Celtic 2-1 Ross County
Last updated on .From the section Football
Reigning champions Celtic came back from behind to beat Ross County in their Scottish Premiership opener.
County's Darren Maatsen shocked Celtic Park with an emphatic early goal from distance.
Hoops' Dutch debutant Derk Boerrigter looked lively before Anthony Stokes levelled from a yard out for the hosts.
Celtic hit the woodwork twice after the break and Stokes was denied a penalty before the striker's late near-post finish clinched three points.
It was so nearly an early dent to the 90-point-total Celtic manager Neil Lennon has set for 2013-14 in the inaugural year of the Scottish Professional Football League's Premiership.
Last season, a tally of 79 points was amassed as the final Scottish Premier League title was secured by Lennon's side, and the champions' flag was unfurled before kick-off.
Eyes focused largely on Dutch debutants with former Ajax winger Boerrigter in the hosts' line-up and Ross County fielding Maatsen and forward Kevin Luckassen.
County were beginning only their second season in Scotland's top flight and a fifth-place finish last time round means hopes are high for the Dingwall side during the new campaign.
Supporters' minds have still to be made up on the reliability of Hoops defender Efe Ambrose and when Ross County's Graham Carey charged down the Nigerian's first minute clearance, hearts were in mouths again.
Early Celtic shakiness gave way to sheer County brilliance when one of their five new players, Maatsen, thumped home a brilliant opening goal off the underside of the crossbar.
Neat play by Carey set up the Dutchman's right-footed smash from the corner of the penalty box.
Boerrigter did his best to give Celtic fans a positive first impression, one header wide and a left-foot shot well saved by County's Mark Brown punctuating a generally lively offering.
Visiting goalkeeper Brown earned further plaudits by beating away Commons' fierce drive but his goal was about to be breached in scrappy style.
Amid shouts for offside, it was Celtic striker Stokes who turned in from a yard after Ledley's effort had been blocked and then Boeriggter's follow-up rebounded off a post.
The Highlanders rarely got out of their own half and what was almost Boeriggter's debut goal became his last contribution when he slid for a cross and fell awkwardly near defender Mihael Kovacevic.
Stokes has shown reluctance to sign a new Celtic contract but was much sprightlier in hitting a snap-shot narrowly wide after the re-start.
Commons continued the one-way traffic by hitting the crossbar and then the midriff of a sprawling Branislav Micic within a four-minute period.
Woodwork was struck again when Ledley's header hit the post as goalkeeper Brown helplessly looked on.
County's rearguard weathered relentless Celtic attacks but when their new defender Brian McLean appeared to push Stokes in the box the whole stadium awaited referee Willie Collum's whistle, which never came.
But Irishman Stokes continued his telepathic passing understanding with Commons until the latter stages, and benefitted from his cute pass to fire in at Brown's near post.
No complaints, but are there any plans for the Beeb to refer to Chris Froome as Kenyan, too?
The write up seems amateur like it was done by your mate. But calling Commons 'the Englishman' after he has played for Scotland must have been deliberate. What is going on BBC. You moderate us but not your writers ?
We're a big club alright. Only Scottish club to have won Europe's premier trophy and we hold the world records for club attendance: 147,000 against Aberdeen (world record for a domestic cup final) and 137,000 against Leeds (largest ever crowd for a European match).
How did your game against Forfar go Jack?
hopefully this 90 mins will give us the game time we needed with the CL looming Wednesday. The Swedes have a huge advantage being mid season.
Doesn't seem like the most important game for Celtic - there's the whole season left to rack up points - but I think it was important for the team's psyche at this stage. It's the first league game of the season and the team are going into the second leg of a hugely important tie.
Well done Celtic.
Exactly Jack; who the hell are Forfar?
Some other questions you should ask include:
Why did SDM spend tenners instead of fivers?
Why did my old club choose to dodge tax through EBTs?
Why did I choose to support a club that's become Scotland's Shame?
I'll tell you what the joke it. People who comment on Scottish football when, by their own admission, they don't have a clue what they are talking about.
Do you not have more pressing matters than worrying about who does and doesn't wear poppies? The war veterens won our freedom which also gives us the right to wear or not to wear a poppy.
Some Celtic fans wear poppies, some don't and an element of the support object to it being displayed on the club jersey due to British mistreatment of the Irish. It's a personal choice and should remain so.
We certainly do need a new striker, but Stokes didn't have a "horrible game". And he didn't 'scuff up a lot of opportunities to set up his team-mates' - that happened once.
After all the chances Celtic created, it was Stokes creating his own opportunity that got us the winning goal in the dying minutes of the game.
He can't replace Hooper but has faced unfair criticism recently.
Celtic, without Rangers, is a gymnast without an accordion.
an unnecessary burden.