Hibernian 2-2 Celtic: Oliver Shaw salvages point for hosts
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 11/12/17 2:14pm
Hibernian staged an impressive fightback to earn a share of the spoils as Celtic were held to a 2-2 draw in an absorbing Scottish Premiership clash at Easter Road.
After a goalless first half, a Scott Sinclair double in the space of four minutes on the hour mark put Brendan Rodgers' side in cruise control, but Efe Ambrose reduced the arrears (76) with a close-range finish.
Substitute Oliver Shaw then turned Lewis Stevenson's cross beyond Craig Gordon three minutes later as Celtic threatened to fall apart.
Shaw very nearly pounced on a mistake by Gordon in stoppage time but the youngster's shot was cleared off the line by Mikael Lustig in a frantic final minute, which also saw Sinclair go close to completing his hat-trick.
Hibernian: Marciano (6), Whittaker (7), Ambrose (7), Hanlon (6), Stevenson (7), Bartley (5), McGinn (6), McGeough (5), Boyle (6), Barker (6), Stokes (7).
Subs: Slivka (6), Shaw (7), McGregor (6)
Celtic: Gordon (6), Lustig (7), Simunovic (6), Boyata (6), Tierney (6), Brown (7), Ntcham (6), McGregor (6), Forrest (7), Sinclair (8), Edouard (7).
Subs: Armstrong (6), Hayes (6), Dembele (6)
Man of the match: Scott Sinclair
The result means Celtic extend their unbeaten domestic run to 68 games, with Brendan Rodgers' men reopening a five-point lead over second-placed Rangers while Hibs remain in fourth, three points behind Aberdeen.
During an opening 45 minutes that was short on clear-cut chances, James Forrest missed a glorious chance to break the deadlock when Dylan McGeouch presented the ball straight to him but the winger dragged his shot wide of Ofir Marciano's right-hand post.
Celtic increased the tempo following the restart and Sinclair was denied by the legs of the Hibs goalkeeper on 53 minutes after wriggling free of Steven Whittaker, but he was not to be denied just seven minutes later.
The forward's initial effort was blocked into the path of Odsonne Edouard, and after the Frenchman's shot hit the post, Sinclair was on hand to tap in the rebound.
Hibernian made three changes to the side that beat Partick Thistle as John McGinn returned from suspension, with Vykintas Slivka making way. Steven Whittaker was included in the starting line-up, along with Brandon Barker. Celtic made two changes as Olivier Ntcham and Odsonne Edouard came in for Stuart Armstrong and Moussa Dembele.
Hibs failed to recover from the setback and within four minutes, Neil Lennon's side were further behind as Sinclair cut inside from the left and fired past Marciano via a cruel deflection off Ambrose.
But the former Celtic defender then dragged his side back into the contest with 15 minutes to play as he was on hand to stab home the loose ball after Whittaker's shot was blocked.
And the hosts completed the remarkable turnaround just three minutes later. Anthony Stokes found the overlapping Stevenson and his cutback was deflected into the path of Shaw, who kept his composure to rifle a shot into the roof of the net.
Both sides had chances to win a pulsating contest as Dedryck Boyata rose unmarked at the far post to head over, before Gordon's blushes were spared in stoppage time by Lustig as Shaw's shot was cleared off the line after the Celtic 'keeper spilled a high ball.
Man of the match - Scott Sinclair
Sinclair sprung into life after the interval and continued his run of only scoring on the road with a quickfire double which means that each of his last nine strikes have come away from Parkhead.
The first was instinctive while his second four minutes later was slightly fortuitous, but his overall running caused problems for the Hibernian defence throughout a stretched second period. However, he ought to have completed his hat-trick with the final kick of the game.
Neil Lennon: "I'm really happy with the result, I'm not happy with the performance. In the second half, we started to look physically weaker, and the subs gave us a lift.
"We showed great character to come back into the game. I was happy enough at half-time but we were the architects of our own downfall.
"In the second half we sat off them a little bit, and lost the physical battle on times, but we rejuvenated ourselves well."
Brendan Rodgers: "It's two points dropped, for sure. We were very good for up to 70-odd minutes of the game, our defending was good and we created chances,
"We were 2-0 up and it could have been four or five, and then we stopped passing it. We stopped moving and let them into the game.
"At 2-0 they had nothing to lose so they had the momentum after the first goal. At the end they had a chance to score, and if they'd won that game it would have been a crime."
Hibernian face Rangers at Easter Road on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports, before travelling to take on Aberdeen next Saturday.
Celtic host Hamilton at Parkhead on Wednesday before returning to Edinburgh to face Hearts next Sunday, also live on Sky Sports.