Hibernian 2-1 Celtic: Best team won, says Brendan Rodgers

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers at Easter Road
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says his team didn't defend well enough and were sluggish in possession

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said "the best team won" after Hibernian's victory postponed his side's title celebrations.

Celtic needed to win at Easter Road to secure their seventh consecutive Premiership crown, but ended up losing 2-1.

"Over the course of the game, Hibs were better than us," Rodgers said.

"They were obviously very intent to not let there be a party for us, as you would expect."

Hibs swarmed all over Celtic from the outset, pressing high and assertively and playing with two strikers as they tried to unsettle the defending champions.

The strategy worked, as the home side carved out the opening goal for Jamie Maclaren, who converted from close range. Celtic tried to regroup at half-time, but the home side extended their lead after the break through substitute Vykintas Slivka.

Odsonne Edouard scored a late consolation, but Celtic were left looking for Aberdeen and Rangers to lose to allow them to secure the title this weekend. Their next opportunity to win the title for themselves would be against Rangers at Celtic Park next weekend.

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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says "the best team won" at Easter Road

"We didn't defend well enough as a team and with the ball we were too slow, the passing, we expected too much time on the ball," Rodgers said.

"We didn't keep the ball for long enough periods in their half. I thought our outstanding player was Tom Rogic. He was the one that played up to form. Unfortunately, Scott Brown has been ill, but he put himself out their to play. You could see it, he thought he was going to be sick towards the end.

"We're fighting to close out the league, it's not done yet. It doesn't matter how we do it [win the league]. If it goes to next weekend, then we'll look to close it out then [at home to Rangers]. That's not in my thoughts now. We need to look at this and see how we can be better."

Hibs manager Neil Lennon described his team's performance as "outstanding", after they had extended their unbeaten run to 10 games and further increased the competition with Rangers and Aberdeen to finish second.

Hibs manager Neil Lennon
Hibs manager Neil Lennon sent his side out to press Celtic "high up the park"

"We've given Celtic four tough games [in the league] and I thought we were well worthy of the win," Lennon said.

"Celtic are a good side and you need to be concentrated and disciplined. We were strong. We wanted to press Celtic high up the park, we didn't want them to dominate the ball like they do against most teams.

"That's as good as we've played all season, when you take into context the opposition and the circumstances, and it was so important to win to keep the push for second place going.

"We really went for Celtic and matched them for football and intensity. We scored two quality goals and it could have been more."

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Hibs manager Neil Lennon described his side as "outstanding"

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