Not for the first time in recent weeks, Celtic were forced to come from behind to secure all three points this afternoon at a rain-soaked Celtic Park against a stubborn Hibernian. The visitors led at the break thanks Josh Campbell’s 39th minute penalty, however second half goals from Jota, Oh, and Hakšabanović sealed the turn-a-round in the second half for Celtic.
Having beaten Hibs twice already this season with an aggregate score of 10-1, confidence was high going into today’s game. Celtic started positively with Maeda making a couple of surging runs down the left and Johnston at this combative best on the right.
That early positivity was dealt a blow on 13 minutes when Reo Hatate pulled up under no pressure and was replaced by David Turnbull in the midfield.
Despite that blow, Celtic remained largely in control of the game and Carl Starfelt went close to opening the scoring on 16 minutes only to see his header connect with the cross bar with David Marshall well beaten.
Hibs had been pressing Celtic well up to this stage and causing problems of their own on counter attacks. It was on one such break away midway through the half that Elie Youan picked up a yellow card for a rash tackle on the aforementioned Starfelt. A tackle that Lawrence Connolly believed could have been worthy of a red.
The red card did follow soon after, however, as Youan was shown a slightly harsh second yellow card following a foul on Carter-Vickers on half way. With Hibs now down to 10-men, Celtic regained the ascendency and took the game to the tightly packed Hibs defence.
However, it was Hibs who took the lead from the penalty spot after a clear shirt pull and push on Paul Hanlon by Carl Starfelt. Referee McLean missed the incident in real time but VAR was on hand to correct the error and give Josh Campbell the chance to open the scoring.
1 down at the break, the view on the half-time show was that there was no need to panic and to trust in the process that has seen us through so far this season.
5 minutes after the restart Celtic were level via a penalty of their own. Carter-Vickers was hauled to the ground by Hanlon with Jota squeezing his penalty under David Marshall.
From that point on it was one way traffic.
South Korean forward Oh, who had replaced O’Riley on the hour mark had a couple of near misses from David Turnbull corners before powering a header home with 10 minutes to go to give Celtic a deserved lead.
In between times Jota, Abada, and Kyogo had all gone close to giving Celtic the lead as the home side began to turn the screw.
Celtic were awarded a second penalty inside the final 5 minutes, however VAR once again stepped in to correct a refereeing error, overturning the award.
Four minutes into added time Hakšabanović completed the scoring with a wonderful curling effort into Marshall’s bottom left hand corner sending the Bhoys into the international break with a 9-point lead at the top of the table.