Hibs 0-1 Celtic

Last updated : 18 September 2005 By Kevin Smith

A Stan Petrov goal in the sixth minute of the match gave Celtic three points today, in a difficult game against Hibs at Easter Road. Celtic currently sit in second place in the SPL, still five points behind Hearts and three ahead of Rangers.

Hibs at Easter Road is a difficult fixture and to come away with three points and a clean sheet today is a pretty decent achievement. In spells we played some neat passing football, frustrating the home side and patiently building up attacks. In the end we held on and there were a few early moments but Petrov’s early goal was exactly what we needed and overall the team performed well.

Celts took to the field in the new black away kit, which is an absolute cracker. It’s just a pity we’ll only be wearing it once more all season! Gordon Strachan fielded the same side as last week, and despite rumours prior to the game, there was no place in the squad for either Chris Sutton or Didier Agathe.

The goal was orchestrated by Shunsuke Nakamura, who is looking more and more comfortable on the ball. The Japanese Bhoy spotted a gap in the Hibs defence and slotted a neat pass through to Stan Petrov, who grabbed his second goal in as many games.

An early lead settled Celtic and confidence looked high amongst the visitors. We are gradually becoming what appears to be a decent footballing side.

John Hartson should have done better with a shot which was well set up by Petrov, but it turned out to be a frustrating day for the big striker.

Hibs striker Ivan Sproule felt he should have had a penalty close to half time, when he was involved in a challenge with Bobo Balde, though the referee called it right by waving play on.

In the second half, Nakamura came inches from adding to Petrov’s goal with a free kick which rebounded off the Hibs post.

Alan Thompson, who have having a good game, was replaced by Stephen Pearson after 50 minutes, due to an injury. From then on Celtic played more defensively as Hibs pushed for an equaliser.

Midway through the second period, Ivan Sproule was involved in a scuffle with Paul Telfer and both players were lucky to escape an ordering off.

Hibs put us under quite a bit of pressure towards the end of the match, but Celtic held out, with Artur Boruc saving the day in the closing minutes with a fine save, to secure a third clean sheet in a row.

So a good day at the office for Celtic. If Hartson and Zurawski had been on form and Thompson was not substituted, it could have been more, but we’ll settle for 1-0. Next up are Inverness at Celtic Park, while the other two meet at Tynecastle. Should be an interesting weekend then.

Come On The Hoops Man Of The Match:
Artur Boruc