Scottish Premiership
Partick ThistlePartick Thistle1CelticCeltic2

Partick Thistle 1-2 Celtic

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland at Firhill
Callum McGregor runs off to celebrate Celtic's second goal
Callum McGregor runs off to celebrate Celtic's second goal

Two goals in nine minutes either side of the interval gave leaders Celtic victory against Partick Thistle as they stay one point clear of Aberdeen.

Leigh Griffiths scored his 35th of the season just before half-time and Callum McGregor struck soon after the restart.

Sean Welsh pulled a goal back for the hosts with a penalty six minutes from time after Erik Sviatchenko was harshly done for dragging back Steven Lawless.

Celtic saw out some nervy minutes for their first win in three league games.

This game was open from the start. In the opening 10 minutes, Griffiths and Gary Mackay-Steven both went close to scoring, followed soon after by Liam Lindsay's thumping hit that Craig Gordon beat away.

Leigh Griffiths scores Celtic's opener just before half-time, his 35th goal of the season
Leigh Griffiths scores Celtic's opener just before half-time, his 35th goal of the season

Celtic had most efforts on goal in the opening half - eight to Thistle's three - and it was the last of them that proved the most telling.

Alan Archibald, Thistle's manager, would have been relatively happy with his team in the minutes leading up to the break. They had soaked up the pressure but had also threatened a few times down the other end. Parity at half-time would have done him nicely, but it was not to be.

The goal had its origins in hard work by Kieran Tierney and Mackay-Steven up the left. When the midfielder swung in his cross, Thistle lost their defensive bearings and allowed Griffiths to take over.

He controlled the ball with his first touch. As his markers evaporated, Griffiths struck his shot low past Tomas Cerny. The goalkeeper got a hand to it but could not keep it out. Yet again, Celtic's arch-marksman had done the job.

Sean Welsh slots home a penalty to spark hopes of a Thistle comeback
Sean Welsh slots home a penalty to spark hopes of a Thistle comeback

It was his eighth goal in eight games in a season that could well see him hit the precious half-century if he keeps going at his current rate.

The second half was only nine minutes old when they doubled their lead, McGregor coming in from the right-hand side of Thistle's penalty area and drilling a shot into the far corner of Cerny's net.

Griffiths could - and should - have had a second midway through the second half, but Cerny won the one-on-one battle. Colin Kazim-Richards, a second-half replacement for Kris Commons, got on the breaking ball but put a tame effort wide.

Jags on the spot
Partick Thistle's penalty was their first in 69 matches and the first they have successfully converted since February 2014, 86 games ago.

Later, the substitute set himself up with a chance, but that one went wide, too. Nir Bitton missed an easy chance also. None of these misses looked like they would have any relevance until that late penalty which could, at first viewing, could be categorised as the softest of the soft.

Welsh sent Gordon the wrong way from the spot and, suddenly, a cruise had become a bit of a bumpy ride. Celtic would have been feeling a tad queasy at the end of it, but they deserved their win.

It did not cost them, but they will ponder their profligacy all the same.


Partick Thistle

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Cerny
  • 2MillerBooked at 29mins
  • 17Lindsay
  • 3Seaborne
  • 5Booth
  • 6Osman
  • 4Welsh
  • 7AmooBooked at 25mins
  • 22FraserSubstituted forElliottat 71'minutes
  • 11LawlessSubstituted forEdwardsat 85'minutes
  • 9DoolanSubstituted forPogbaat 60'minutes


  • 10German
  • 12Scully
  • 13Frans
  • 14Elliott
  • 18Wilson
  • 19Edwards
  • 99Pogba


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Gordon
  • 23Lustig
  • 28SviatchenkoBooked at 84mins
  • 21Mulgrew
  • 63Tierney
  • 8BrownBooked at 78mins
  • 6BittonBooked at 90mins
  • 42McGregor
  • 15CommonsSubstituted forKazim-Richardsat 67'minutes
  • 16Mackay-StevenSubstituted forAmbroseat 90+2'minutes
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forS Armstrongat 89'minutes


  • 4Ambrose
  • 13Kazim-Richards
  • 14S Armstrong
  • 18Rogic
  • 27Roberts
  • 38Fasan
  • 49Forrest
Stephen Finnie

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamCeltic
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Partick Thistle 1, Celtic 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 1, Celtic 2.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Liam Lindsay.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Efe Ambrose replaces Gary Mackay-Steven.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Mathias Pogba (Partick Thistle).

  6. Post update

    Nir Bitton (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic).

  9. Booking

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

  10. Post update

    Mathias Pogba (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Stuart Armstrong replaces Leigh Griffiths because of an injury.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle).

  15. Post update

    Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. Ryan Edwards replaces Steven Lawless.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Partick Thistle 1, Celtic 2. Sean Welsh (Partick Thistle) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  18. Booking

    Erik Sviatchenko (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

    Penalty Partick Thistle. Steven Lawless draws a foul in the penalty area.

  20. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Erik Sviatchenko (Celtic) after a foul in the penalty area.

As It Stood

4Ross County29123144446-239
5St Johnstone29116124446-239
8Partick Thistle2997132937-834
9Inverness CT2989123441-733
12Dundee Utd2955193053-2320
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories