Scottish Premiership
CelticCeltic4Inverness CTInverness Caledonian Thistle2

Celtic 4-2 Inverness CT

By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland

Celtic's commanding performance was enough to dismantle the resolve of Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The champions established a four-goal lead, with Mikael Lustig and Leigh Griffiths both scoring headers in the opening half.

Stuart Armstrong then struck twice after the interval to cap another impressive display.

Celtic will be concerned, though, by late slackness that allowed Ryan Christie and Dani Lopez to score.

The home side's control was immediately asserted and the onus for Inverness was to try to restrain them.

The visitors were organised and industrious, but a rearranged defence was vulnerable to cross balls and Celtic took full advantage.

They established a two-goal lead in four minutes, with Lustig heading Stefan Johansen's free-kick past Owain Fon Williams, the Inverness goalkeeper.

The next cross came from the left, where the excellent Nir Bitton showed neat footwork to make space before delivering the ball to the back post, where Griffiths rose highest to head into the corner.

It was chastening for Inverness since Celtic were creating chances at will and the home side should have scored a third, with Johansen's shot pushed away by Fon Williams and then Armstrong's shot from the rebound cleared off the line by Ross Draper.

With Scott Brown prominent in central midfield - a typically strong and driving performance - there were passages of play in which every player but Craig Gordon, the Celtic goalkeeper, was in the Inverness half.

Celtic's Leigh Griffiths and Mikael Lustig celebrate
Griffiths and Lustig put Celtic in control with two early goals against Inverness Caley Thistle

Even a crowded defence could barely keep Celtic at bay, with Emilio Izaguirre delivering an outstanding through ball between the Inverness centre-backs for Griffiths, whose shot was blocked by Fon Williams.

The visitors never lost heart and Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo hit one shot from distance that Gordon had to tip over.

That was a rare foray upfield, though, and the pattern was repeated at least at the outset of the second-half.

Inverness's defence remained deeply vulnerable and Celtic added to their lead with relative ease. Armstrong had too much time and space inside the area to measure a curling shot over Fon Williams.

The midfielder took advantage again when Danny Devine tried to pass the ball out of defence but instead sent it straight to Armstrong, who skipped past two challenges before shooting past the goalkeeper.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila made a series of substitutes to keep his key players fresh for the visit of Malmo in the Champions League on Wednesday, but the consequence was an element of carelessness entering Celtic's play.

It might have been the changes in personnel, or complacency due to the four-goal lead, but Celtic were twice caught out by their own poor play.

First, they surrendered possession in their own half to Nat Wedderburn, who played in Christie and his shot flashed past Gordon.

Then similar uncertainty in defence allowed the ball to reach Inverness substitute Lopez on the edge of the area and he steered his effort past Gordon.

The late goals by Inverness were an irritant to Celtic, but otherwise it was a solid performance, and the fans were lifted even before kick-off with new signing Scott Allan being introduced to the crowd.

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Gordon
  • 23LustigSubstituted forJankoat 62'minutes
  • 20Boyata
  • 5van Dijk
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 6BittonBooked at 79mins
  • 8BrownBooked at 47minsSubstituted forMulgrewat 62'minutes
  • 16Mackay-StevenBooked at 85mins
  • 25Johansen
  • 14ArmstrongSubstituted forMcGregorat 70'minutes
  • 9GriffithsBooked at 72mins

Substitutes

  • 10Stokes
  • 18Rogic
  • 21Mulgrew
  • 22Janko
  • 26Bailly
  • 42McGregor
  • 49Forrest

Inverness CT

Formation 4-3-3

  • 25Fon Williams
  • 2Raven
  • 14Devine
  • 8DraperBooked at 15mins
  • 3TremarcoBooked at 26minsSubstituted forLopez Roblesat 67'minutes
  • 16Tansey
  • 27VigursSubstituted forWedderburnat 68'minutes
  • 20PolworthSubstituted forChristieat 49'minutes
  • 17Horner
  • 28Mbuyi-Mutombo
  • 19Williams

Substitutes

  • 1Esson
  • 7Lopez Robles
  • 15Wedderburn
  • 22Christie
  • 34Brown
  • 37Sutherland
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
42,727

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamInverness CT
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home15
Away9
Shots on Target
Home8
Away5
Corners
Home10
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 4, Inverness CT 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 4, Inverness CT 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Danny Williams (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Saidy Janko.

  7. Booking

    Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic).

  9. Post update

    Ryan Christie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by David Raven.

  11. Booking

    Nir Bitton (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

  13. Post update

    Dani López (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Goal!

    Goal! Celtic 4, Inverness CT 2. Dani López (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ryan Christie.

  15. Post update

    Saidy Janko (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo (Inverness CT).

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  18. Booking

    Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

  20. Post update

    Danny Williams (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.