Scottish Premiership
KilmarnockKilmarnock1CelticCeltic0

Kilmarnock 1-0 Celtic

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Scotland at Rugby Park

Youssouf Mulumbu's first goal for Kilmarnock condemned Celtic to only their second domestic defeat under Brendan Rodgers.

The midfielder scored in the second half to deliver the reward for the home side's disciplined display.

Mulumbu should have scored again late on, but Dorus de Vries saved.

Celtic not only failed to score, but failed to land a shot on target until the last minute, and lost Dedryck Boyata and Kristoffer Ajer to injury.

The win, Kilmarnock's fifth in a row at home, moved the Rugby Park side into the top six.

Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata injured against Kilmarnock
Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata had to be replaced after just 10 minutes at Rugby Park due to injury

Rodgers' side took to the pitch in Ayrshire knowing a victory would give them four straight wins for the first time this season. Relatively speaking, the champions had been looking stodgy before the winter break, but the new year had been offering evidence of a fresh spark.

There was an immediate debut for the former Dundee defender Jack Hendry, who joined late in the transfer window, but his importance to the visiting defence couldn't have been predicted. He very quickly went from new boy to main man as both his defensive partners were forced off in the first half through injury.

It took just 10 minutes for Boyata to suffer a knock and limp off in frustration. Ten minutes before the break, Ajer joined him on the sidelines after picking up an ankle injury. Nir Bitton and Scott Sinclair replaced them in a well-shuffled pack.

Against a Kilmarnock side bursting with Steve Clarke-injected confidence, the champions started well. Olivier Ntcham tried his luck from range and Charly Musonda looked ready to open his box of tricks playing just behind Moussa Dembele up front. But the home side stood firm in the face of a potential storm that quickly came to not very much.

Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer injured against Kilmarnock
Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer hobbled off injured before half-time against Kilmarnock

Snuffing them out was a group of Kilmarnock players who were snapping at every heel and chasing every lost cause. Their work rate was impressive but they also threatened.

Kirk Broadfoot watched a header fly just over, and both Greg Taylor and Kris Boyd both had shots saved before the break. They sensed a nervousness in the makeshift Celtic defence and they were making it creak.

As Celtic tried to force the issue more in the second half, the home side continued to frustrate. Dembele, Sinclair and Musonda were given no room to breathe in the danger areas and were limited to half chances on what was increasing looking like a very sticky surface.

But Clarke's side were growing in assurance and it came as no real surprise when they took the lead with 20 minutes to go. Jordan Jones, who had another excellent 90 minutes, picked the ball up on the left and picked out an unmarked Mulumbu at the back post, who was left with a simple finish.

Kilmarnock midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu and Celtic striker Moussa Dembele clash at Rugby Park
Kilmarnock midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu and Celtic striker Moussa Dembele clashed at Rugby Park

It was a fine goal, but one that Celtic won't enjoy watching back from a defensive point of view. They were all over the place.

The home fans were on their feet but at no times did their heroes look out on theirs. To a man, they worked and fought as a team as Celtic pushed everything they had forward in search of a leveller that never came.

Jones and Mulumbu had marvellous chances to seal it with just minutes to go but their composure deserted them. Their manager will forgive them, as will their fans. It was a stunning win that was thoroughly deserved.

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1MacDonald
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 5BroadfootBooked at 89mins
  • 4GreerBooked at 75mins
  • 12Taylor
  • 7McKenzie
  • 8Dicker
  • 24MulumbuBooked at 70mins
  • 11JonesSubstituted forFindlayat 90+2'minutes
  • 25BrophyBooked at 63minsSubstituted forErwinat 81'minutes
  • 9BoydSubstituted forTshibolaat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Kiltie
  • 17Findlay
  • 21Frizzell
  • 22Erwin
  • 26Simpson
  • 27Tshibola
  • 32Fasan

Celtic

Formation 3-2-4-1

  • 24de Vries
  • 35AjerSubstituted forSinclairat 35'minutes
  • 4HendryBooked at 48mins
  • 20BoyataSubstituted forBittonat 10'minutes
  • 21Ntcham
  • 67Musonda
  • 8BrownBooked at 73mins
  • 88KouassiBooked at 13minsSubstituted forEdouardat 70'minutes
  • 63Tierney
  • 10Dembele
  • 49Forrest

Substitutes

  • 6Bitton
  • 11Sinclair
  • 12Gamboa
  • 22Edouard
  • 29Bain
  • 42McGregor
  • 59Miller
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
10,702

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home31%
Away69%
Shots
Home12
Away8
Shots on Target
Home6
Away1
Corners
Home2
Away2
Fouls
Home17
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Kilmarnock 1, Celtic 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, Celtic 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Stuart Findlay replaces Jordan Jones.

  4. Post update

    Delay in match Gordon Greer (Kilmarnock) because of an injury.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

  6. Post update

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

  7. Booking

    Kirk Broadfoot (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Kirk Broadfoot (Kilmarnock).

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Kirk Broadfoot.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Youssouf Mulumbu (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a fast break.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Aaron Tshibola (Kilmarnock).

  15. Post update

    Charly Musonda (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kieran Tierney (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Lee Erwin replaces Eamonn Brophy.

  18. Post update

    Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Odsonne Edouard (Celtic).

  20. Booking

    Gordon Greer (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

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