Hibernian 1-3 Celtic: Tony Ralston, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kyogo Furuhashi all score in the opening 30 minutes as the visitors cut the gap on leaders Rangers to just two points
- Celtic moved up to second place in the Scottish Premiership with a routine win
- Anthony Ralston and Cameron Carter-Vickers both scored from set pieces
- Jota then squared for Kyogo Furuhashi to tap in from close range on 30 minutes
Celtic produced a rampant first-half performance as they moved within two points of cinch Premiership leaders Rangers with a 3-1 victory over Hibernian at Easter Road.
Tony Ralston, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kyogo Furuhashi all struck before the break to earn Ange Postecoglou’s resurgent side a fifth consecutive win in all competitions. Hibs, meanwhile, were left licking their wounds after a fourth consecutive defeat.
Home manager Jack Ross made four changes to the side beaten at Aberdeen last weekend as Darren McGregor, Chris Cadden, Jamie Gullan and Lewis Stevenson dropped out and were replaced by Ryan Porteous, Alex Gogic, Jamie Murphy and Josh Doig.
Tony Ralston found space at the back post to nod in a David Turnbull free-kick from six yards
Hibernian: Macey, McGinn, Porteous, Hanlon, Doig, Boyle, Doyle-Hayes, Gogic (Campbell 46), Newell, Murphy (Wright 76), Nisbet (Gullan 76).
Subs Not Used: Wood-Gordon, Stevenson, Dabrowski, Cadden.
Booked: Gogic, Porteous.
Goals: Boyle 37.
Celtic: Hart, Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Juranovic, Rogic (Bitton 44), McGregor, Turnbull, Jota, Furuhashi (Abada 81), Johnston (Giakoumakis 66).
Subs Not Used: Ajeti, Bain, Montgomery, Welsh.
Goals: Ralston 10, Carter-Vickers 14, Furuhashi 30.
Ref: Don Robertson (Scotland).
Celtic made just one alteration from the side that beat St Johnstone on Saturday. Mikey Johnston came in for his first start of the season, with Georgios Giakoumakis dropping to the bench.
Ralston had the first effort of the match in the fourth minute but his low shot from 25 yards ran harmlessly wide of the Hibs goal.
The right-back fared better six minutes later, however, when he found space at the back post to nod in a David Turnbull free-kick from six yards.
Hibs almost responded two minutes later when Martin Boyle threaded a pass across goal for Joe Newell who was bursting in at the far post but the midfielder’s shot from close range was superbly saved by goalkeeper Joe Hart.
A minute later Celtic scored from another set-piece when Carter-Vickers got in front of Porteous to stab in Turnbull’s corner from 10 yards.
There should have been more reason for the visitors to celebrate in the 20th minute when Johnston dummied a pass by Jota into the path of Turnbull but the former Motherwell player blazed high and wide from a great position just inside the box.
Celtic were well on top and the third goal arrived on the half-hour when, after good work by Tom Rogic, the ball broke to Jota wide on the right and the Portuguese squared for Kyogo to tap in from close range.
Hibs were in disarray and Matt Macey had to make a brilliant save to stop Kyogo netting again after the Japanese got in behind.
Cameron Carter-Vickers prodded in Turnbull’s corner from 10 yards to double their lead
Jota then squared for Kyogo Furuhashi to tap in from close range in the 30th minute for Celtic
The hosts pulled one back against the run of play in the 36th minute when Newell’s corner was nodded in, with both Boyle and Porteous claiming they had got the final touch.
Celtic suffered a blow just before the break when Rogic was forced off by injury and replaced by Nir Bitton.
Hibs spent much of the second half probing to try and find another goal but the closest they came was in the 75th minute when Jamie Murphy got in behind and was denied by a brilliant save from Hart.