Celtic Park, Glasgow
Saturday, September 30, 2017
(McGregor 15, 79)
(McGinn 52, 76)
CALLUM McGregor was the Hoops hero at Paradise after his two goals secured a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Hibernian, and extended the unbeaten domestic run to 58 games.
However it was a tough match against a Hibs side who had their own two-goal hero in the shape of John McGinn, the midfielder netting twice to put the Edinburgh side in the lead following McGregor’s first-half opener.
Brendan Rodgers tasked Odsonne Edouard and Moussa Dembele with leading the attack as two young French strikers started their first game together since 19-year-old Edouard joined Celtic in the summer.
Their inclusion was part of five changes made to the side which won 3-0 in Brussels against Anderlecht in the UEFA Champions League last Wednesday night, with the three goalscorers, Leigh Griffiths, Patrick Roberts and Scott Sinclair all dropping to the bench, though the trio would all be called into action in the second-half.
Neil Lennon’s side arrived at Paradise, having only lost one game this season, and they showed more attacking intent throughout the game than any other Scottish side who have visited Celtic Park since Brendan Rodgers’ arrival.
The opening goal came after 15 minutes, and involved a great passing move from the Hoops. Kieran Tierney slid the ball down the inside-left channel for Moussa Dembele, who held it up well on the edge of the area before rolling it into the path of Callum McGregor.
The midfielder took a touch before firing home an unstoppable left-foot shot into the Hibernian net.
Tom Rogic then came close to doubling Celtic’s lead following some wonderful skill, but his effort with the outside of his left foot was well-saved by Hibs goalkeeper, Ross Laidlaw.
Scott Sinclair was introduced at the start of the second-half for Edouard, but it was the visitors who grabbed an equaliser on 52 minutes when McGinn fired a powerful left-foot shot low into Craig Gordon’s left-hand corner from the edge of the penalty area.
And Neil Lennon’s side could have taken the lead but for a world-class save from Gordon, denying Steven Whittaker from a couple of yards out with a breathtaking stop.
However, Hibs were not to be denied, and McGinn grabbed his second of the afternoon with 14 minutes remaining when he fired home from the edge of the area.
Brendan Rodgers’ side maintained their composure and drove forward in search of an equaliser. That came just three minutes later when the ball fell to McGregor inside the area and he coolly passed it into the net.
The Hoops, roared on by a sell-out crowd, droved forward in search of a winner and Scott Sinclair had a good claim for a penalty when his jersey was tugged as he skipped past Efe Ambrose, but referee Willie Collum waved play on, much to the annoyance of the Celtic support.
There was to be no further scoring, however, and Celtic go into the international break, still leading the Premiership and having extended their unbeaten domestic run to 58 games.
CELTIC (3-1-4-2) Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, Tierney; Ntcham; Forrest (Roberts 69), Rogic, McGregor, Hayes; Edouard (Sinclair 45), Dembele (Griffiths 60).Not Used: De Vries, Ajer, Ralston, E. Henderson
HIBERNIAN (4-4-2) Laidlaw; Whittaker, Hanlon, Stevenson, Ambrose; Boyle Bartley, McGinn, Slivka (Barker 82), McGeouch; Stokes.Not Used: Dabrowski, Matulevicius, Swanson, S. Murray, F. Murray, Ryan Porteous
Next game …
Celtic v Dundee.
14 th Oct 2017