Hibernian 1-1 Celtic

James Forrest's stunning equaliser against tenacious Hibernian prevented stuttering Celtic suffering their first domestic defeat of the season.

Celtic were left angry as Paul Heffernan fired the 18th-minute opener after a rebound fell to the striker in an offside position.

The Premiership leaders struggled to break down an Edinburgh side who were mainly operating on the break.

But Forrest's beautiful curling drive levelled the game with 13 minutes left.

It was a cruel moment for Hibs, who have now only lost once in their last nine games, as they had been reduced to 10 men at the time with Ryan McGivern off the field receiving treatment.

However, Celtic deserved at least a point despite being far below their best with perhaps one collective eye on Tuesday's Champions League visit by Ajax.

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Interview - Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon

The big talking point at kick-off was the Celtic debut handed to Darnell Fisher, the 19-year-old Englishman who signed in 2011 after leaving Farnborough covering at right-back in the absence of injured duo Adam Matthews and Mikael Lustig.

A virus picked up on international duty meant Emilio Izaguirre was missing from the other side of defence, with Charlie Mulgrew dropping back to cover and Beram Kayal coming into midfield.

Izaguirre and Lustig are expected to be fit for a midweek return, but Fisher did not look out of place as he slotted in comfortably and impressively into the Celtic system as the visitors enjoyed more of the early possession.

Paul Heffernan and Scott Robertson celebrate
Heffernan (left) opened the scoring for Hibs at Easter Road

Hibs manager Pat Fenlon had changed his formation to one up front, with James Collins dropping to the bench, and the home side had rarely been seen as an attacking force by the time they took a controversial lead.

Kevin Thomson won a tackle with Scotland team-mate Scott Brown, the man with whom he made his Hibs debut in 2003, after a poor clearance by Virgil van Dijk.

As the ball broke forward, the lonesome Heffernan was a yard offside behind the Celtic defence before firing under the advancing Fraser Forster and into the net.

Celtic had themselves been restricted to a couple of Kris Commons half chances until then, but he should have equalised when a precise Van Dijk long ball found the winger behind the defence only for his chip over Ben Williams to find the roof of the net.

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Interview - Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Fit-again Georgios Samaras fired straight at the legs of Williams from 16 yards before Celtic lost the services of the influential Commons to what looked like a hamstring injury after 27 minutes.

A rush of blood to Williams' head allowed substitute Forrest to round the goalkeeper and set up Teemu Pukki in front of goal, but the Finland striker hesitated as McGivern blocked the low effort.

Williams redeemed himself with fine saves to deny Kayal and Anthony Stokes as Celtic came out after the break in more determined mood.

Hibs settled and grew in confidence inspired by a bit of trickery from on-loan Istres winger Abdellah Zoubir, who had been given his first league start, and a shot from Liam Craig tested Forster.

However, Forrest ghosted past stand-in full-back Craig before curling a drive with the outside of his foot inside the far post and the Scotland winger was denied a late second by another wonderful Williams save.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Celtic97201223
2Inverness CT9612719
3Motherwell10613119
4Aberdeen10523417
5Hibernian10433015
6Dundee Utd10343413
7St Johnstone10334212
8Partick Thistle9243-210
9Ross County10316-810
10St Mirren9225-78
11Kilmarnock10136-66
12Hearts10226-7-7
View full Scottish Premiership table

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