Celtic arrived at Easter Road as champions elect and looking for one more win that would win a seventh title in a row. Neil Lennon was the manager when Celtic kicked off this title run and it was fitting that he was in the opposite dugout as Celtic looked to win it at the first time of asking.
The team picked to do the job by Brendan Rodgers saw two changes from last Sunday’s training exercise at Hampden Park. Lustig and Dembele gave way to Jack Hendry and Leigh Griffiths while Celtic alumni Ambrose and McGeouch lined up opposite Rodgers’ men.
Celtic were decked out in last season’s pink jersey, definitely a contender for worst title winning jersey since that yellow and black abomination at Rugby Park in 2012. Kudos to the person who thought it a bright idea to create three green kits for this season with two trips to Easter Road on the agenda.
Hibs had other ideas however and the champagne remains on ice until next week at least after a deserved win for Lennon’s men.
Our match ratings:
Craig Gordon (5) – Really good save after two minutes following some slack possession from Rogic. Some wayward kicking on occasion. Not his best day at the office.
Jack Hendry (5) – One of a few Celtic players who struggled to get into the game in the first half. Header from Gordon’s kick out led to the Hibs goal. It was more of the same for him in the second half. My most memorable moment relating to him today is wondering why he hikes his shorts so high?
Kristoffer Ajer (6) – Dribbles better than my four month old godson. Leaves less of a mess as well. Rating automatically increases each week he is paired with the Boyata Bomb.
Dedryck Boyata (4) – Looked pretty solid in the first twenty minutes then once Hibs scored his confidence drained faster than the early bath Andy Halliday had last week. Slipped on the bath water in the second half to give Barker a great opportunity. GET THE BOMB SQUAD IN QUICKLY.
Kieran Tierney (5) – Booked for a late tackle after only ten minutes. Tried to get forward to join in on attacks but put two crosses straight into the hands of the keeper.
Scott Brown (5) – Got a vital touch on a through ball to thwart a Hibs attack after fifteen minutes. Had a really good battle with McGinn in the middle of the park and was outmuscled more than once.
Olivier Ntcham (5) – Drifted in and out of the game in the first half but found himself in a great position just before half time. An excellent first touch was followed by a not so good shot which could have worked the air traffic controllers at Edinburgh airport. Hooked at half time.
Tom Rogic (5) – Had a lively first few minutes. Did that ‘collect the ball on the spinny half turn’ thing he loves so much, almost cost us a goal, had one of the touches of the season and probably should have scored. Hibs’ tactic of stopping Rogic seemed to centre on trying to decapitate him in the first half. Had a glorious chance ten minutes into the second half that he should have scored.
Callum McGregor (5) – Struggled to get into the game in the first half with a few over hit passes symbolic of his first hand play. Moved back in beside Brown after Ntcham’s departure
James Forrest (5) – Replaced by Roberts on 69 minutes.
Leigh Griffith (6) – Played a sublime pass into the path of Rogic who should have done better before he forced the keeper into a smart save in the first few minutes. A good run from Griffiths opened up a chance for him just before half time but his effort was blocked. Replaced in the second half whilst chasing the game.
Scott Sinclair (5) – Introduced at half time to inspire a reaction on his 100th game for the club, he should be given the benefit of the doubt for the Rogic chance that dropped to him as it came at him quickly. However, the Sinclair of last season may have reacted quicker. Seems to run at defenders slower than he did last season also.
Odsonne Edouard (6) – Had 25 minutes to make his mark but could not get into the flow of the game until his goal four minutes from time. A seriously cool finish set up a tense final few minutes.
Paddy Roberts (5) – Tried to inject some life into Celtic on his introduction but got caught in possession when trying to make something happen.