Scottish Premiership
Partick Thistle1Celtic2

Partick Thistle 1-2 Celtic

Callum McGregor runs off to celebrate Celtic's second goal
Callum McGregor runs off to celebrate Celtic's second goal

Two goals in nine minutes either side of the interval gave leaders Celtic victory against Partick Thistle as they stay one point clear of Aberdeen.

Leigh Griffiths scored his 35th of the season just before half-time and Callum McGregor struck soon after the restart.

Sean Welsh pulled a goal back for the hosts with a penalty six minutes from time after Erik Sviatchenko was harshly done for dragging back Steven Lawless.

Celtic saw out some nervy minutes for their first win in three league games.

This game was open from the start. In the opening 10 minutes, Griffiths and Gary Mackay-Steven both went close to scoring, followed soon after by Liam Lindsay's thumping hit that Craig Gordon beat away.

Leigh Griffiths scores Celtic's opener just before half-time, his 35th goal of the season
Leigh Griffiths scores Celtic's opener just before half-time, his 35th goal of the season

Celtic had most efforts on goal in the opening half - eight to Thistle's three - and it was the last of them that proved the most telling.

Alan Archibald, Thistle's manager, would have been relatively happy with his team in the minutes leading up to the break. They had soaked up the pressure but had also threatened a few times down the other end. Parity at half-time would have done him nicely, but it was not to be.

The goal had its origins in hard work by Kieran Tierney and Mackay-Steven up the left. When the midfielder swung in his cross, Thistle lost their defensive bearings and allowed Griffiths to take over.

He controlled the ball with his first touch. As his markers evaporated, Griffiths struck his shot low past Tomas Cerny. The goalkeeper got a hand to it but could not keep it out. Yet again, Celtic's arch-marksman had done the job.

Sean Welsh slots home a penalty to spark hopes of a Thistle comeback
Sean Welsh slots home a penalty to spark hopes of a Thistle comeback

It was his eighth goal in eight games in a season that could well see him hit the precious half-century if he keeps going at his current rate.

The second half was only nine minutes old when they doubled their lead, McGregor coming in from the right-hand side of Thistle's penalty area and drilling a shot into the far corner of Cerny's net.

Griffiths could - and should - have had a second midway through the second half, but Cerny won the one-on-one battle. Colin Kazim-Richards, a second-half replacement for Kris Commons, got on the breaking ball but put a tame effort wide.

Jags on the spot
Partick Thistle's penalty was their first in 69 matches and the first they have successfully converted since February 2014, 86 games ago.

Later, the substitute set himself up with a chance, but that one went wide, too. Nir Bitton missed an easy chance also. None of these misses looked like they would have any relevance until that late penalty which could, at first viewing, could be categorised as the softest of the soft.

Welsh sent Gordon the wrong way from the spot and, suddenly, a cruise had become a bit of a bumpy ride. Celtic would have been feeling a tad queasy at the end of it, but they deserved their win.

It did not cost them, but they will ponder their profligacy all the same.

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 1Cerny
  • 2MillerBooked at 29mins
  • 17Lindsay
  • 3Seaborne
  • 5Booth
  • 6Osman
  • 4Welsh
  • 7AmooBooked at 25mins
  • 22FraserSubstituted forElliottat 71'minutes
  • 11LawlessSubstituted forEdwardsat 85'minutes
  • 9DoolanSubstituted forPogbaat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10German
  • 12Scully
  • 13Frans
  • 14Elliott
  • 18Wilson
  • 19Edwards
  • 99Pogba

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23Lustig
  • 28SviatchenkoBooked at 84mins
  • 21Mulgrew
  • 63Tierney
  • 8BrownBooked at 78mins
  • 6BittonBooked at 90mins
  • 42McGregor
  • 15CommonsSubstituted forKazim-Richardsat 67'minutes
  • 16Mackay-StevenSubstituted forAmbroseat 90+2'minutes
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forArmstrongat 89'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Ambrose
  • 13Kazim-Richards
  • 14Armstrong
  • 18Rogic
  • 27Roberts
  • 38Fasan
  • 49Forrest
Referee:
Stephen Finnie
Attendance:
7,238

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home7
Away15
Shots on Target
Home4
Away8
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Partick Thistle 1, Celtic 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 1, Celtic 2.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Liam Lindsay.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Efe Ambrose replaces Gary Mackay-Steven.

Foul by Mathias Pogba (Partick Thistle).

Nir Bitton (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic).

Booking

Nir Bitton (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Mathias Pogba (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Stuart Armstrong replaces Leigh Griffiths because of an injury.

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

Foul by Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle).

Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Ryan Edwards replaces Steven Lawless.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 1, Celtic 2. Sean Welsh (Partick Thistle) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Booking

Erik Sviatchenko (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Penalty Partick Thistle. Steven Lawless draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Erik Sviatchenko (Celtic) after a foul in the penalty area.

Attempt saved. Nir Bitton (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Colin Kazim-Richards (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

Booking

Scott Brown (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

David Amoo (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

Attempt missed. Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic).

Attempt missed. Colin Kazim-Richards (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Christie Elliott replaces Gary Fraser.

Foul by Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle).

Mikael Lustig (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sean Welsh (Partick Thistle).

Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Colin Kazim-Richards (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Colin Kazim-Richards replaces Kris Commons.

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

Gary Fraser (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic29206372234966
2Aberdeen30205551321965
3Hearts29168551262556
4Ross County29123144446-239
5St Johnstone29116124446-239
6Motherwell30115143645-938
7Dundee2981294043-336
8Partick Thistle2997132937-834
9Inverness CT2989123441-733
10Hamilton3089133349-1633
11Kilmarnock3077163053-2328
12Dundee Utd2955193053-2320
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories