Match ends, Celtic 2, Partick Thistle 0.
Celtic 2-0 Partick Thistle
Celtic maintained their lead at the top of the Premiership with a one-sided win at home to 10-man Partick Thistle.
Kris Commons converted a penalty just before the interval after James Craigen had been dismissed for a foul on Stuart Armstrong.
Stefan Johansen added a fine finish, running on to a John Guidetti flick.
The hosts spurned several opportunities to add to their lead but will be satisfied to remain seven points clear of nearest challengers Aberdeen.
With Scott Brown missing through suspension, Johansen captained the hosts and was a blur of industry in yet another impressive display.
The Norway international popped up all over the park, closing down opponents as well as prompting attacks and was unlucky not to add to his tally.
Thistle grafted hard in the face of wave after wave of attacks but lacked an out-ball to relieve the pressure and this loss leaves them just four points above the relegation play-off spot.
Celtic hit the frame of the goal inside the first minute when Virgil Van Dijk diverted a low, driven delivery from Armstrong up on to the crossbar from six yards.
Moments later, Johansen cut through the visiting defence and it needed a fantastic sliding tackle from Conrad Balatoni to block the midfielder's shot.
Balatoni denied another certain goal when he beat Guidetti to the jump in front of an unguarded net.
And a hat-trick of heroics from the Jags defender was complete when he got in the way of a Gary Mackay-Steven strike inside the penalty box.
Partick Thistle have not scored against Celtic in four meetings this season but came close on 21 minutes when lone striker Kallum Higginbotham connected with a Steven Lawless cross from the left and his volley was smartly pushed away by Craig Gordon.
Commons fired a shot over from long range but Celtic chances were drying up in the face of obdurate resistance from the well-drilled visitors.
However, the Maryhill side's good work was undone on the stroke of half-time when Armstrong ran on to a lovely return pass from Guidetti and was hauled down by a stretching Craigen near the penalty spot.
The Jags midfielder was sent off and Commons smashed the ball low into the corner from the spot-kick.
Fox made a good sprawling save to keep out a fierce strike from Commons after the break and the depleted visitors were hanging in doggedly as Celtic lost focus for a spell.
But the home advantage was doubled when Guidetti provided a clever assist.
This time the burly Swede was picked out by Johansen and the Norwegian was rewarded with a neat flick back into his path, allowing him to lash the ball low into the corner.
Fox stuck out a foot to prevent substitute James Forrest's angled shot finding the net and Armstrong had an effort deflected over as more and more gaps appeared in the overworked Thistle defence.
The closing 10 minutes were full of flicks and tricks from the cruising hosts as another replacement, Leigh Griffiths, somehow stabbed the ball wide from close range and Fox managed to direct a chipped effort from Johansen over the top.
Despite being inactive for long periods, Gordon showed why he will rival Johansen for the end-of-season awards when he dived full-length to deny Gary Fraser.
- 2MatthewsSubstituted forFisherat 66'minutes
- 5van Dijk
- 15CommonsSubstituted forForrestat 66'minutes
- 9GuidettiSubstituted forGriffithsat 75'minutes
- 7CraigenBooked at 44mins
- 8BanniganSubstituted forFraserat 77'minutes
- 11LawlessSubstituted forMcDaidat 58'minutes
- 10StevensonSubstituted forTaylorat 55'minutes
- William Collum
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Celtic 2, Partick Thistle 0.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Scott Fox.
Attempt saved. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt saved. Gary Fraser (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.
Attempt saved. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right.
Substitution, Partick Thistle. Gary Fraser replaces Stuart Bannigan.
Foul by Stefan Johansen (Celtic).
Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Celtic. Leigh Griffiths replaces John Guidetti.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Stuart Bannigan.
Attempt blocked. Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Darnell Fisher (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Stuart Bannigan (Partick Thistle).
Attempt blocked. Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle).
Attempt missed. Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.
Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Abdul Osman (Partick Thistle).
Attempt saved. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Substitution, Celtic. James Forrest replaces Kris Commons.
Substitution, Celtic. Darnell Fisher replaces Adam Matthews.
Goal! Celtic 2, Partick Thistle 0. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by John Guidetti.
Foul by Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle).
Jason Denayer (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Abdul Osman (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Nir Bitton.
Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Celtic).
Substitution, Partick Thistle. Declan McDaid replaces Steven Lawless.
Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).
Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Partick Thistle. Lyle Taylor replaces Ryan Stevenson.
Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic).
Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.
Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Adam Matthews.