Inverness CT 1-3 Celtic

By Martin ConaghanBBC Scotland

Celtic recovered from an early setback to clock up a comfortable win against Caley Thistle in Inverness.

A Nick Ross ninth-minute strike gave the hosts an early lead, but Kris Commons' left-footed curler restored parity 10 minutes later.

Four minutes into the second half, Rami Gershon headed in a Dylan McGeouch cross to put Celtic ahead.

Miku completed the victory for Neil Lennon's with a late strike against the run of play.

The win puts Celtic 18 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League, with Caley Thistle holding on to second place with a match in hand over Celtic.

Gershon and Tom Rogic were handed debuts as Lennon fielded a dramatically-changed side - featuring nine changes - with one eye on the midweek Champions League last 16 clash with Italian giants Juventus.

In contrast, Caley made just one change with midfielder Ross Draper coming in for Richie Foran, who failed to make the squad.

Celtic were on the back foot for most of the opening 10 minutes and Inverness took an early lead when Aaron Doran flighted in a cross from the left that Fraser Forster parried to the feet of Ross who then struck low into the bottom corner.

Lennon's men responded 10 minutes later when Rogic swept past two Caley defenders and cut back for Commons, who wrapped his left foot around the ball and swerved an 18-yard screamer towards the top-left corner of Ryan Esson's goal.

Rogic almost gave Celtic the lead in the 24th minute when Anthony Stokes delivered a reverse-pass on the edge of the D, but the Australian edged his shot over the crossbar.

A Commons free-kick from the edge of the penalty area shortly after the half-hour mark sailed miserably into the back row of the stand, then Stokes claimed for a penalty when his angled drive appeared to rebound off the arm of Josh Meekings, but referee Craig Thomson awarded a corner instead.

As half-time approached, Andrew Shinnie was unlucky to see a mis-cued close-range effort loop over the bar as Caley pushed to re-take the lead.

Following the interval, 19-year-old Joe Chalmers was brought on in place of Commons and almost immediately Caley were claiming a penalty when Dorans' cross appeared to strike the elbow of Marcus Fraser, but, once again, Thomson waved play on.

Celtic quickly moved play to the other end and Gershon nodded in a powerful downwards header from six yards after good work from McGeouch to give Celtic a well-earned lead.

Inverness struggled to regain traction as the visitors began to stamp their authority on the game, and the advantage could have been extended further when Stokes nodded a McGeouch corner off the crossbar on the hour mark.

A good period of pressure followed for Caley when Ross struck for goal and the ball rebounded back out to Billy McKay, but Celtic defender Adam Matthews managed to clear the close-range effort off the goal-line.

Caley continued their hunt for an equaliser, but Celtic completed the victory with seven minutes of regulation time remaining when Miku picked up a pass from Stokes neatly threaded into the Caley penalty area and he calmly slotted past Esson to wrap up all three points.