Scottish Premiership
CelticCeltic3HibernianHibernian0

Celtic 3-0 Hibernian: Neil Lennon's men extend unbeaten home record over Hibs

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

Celtic turned in the "performance of their season" so far as they beat Hibernian to remain one point behind Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers, says Neil Lennon.

But they lost Albian Ajeti to injury, ruling him out of Thursday's Europa League trip to FK Sarajevo.

Hibs have not won at Celtic Park since January 2010, and goals from Callum McGregor, Ajeti and Mohamed Elyounoussi scuppered hopes of ending that record.

Celtic still have a game in hand.

The Easter Road side remain third, but they have played two games more than fourth-placed Aberdeen.

"It was 10 out of 10, the best of the season and one of the best of my time as manager, first or second time around," said manager Lennon.

"I thought we were outstanding and I thought the football we played was brilliant. I thought the control of the game was brilliant.

"We defended when we had to - really well - and it was just an outstanding all-round team performance. I'm pleased, it was a big game for us."

The Edinburgh side spurned plenty of chances. Christian Doidge, Kevin Nisbet and Joe Newell all fired over from close range.

Leigh Griffiths returned to the Celtic squad, the Scotland striker without a competitive game since a hat-trick against St Mirren in March. And he was joined on the bench by Odsonne Edouard, who was dropped in favour of summer signing Ajeti.

But the opening goal came from midfield, with McGregor finding a pocket of space outside the box and arrowing a low shot into the far corner past the outstretched hand of Ofir Marciano.

The goal did not rattle Hibs, though, and Doidge was close to drawing Hibs level when he sent Nisbet's cut-back over the bar from inside the box. Nisbet then shot high, with Martin Boyle also frustrated.

But they were punished for their missed chances as Celtic doubled their lead. Ryan Christie did well to hold on to the ball in the box under pressure, Jeremie Frimpong nudged his pass into the path of Elyounoussi, whose shot was saved, but Ajeti slotted home the rebound for his fifth goal this term.

That was to be the Swiss striker's last action, hobbling off afterwards, with Edouard back into the fray.

Celtic's two wing-backs were the cause of Celtic's threat, and Greg Taylor's cross found Frimpong on the run but the Dutchman side-footed over. Scott Brown forced a good save from Marciano and seconds later the Israeli goalkeeper had to tip over from David Turnbull, who replaced Christie at the break, as Celtic looked for a third goal early in the second half.

Newell could not find the target for Hibs from inside the box, and Doidge had a shot charged down, but by this time the chances from the visitors were at a premium as Celtic dominated possession.

And Elyounoussi killed the game with a third goal when he strolled on to Turnbull's through ball to slip the ball under Marciano.

Man of the match - Jeremie Frimpong

Celtic's Jeremie Frimpong in action against Hibs' Paul McGinn
Frimpong was again a major threat for Lennon's men, tormenting Hibs constantly on the right hand side

What did we learn?

Celtic were criticised in midweek despite beating FC Riga to reach the play-off round of the Europa League.

Over the 90 minutes against Hibs they did wobble at times despite their early lead, but improved as the game went on with Taylor and Frimpong at the heart of sparking Celtic into life when they needed it.

Turnbull is also beginning to settle into life at Celtic after his move from Motherwell, and he impressed after replacing Christie at half-time.

Hibs had plenty of moments in the Celtic box and as always looked a threat on the counter attack, but they were not clinical enough.

What they said

Celtic performance 'one of the best' - Neil Lennon

Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "We were up against a good side who had won all their away games.

"It was a good test for us, and I thought we came through it with flying colours. It was a brilliant team performance, absolutely brilliant."

Hibernian manager Jack Ross: "I've no complaints over the end result, but first half I thought we were very good, there were aspects of our performance that were very good. We found ourselves in good areas of the pitch regularly, but were not clinical enough.

"It's unusual for us because we're normally very good at that. We just fell a little bit short today but our working to get ourselves into that area of the pitch was good."

Positives despite Hibernian defeat - Jack Ross

What's next?

Celtic will aim for a place in the Europa League group stage when they travel to FK Sarajevo on Thursday. They return to domestic action next Sunday away to St Johnstone.

Hibernian host Hamilton on Friday evening, their last engagement before the international break.

