SATURDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER: SCOTTISH PREMIERSHIP; CELTIC 2 (McGREGOR 15’, 80’) HIBS 2 (McGINN 53’, 77’)
A double from in-form Callum McGregor earned Celtic a point in a 2-2 draw against Neil Lennon’s Hibs in a game which Celtic looked on the verge of losing at times. The game also featured some...eccentric refereeing decisions by good old Willie Collum.
As expected after Wednesday night, Celtic made a host of changes, with Dembele, Edouard, Hayes and Forrest all starting. The likes of Roberts, Sinclair and Griffiths were all on the bench.
Hibs started brightly and former Celt Anthony Stokes had a free-kick tipped over the bar by Craig Gordon, but Celtic took the lead in the 15th minute with a fine team goal, Tierney playing a ball down the line to Dembele, who held off his man and played in McGregor who scored with a fine shot into the bottom corner. 1-0 to the Celts.
1-0 to Celtic v Hibs, McGregor pic.twitter.com/B5WX3MtuDy— goal for celtic (@goalforceltic) September 30, 2017
Tom Rogic then fired a shot over the bar, before the eccentric Willie Collum booked James Forrest for ‘a dive’. Hibs were then denied an equaliser when Boyata managed to prevent Boyle getting a shot away when he was through on goal, before Edouard missed a great chance to make it 2-0, he was clean through but Laidlaw made the save.
Celtic made a change at half-time, with Sinclair replacing Edouard, but Hibs began the second-half brightly, and it was no surprise when John McGinn equalised, he was gvien far too much space to shoot and made it 1-1 from just outside the penalty box.
Hibs then had a spell of domination as Celtic fell out of the game completely, Whittaker missed a chance from a free header then was denied from around two yards out thanks to a Craig Gordon wondersave.
great save from Craig Gordon pic.twitter.com/eX2xxiIFRP— goal for celtic (@goalforceltic) September 30, 2017
Celtic made changes, bringing on Griffiths and Roberts for Dembele and Forrest, but Hibs took the lead in the 77th minute, McGinn again with the goal. His shot took a deflection but perhaps Gordon should have done more.
Thankfully this Celtic team doesn’t ever know when it’s beaten and the equaliser arrived only three minutes later, a Griffiths cross was cleared to the edge of the box and McGregor showed marvellous composure to side-foot the ball into the net.
2-2, McGregor with his second pic.twitter.com/ywfyZhrp8k— goal for celtic (@goalforceltic) September 30, 2017
Celtic then went for the winner, and were denied what seemed like a blatant penalty when Ambrose pulled Sinclair’s shirt in the box. Willie ‘eccentric’ Collum seemed to allow advantage as Sinclair got his shot away which was saved...which was certainly an ‘interesting’ decision. See for yourself below.
This sums Willie Collum up. First blatant pulling back, no penalty. Second the smallest of pulls, free kick. pic.twitter.com/3Xns5FHrbF— CelticLisboa (@CelticLisboa) September 30, 2017
The game ended 2-2, and after a busy week Celtic remain unbeaten and top of the league on goal difference ahead of Aberdeen. Brendan Rodgers will be delighted with the fight shown to get the equaliser, but the second-half performance was a concern as we fell right out of the game, Wednesday night must have taken it’s toll.
We really missed the injured Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham didn’t fare well as his replacement, whilst Moussa Dembele still looks well short of match fitness. Thankfully Callum McGregor had another great game, and surely he will get called up by Gordon Strachan for Scotland.
As for our old mate Neil Lennon, he got a good reception as expected, and today’s result ensures that next month’s Betfred Cup semi-final between the sides should be an intriguing game.