Scottish Premiership
CelticCeltic4KilmarnockKilmarnock1

Celtic 4-1 Kilmarnock

  • Leigh Griffiths scores second-half hat-trick
  • Kris Commons cancels out Darryl Westlake opener
  • Celtic move eight points clear at top of table

Leigh Griffiths came off the bench to score a hat-trick as Celtic saw off Kilmarnock to move eight points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Darryl Westlake had shocked Celtic Park with his first goal for Kilmarnock, a thumping shot from outside the box that deflected past Craig Gordon.

Kris Commons soon restored parity before Griffiths headed Celtic in front.

As Kilmarnock's defence opened up, Griffiths added two more late on.

The three points provide another big step towards the league title for Ronny Deila's men, with three more wins guaranteeing the title.

It also boosts hopes of a domestic treble and, with Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in mind, Deila made four changes.

They did not affect Celtic's fluency in the early stages with relentless pressure, but Kilmarnock goalkeeper Craig Samson was largely untroubled, a wasted John Guidetti free-kick the best the hosts could muster.

Virgil van Dijk rose unchallenged to meet a driven Commons corner in a move straight off the training ground, but Celtic's Dutch defender could not direct his header on target.

Guidetti was guilty of passing up a chance when he tried to be too fancy instead of shooting first time and James Forrest eventually curled the lay-off wide.

Celtic needed to up the pace in the second half, but it was Kilmarnock who hit them with a sucker punch.

Westlake hit a shot from outside the area that took a large deflection off a Celtic defender and looped over Gordon to give the Ayrshire men the lead.

Kilmarnock players celebrate after Darryl Westlake gave them the lead
Kilmarnock players celebrate after Darryl Westlake gave them the lead

However, Celtic were soon level. Sammy Clingan could not get the ball cleared and Adam Matthews fed Commons, who fired a left-foot shot into the top corner.

Falling behind at home had woken the hosts up and it was not long until it was 2-1.

Griffiths arrived on the scene at the half-hour mark and he made a stunning impact.

First, Commons got to the bye-line and chipped into the box for Griffiths, who had a simple header past Samson.

Then Griffiths fired a low shot that spun off the post and over the line.

Scotland goalkeeper Gordon still had work to do at then other end, pulling off a great save to deny Nathan Eccleston.

It was at the back where the visitors needed to be strong, however, as their early defensive prowess was being undone.

Griffiths completed his hat-trick after he burst in behind the defence and added a cool finish.

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 26Gordon
  • 2Matthews
  • 22Denayer
  • 5van Dijk
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 8Brown
  • 6Bitton
  • 15CommonsSubstituted forArmstrongat 81'minutes
  • 25JohansenSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 82'minutes
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forGriffithsat 61'minutes
  • 9Guidetti

Substitutes

  • 4Ambrose
  • 10Stokes
  • 14Armstrong
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 24Zaluska
  • 28Griffiths
  • 42McGregor

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Samson
  • 26O'Hara
  • 18Ashcroft
  • 36Syme
  • 22Westlake
  • 11CairneySubstituted forEcclestonat 81'minutes
  • 19Slater
  • 8Clingan
  • 16Obadeyi
  • 28MagennisSubstituted forMcKenzieat 74'minutes
  • 9Miller

Substitutes

  • 2Barbour
  • 7McKenzie
  • 10Johnston
  • 13Brennan
  • 14Eccleston
  • 20Eremenko
  • 30Kiltie
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
42,464

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home73%
Away27%
Shots
Home18
Away2
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away1
Fouls
Home7
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 4, Kilmarnock 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 4, Kilmarnock 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic).

  4. Post update

    Tope Obadeyi (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. John Guidetti (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  6. Post update

    Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Mark O'Hara (Kilmarnock).

  8. Post update

    Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

  10. Post update

    Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Celtic).

  11. Post update

    Lee Miller (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Celtic 4, Kilmarnock 1. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Virgil van Dijk.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Craig Gordon.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Nathan Eccleston (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Gary Mackay-Steven replaces Stefan Johansen.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Stuart Armstrong replaces Kris Commons.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Nathan Eccleston replaces Paul Cairney.

  18. Goal!

    Goal! Celtic 3, Kilmarnock 1. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Scott Brown.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.

  20. Post update

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

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic22163343123151
2Aberdeen23153537211648
3Inverness CT24153635221348
4Dundee Utd23143646301645
5Hamilton2512493932740
6St Johnstone24104102125-434
7Dundee258983738-133
8Kilmarnock2384112330-728
9Partick Thistle2367103228425
10St Mirren2553172041-2118
11Motherwell2453161646-3018
12Ross County2326152145-2412
View full Scottish Premiership table

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