Partick Thistle 1-2 Celtic

Leaders Celtic continued their unbeaten league run with a lively derby victory over Partick Thistle at Firhill.

Georgios Samaras was left unmarked in the heavy rain to nod home a 34th-minute corner from Emilio Izaguirre.

Scott Fox made two good saves to deny Celtic before the interval and Kris Doolan levelled from close-range after the striker had hit the crossbar.

But Celtic rallied again and substitute Amido Balde coolly fired past Fox for the winner with 15 minutes remaining.

The victory extends Celtic's lead over Aberdeen at the top of the Premiership to six points, while seventh-placed Thistle remain without a league win at home this season.

Anthony Stokes curled a right-footed free-kick wide of the mark in the 14th minute after Celtic skipper Brown had been brought down by Isaac Osbourne on the edge of the Thistle penalty area.

A well-worked move down the right ended with Thistle's Aaron Taylor-Sinclair firing a shot straight into the arms of Celtic keeper Fraser Forster, then a reflex save from Fox kept out a close-range effort from Stokes on the half-hour.

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Interview - Celtic manger Neil Lennon

Thistle's resistance was broken in the 33rd minute when Izaguirre curled in a corner and Samaras was left all alone to score from six yards.

Moments later, Fox turned a Teemu Pukki 18-yard shot around the post and then repeated the feat immediately after Kallum Higginbotham had missed the target at the other end.

Thistle burst out of the blocks after the interval and Stuart Bannigan was denied by Forster with a shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Brown attempted to latch on to another excellent Izaguirre cross inside the Thistle box and the hosts were fortunate that an offside flag meant Conrad Balatoni went unpunished for a tug on the Scotland captain.

A defensive blunder by Efe Ambrose on the hour mark was pounced on by Christie Elliott but the Thistle substitute's shot was charged down and Higginbotham made a mess of the loose ball.

Thistle continued to press and were level after good work from Doolan, who scored both goals in last weekend's win at Inverness CT.

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Interview - Partick Thistle boss Alan Archibald

The striker hit the Celtic crossbar with a hooked effort as the ball broke his way from a corner but he was given a second chance as Higginbotham worked the ball back into a busy penalty box.

Doolan took a touch and calmly steered the ball past Forster from six yards out.

Izaguirre, who suffered a head knock in a brave defensive block, threatened to re-establish Celtic's lead with fine a solo run into the Thistle penalty area, but sent his shot over the crossbar, then Higginbotham was again kept out by Forster.

With 75 minutes gone, Balde, on for Beram Kayal, demonstrated great pace and composure to break free from the halfway line following some slack Thistle passing to fire past Fox and restore the visitors' lead.

Having used all of their substitutes, Celtic were reduced to 10 men in the closing minutes when Samaras suffered a gash on his knee

Thistle continued to press but Neil Lennon's depleted side did a good job of protecting Forster to seal maximum points.

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