod and it was the striker who almost helped open the scoring after a quarter of an hour. His free-kick was beaten away by Ofir Marciano and when the breaking ball fell to Sinclair you would have lumped every last penny you possessed on him scoring from a few yards out.

Instead of adding to his impressive goal tally, Sinclair scooped his effort on to the woodwork in what will go down as the miss of not just this season but many other seasons besides.

Five minutes later, Celtic engineered another fine chance, created by Sinclair but spurned by Griffiths whose sclaffed volley went wide.

These were fairly dizzying moments. Brandon Barker forced a fine save from Craig Gordon. Then, Martin Boyle caused Celtic more problems. Just when Hibs thought they were getting themselves into it, though, they went behind.

It was Tierney's cross from the left that caused the problem to begin with. In trying to deal with the delivery, Paul Hanlon got freaked by Griffiths' presence behind him close to the six-yard box. Hanlon's header was weak and only served to set up the striker, whose placed his shot across goal. Retreating madly, Hibs could do nothing to keep it out.

Griffiths ran away not to celebrate the goal but to make a gesture of apology to the visiting fans down that end of Celtic Park. His old club still means a huge amount to him.

For Griffiths, this was, sadly, his last act. After two goals in two games, another knock was the least thing he needed, but that's what he got just after the half-hour. He retired a frustrated man, replaced by Dembele, who didn't have a whole lot of impact. One shot, one yellow card for diving and that was about the size of it.

Leigh Griffiths issued a gesture of apology to the Hibs fans after scoring for the first time against his boyhood heroes and former team
Griffiths issued a gesture of apology to the Hibs fans after scoring for the first time against his boyhood heroes and former team

At the break, Rodgers had to make another change, Gordon having picked up an injury towards the end of the half. On came 37-year-old De Vries for just his seventh appearance for the club.

Having missed one sitter, Sinclair then went and missed another great chance six minutes into the new half. From close-range, he didn't get enough power in his shot and allowed Marciano to kick clear. Such wastefulness has, previously, cost them points against Hibs who had managed to score six times in three games with Celtic before this one.

Hibs tend to struggle to convert in front of goal but they've had a habit of raising their strike-rate when Celtic are the opposition.

The memory of their last encounter - Celtic were 2-0 up and hung on for a 2-2 draw at the end - would have reminded Celtic that nothing was done with the score at a mere 1-0.

The visitors enjoyed a huge amount of possession in the second half. They had a shot from distance from the impressive John McGinn that was pushed away by De Vries. Later on, Tierney had to defend smartly to deny substitute Jamie MacLaren.

Celtic became flat, meandering their way through the remainder of the game, but they deserved their win, even if they were nowhere close to producing their best stuff. Griffiths, not for the first or the last time, won the day.

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1GordonSubstituted forde Vriesat 45'minutes
  • 35Ajer
  • 20Boyata
  • 5Simunovic
  • 63Tierney
  • 8Brown
  • 21Ntcham
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forKouassiat 71'minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 11Sinclair
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forDembeleat 36'minutesBooked at 82mins

Substitutes

  • 6Bitton
  • 10Dembele
  • 12Gamboa
  • 22Edouard
  • 24de Vries
  • 59Miller
  • 88Kouassi

Hibernian

  • 1Marciano
  • 25Ambrose
  • 4Hanlon
  • 24McGregor
  • 16Stevenson
  • 17BoyleSubstituted forMurrayat 55'minutes
  • 10McGeouch
  • 8SlivkaBooked at 37mins
  • 7McGinn
  • 20BarkerSubstituted forMaclarenat 84'minutes
  • 32ShawSubstituted forSwansonat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Matulevicius
  • 11Swanson
  • 14Rherras
  • 15Murray
  • 19Maclaren
  • 31Bain
  • 36Porteous
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
58,998

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home13
Away7
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 1, Hibernian 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 1, Hibernian 0.

Attempt blocked. Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Moussa Dembele (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Paul Hanlon (Hibernian).

Attempt blocked. John McGinn (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Jamie Maclaren replaces Brandon Barker.

Booking

Moussa Dembele (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

Moussa Dembele (Celtic) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Dorus de Vries.

Attempt saved. John McGinn (Hibernian) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt saved. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner.

Foul by Jozo Simunovic (Celtic).

Simon Murray (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Eboue Kouassi replaces James Forrest.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Danny Swanson replaces Oli Shaw.

Attempt blocked. James Forrest (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

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

Attempt saved. Brandon Barker (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt blocked. Brandon Barker (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Simon Murray replaces Martin Boyle.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

John McGinn (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Kieran Tierney (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Efe Ambrose (Hibernian).

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Lewis Stevenson.

Attempt missed. John McGinn (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Vykintas Slivka (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Olivier Ntcham (Celtic).

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Dorus de Vries replaces Craig Gordon because of an injury.

Second Half

Second Half begins Celtic 1, Hibernian 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Celtic 1, Hibernian 0.

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

Foul by Efe Ambrose (Hibernian).

Foul by Callum McGregor (Celtic).

Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Kristoffer Ajer.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic24176151163557
2Aberdeen2414463627946
3Rangers23134643251843
4Hibernian2410863228438
5Hearts2481062520534
6Motherwell2384112933-428
7Kilmarnock226882631-526
8St Johnstone2275102233-1126
9Dundee2474132534-925
10Hamilton2365123139-823
11Partick Thistle2465132340-1723
12Ross County2345142138-1717
View full Scottish Premiership table

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