Player of the match

FrimpongJeremie Frimpong

with an average of 7.56

Celtic

  1. Squad number30Player nameFrimpong
    Average rating

    7.56

  2. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull
    Average rating

    7.04

  3. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    6.97

  4. Squad number27Player nameElyounoussi
    Average rating

    6.56

  5. Squad number10Player nameAjeti
    Average rating

    6.55

  6. Squad number3Player nameTaylor
    Average rating

    6.46

  7. Squad number8Player nameBrown
    Average rating

    6.34

  8. Squad number17Player nameChristie
    Average rating

    6.34

  9. Squad number6Player nameBitton
    Average rating

    6.33

  10. Squad number4Player nameDuffy
    Average rating

    6.12

  11. Squad number35Player nameAjer
    Average rating

    6.03

  12. Squad number22Player nameEdouard
    Average rating

    5.90

  13. Squad number1Player nameBarkas
    Average rating

    5.89

  14. Squad number21Player nameNtcham
    Average rating

    5.61

  15. Squad number11Player nameKlimala
    Average rating

    5.40

  16. Squad number12Player nameSoro
    Average rating

    5.27

Hibernian

  1. Squad number1Player nameMarciano
    Average rating

    6.23

  2. Squad number15Player nameNisbet
    Average rating

    5.86

  3. Squad number6Player nameMcGinn
    Average rating

    5.81

  4. Squad number5Player namePorteous
    Average rating

    5.75

  5. Squad number4Player nameHanlon
    Average rating

    5.66

  6. Squad number11Player nameNewell
    Average rating

    5.59

  7. Squad number10Player nameBoyle
    Average rating

    5.59

  8. Squad number13Player nameGogic
    Average rating

    5.57

  9. Squad number9Player nameDoidge
    Average rating

    5.44

  10. Squad number25Player nameDoig
    Average rating

    5.39

  11. Squad number8Player nameWright
    Average rating

    5.38

  12. Squad number18Player nameMurphy
    Average rating

    5.06

  13. Squad number16Player nameStevenson
    Average rating

    5.05

  14. Squad number14Player nameMallan
    Average rating

    4.80

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Barkas
  • 6Bitton
  • 4Duffy
  • 35Ajer
  • 30Frimpong
  • 17ChristieSubstituted forTurnbullat 45'minutes
  • 8BrownSubstituted forNtchamat 82'minutes
  • 42McGregorSubstituted forSoroat 86'minutes
  • 3Taylor
  • 27ElyounoussiSubstituted forKlimalaat 82'minutes
  • 10AjetiSubstituted forEdouardat 37'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Griffiths
  • 11Klimala
  • 12Soro
  • 14Turnbull
  • 18Rogic
  • 21Ntcham
  • 22Edouard
  • 29Bain
  • 44Elhamed

Hibernian

  • 1Marciano
  • 6McGinnBooked at 88mins
  • 5Porteous
  • 4Hanlon
  • 10Boyle
  • 8WrightSubstituted forMurphyat 53'minutes
  • 13Gogic
  • 11NewellBooked at 85mins
  • 25DoigSubstituted forStevensonat 45'minutes
  • 9DoidgeSubstituted forMallanat 83'minutes
  • 15Nisbet

Substitutes

  • 2Gray
  • 14Mallan
  • 16Stevenson
  • 18Murphy
  • 19Gullan
  • 20Hallberg
  • 24McGregor
  • 29Shanley
  • 33Barnes
Referee:
Steven McLean

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home20
Away9
Shots on Target
Home9
Away0
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 3, Hibernian 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Hibernian 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by David Turnbull (Celtic).

  4. Post update

    Paul McGinn (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  5. Post update

    Patryk Klimala (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

  7. Post update

    Jeremie Frimpong (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

  9. Post update

    Foul by Ismaila Soro (Celtic).

  10. Post update

    Jamie Murphy (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ismaila Soro.

  12. Booking

    Paul McGinn (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Patryk Klimala (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Paul McGinn (Hibernian).

  15. Post update

    Greg Taylor (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Alexander Gogic (Hibernian).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Ismaila Soro replaces Callum McGregor.

  18. Booking

    Joe Newell (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

    Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Joe Newell (Hibernian).