Scottish Premiership: Celtic 1-0 Hibernian

Celtic began the process of erasing the disappointment of their Champions League humbling by Barcelona with another domestic victory.

It was a much less emphatic win than their last two in the league, but on balance a deserved one.

The only goal came from Teemu Pukki, one of the players who had looked most out of his depth in Camp Nou.

Hibs were always in the match, but the closest they came to an equaliser was a Liam Craig effort that hit the post.

The result maintains Celtic's unbeaten domestic run this season and keeps their seemingly inevitable title defence on course.

The goal that secured another three points for the champions was impressively executed.

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Interview - Celtic boss Neil Lennon

Scott Brown, looking like a player with something to prove, picked out an excellent pass to find Joe Ledley inside the penalty area and the Welshman's first-time cross was cutely turned into the net by Pukki.

Though Celtic dominated in terms of chances created, Hibs passed up a glorious one to equalise.

Craig found time and space inside Celtic's penalty area and though he might consider himself unfortunate to see his shot come off the inside of the post, Paul Cairney really should have bundled the rebound over the line and only he will know how he failed to do so.

Both sides had taken some time to settle, understandable given the conditions.

Pukki's strike was really the first test of Ben Williams, who subsequently had to produce a fabulous save to keep the deficit at just one, sprawling high to his right to push Anthony Stokes's powerful left-foot drive away.

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Interview - Hibs boss Terry Butcher

If that was outstanding from Williams, his next intervention was bizarre and almost very costly as he misjudged a ball fizzed in from the left by Ledley and the keeper could consider himself fortunate to see it come off his heel and head behind.

Hibs' only shot on target in that first period came in its final moments, but it might have brought them the equaliser were it not for Fraser Forster getting down low to tip Scott Robertson's drive away.

The visitors created another terrific opening within seconds of the restart, but Danny Handling's composure deserted him with only Forster to beat and the striker blazed over the bar.

If the first half had been short on chances, the second was very different.

The opportunities fell principally to Neil Lennon's side, with Brown and Commons both having shots saved early in the half, but a right-foot effort from outside the box by Craig flew just wide to send a warning across the Celtic defence's bows.

Still, Celtic looked the more likely to score again and Stokes almost rounded off a fabulous passing move when his shot was deflected, but Williams reacted well to keep it out, as he did with another Commons effort shortly afterwards.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Celtic1512302439
2Inverness CT1510231232
3Dundee Utd168532129
4Aberdeen169251029
5Motherwell16916-628
6St Johnstone15636521
7Hibernian16457-617
8St Mirren15447-916
9Partick Thistle15357-1214
10Kilmarnock163310-1112
11Ross County153210-1411
12Hearts163310-14-3
View full Scottish Premiership table

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