Hibernian 2-1 Celtic: Hibs delay Celtic's Scottish Premiership title party
By James Kilpatrick
Last Updated: 21/04/18 6:45pm
Celtic will have to wait to secure the Scottish Premiership title after losing 2-1 to Neil Lennon’s Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday.
Hibs' Australian striker Jamie Maclaren tapped in the hosts' opener in the 24th minute before Celtic's Olivier Ntcham spurned a great chance to get them back into the game shortly before half-time.
Former Celtic manager Lennon brought on substitute Vykintas Slivka who doubled the hosts' lead ten minutes from full-time before Odsonne Edouard pulled a goal back for the visitors (87).
But Hibs held on for victory which means Celtic can lift their seventh straight top-flight title by beating fierce rivals Rangers next Sunday - live on Sky Sports - should Graeme Murty's side and Aberdeen not lose this weekend. Hibs, meanwhile, move up to second.
Celtic: Gordon (6), Hendry (5), Ajer (6), Boyata (4), Tierney (6), Brown (6), Ntcham (5), Rogic (6), Forrest (5), McGregor (5), Griffiths (5)
Subs: Sinclair (6), Edouard (7), Forrest (6)
Hibs: Marciano (7), Whittaker (7), Ambrose (6), Hanlon (7), Stevenson (7), McGinn (7), McGeouch (8), Swanson (7), Boyle (6), Maclaren (6), Kamberi (7)
Subs: Barker (7), Slivka (7)
Man of the match: Dylan McGeouch
Both teams were very keen to get on the front foot early on. Just three minutes in, Craig Gordon was called into action and denied Florian Kamberi's close-range effort before Tom Rogic tested Ofir Marciano with a drilled strike at the other end moments later.
With Celtic playing a high defensive line in search of an opener, Hibs exploited Brendan Rodgers' side down their right flank. Lewis Stevenson burst past his marker and squared for Maclaren, who stayed just onside and applied the necessary tap-in at the far post.
Dedryck Boyata nearly scored an embarrassing own goal in the 28th minute as he turned the ball towards his own net following a corner, but Gordon stooped low and made a strong, reflex save. Ntcham then had a glorious opportunity to equalise shortly before half-time, but he blazed his left-footed effort over the bar.
Leigh Griffiths made his first start in three months after fully recovering from a calf injury, while Jack Hendry also came in as Mikael Lustig and Moussa Dembele dropped to the bench. Steven Whittaker and Danny Swanson replaced Darren McGregor and Scott Allan for Hibs.
Celtic began the second half well and Rogic broke clear and saw his shot from point-blank range blocked by the outstretched Marciano on 54 minutes before Hibernian re-gained control and went two in front through Slivka. The lively Florian Kamberi surged down the right flank and crossed a low ball to the near post for the Lithuania international to nod home.
Celtic ensured a nervy ending for Hibs as substitute Odsonne Edouard was played in by Sinclair and slotted the ball past Marciano, but even though Celtic pushed hard for a leveller, Hibs' defence stood firm to halt their title celebrations.
Man of the Match - Dylan McGeouch
McGeouch dominated in midfield and put in a battling display to give Hibs the upper hand in the centre of the pitch.
The 25-year-old sparked numerous attacking moves and got the better of his direct opponent Scott Brown.
Celtic can now turn their attention to an Old Firm clash at home to Rangers, live on Sky Sports Football from midday next Sunday. Hibs host Kilmarnock in Scottish Premiership action next Saturday afternoon.