CELTIC had TWENTY attempts at the Hibs goal during the 1-1 stalemate at Easter Road at the weekend.

The Edinburgh side replied with only three against Fraser Forester after taking the lead early on from an own goal from Kristoffer Ajer who losr his concentration at a crucial moment.

Ryan Christie claimed his 11th strike of the campaign with a soaring header that flew high pst Chris Maxwell at his top right-hand cornet.

The Hoops pressed relentlessly for the second goal to preserve their 100 per cent Premiership record, but Scott Brown, Vakoun Issouf Bayo, Callum McGregor and Jonny Hayes all missed reasonable chances.

Two valid-looking penalty claims were also ignored by referee Kevin Clancy fouling rash challenges on Christie and Moritz Bauer in the second-half. TV pictures appeared to back the Hoops’ view they were stonewall spot-kicks.

Disappointed boss Neil Lennon, speaking to the Celtic website, said: “I’m not going to criticise the team. Their desire, physicality and quality of play, in the main, was very good. It was a good performance and we’ve made a tremendous start to the season.

“While I’m not here to criticise referees, we should have had two clear-cut penalties.

“I thought we dominated the game. We looked a little bit flat in the final third on occasion and then the subs gave us real good burst of energy in the final 20 minutes, but our finishing let us down.

“We’re not going to win every game. We’re not going to blow teams away in every game.

“There’s an expectation before the game, but I don’t always expect us to win. I believe we can and I want us to win.”

CHRISTIAN DOIDGE had a major say in Hibs sneaking a point against the champions when his cross from the right was deflected in by Kristoffer Ajer.

The Edinburgh side fought and battled for every ball against the visitors after losing at grounds such as Fir Park and Rugby Park earlier in the campaign that has left them sitting second bottom of the top flight.

The striker, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Some teams probably thought we were a soft touch at the start of the season, but the last two games proved we’re anything but, “It did hurt being called soft and weak. You never want that thrown at you, as a football team.

“Like a lot of footballers, I make good use of the mute button, but you hear little whispers and stuff. You get it all the time. You have to let it go in one ear and out the other.

“You know yourself when you’re not doing great and it’s then about digging in and showing character to come out the other side.

“We’ve worked really hard to prove ourselves and it showed in the last two games.

“The Kilmarnock game was tough with 120 minutes before we managed to get through on penalties. Then we were up against Celtic, maybe the best team in Scotland, and that was always going to be a hard game.

“There was a lot of money out there on that pitch and we played really well.

“Coming through that rough spell shows who the characters are. When you start picking up half decent results, it shows something.

“We’re not getting carried away with two games. We’ve got Aberdeen away next week, which will be another massive game.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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