Scottish Premiership
Ross County0Celtic1

Ross County 0-1 Celtic

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Highlights: Ross County 0-1 Celtic

Celtic extended their record unbeaten domestic run to 64 games after an outstanding Leigh Griffiths free-kick broke Ross County's resolve.

The substitute struck with 12 minutes remaining, sweeping the ball into the top corner from 25 yards out.

Celtic needed a moment of individual poise to secure the victory, since County were dogged and well-organised throughout.

Another substitute, Olivier Ntcham, hit the post as County's intensity flagged.

The Premiership leaders dominated possession, only to see their attacks break down in the final third, in part through County's pressing and sound defending, but also through poor decision making and a lacklustre display by Moussa Dembele.

The visitors ought, though, to have been awarded a penalty in the first half, when Christopher Routis kicked Callum McGregor's foot onto the ball inside the area, but referee Nick Walsh thought the defender had cleared with a clean tackle.

Ross County also claimed for a spot-kick in injury time as the ball brushed Dedryck Boyata's arm from a long throw.

Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor and Ross County defender Christopher Routis
Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor was denied a penalty despite his foot being clipped by Ross County defender Christopher Routis

Individual moments stood out, since the majority of the game was a grind of relentless effort with little sophistication.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers selected his strongest starting line-up, even though there is a Champions League assignment in Paris on Wednesday, but his leading players tended to run aground against County's impressive work-rate.

Dembele, Scott Sinclair and James Forrest were subdued, but it is a measure of the defending champions' strength that the two substitutes made such an impressive impact.

There was slackness in some of Celtic's lengthy spells of possession, and the first opportunity of the game came when Michael Gardyne intercepted a pass in midfield and played in Davis Keillor-Dunne, who swept a shot over the bar.

Celtic attacker Scott Sinclair and Ross County defender Jason Naismith
Celtic attacker Scott Sinclair was kept quiet throughout the game by Ross County defender Jason Naismith

County were the last side to stop Celtic winning an away fixture in the league - holding Rodgers' side to a 2-2 draw last season - and goalkeeper Aaron McCarey showed confident handling to gather high balls under pressure.

Even so, Celtic were aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty when McGregor burrowed his way through a crowd inside the area only to have his foot clipped by Routis.

The first shot on target did not come until the 55th minute, when McCarey comfortably saved Dembele's tame effort. Routis then saw a free-kick from distance saved by Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

As Rodgers pursued the victory, he withdrew the midfielder McGregor for Griffiths, who joined Dembele up front. Celtic were eventually rewarded for their patience and for commitment to a structured game plan.

Sinclair volleyed high and wide from inside the area, while County's best hope came when Ryan Dow missed his header from a long throw and the ball brushed against Boyata's arm, but there was to be no reward for their endeavour.

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths
Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths came off the bench to score his fifth league goal of the season

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 31McCarey
  • 3Naismith
  • 2Fraser
  • 15Davies
  • 6KellyBooked at 88mins
  • 7GardyneBooked at 42mins
  • 17Draper
  • 25O'BrienBooked at 77minsSubstituted forMikkelsenat 82'minutes
  • 4Routis
  • 11CurranSubstituted forSchalkat 62'minutes
  • 40Keillor-DunnSubstituted forDowat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Chow
  • 9Dow
  • 10Schalk
  • 19Mikkelsen
  • 22Mckay
  • 28van der Weg
  • 51Munro

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23Lustig
  • 6Bitton
  • 20BoyataBooked at 45mins
  • 63TierneyBooked at 66mins
  • 8Brown
  • 14Armstrong
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forGriffithsat 69'minutes
  • 42McGregorSubstituted forHayesat 65'minutes
  • 11Sinclair
  • 10DembeleSubstituted forNtchamat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Simunovic
  • 9Griffiths
  • 15Hayes
  • 21Ntcham
  • 22Edouard
  • 24de Vries
  • 88Kouassi
Referee:
Nick Walsh
Attendance:
6,590

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home34%
Away66%
Shots
Home5
Away10
Shots on Target
Home1
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away11
Fouls
Home10
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 0, Celtic 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 0, Celtic 1.

Attempt saved. Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

Marcus Fraser (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Jonny Hayes (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ryan Dow (Ross County).

Booking

Sean Kelly (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jonny Hayes (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sean Kelly (Ross County).

Attempt missed. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Ryan Dow replaces Davis Keillor-Dunn.

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

Foul by Christopher Routis (Ross County).

Attempt missed. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Aaron McCarey.

Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.

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

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Thomas Mikkelsen replaces Jim O'Brien.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Olivier Ntcham replaces Moussa Dembele.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 0, Celtic 1. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

Booking

Jim O'Brien (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Jim O'Brien (Ross County).

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ross Draper (Ross County).

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Andrew Davies.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Andrew Davies.

Attempt missed. Jim O'Brien (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Nir Bitton.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Leigh Griffiths replaces James Forrest because of an injury.

Booking

Kieran Tierney (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Jonny Hayes replaces James Forrest.

Attempt missed. Alex Schalk (Ross County) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Christopher Routis (Ross County) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Alex Schalk replaces Craig Curran.

Attempt missed. Scott Brown (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic1310303062433
2Aberdeen138322014627
3Hibernian147432216625
4Rangers1373327151224
5Motherwell137152015522
6St Johnstone145361521-618
7Hamilton144372124-315
8Hearts134361217-515
9Ross County144281422-814
10Kilmarnock142661119-812
11Partick Thistle132471122-1110
12Dundee142391325-129
View full Scottish Premiership table

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