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Sport 3 talking points as Celtic sink Hibs and David Turnbull makes Parkhead big chance count

20:06  27 september  2020
20:06  27 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Celtic returned to form as they defeated Hibs 3-0 to close the gap on rivals Rangers to one point with a game in hand.

Goals from Callum McGregor, Albian Ajeti and Moi Elyounoussi sealed a comprehensive win for the hosts and they were at it from the first whistle.

But boss Neil Lennon will be left sweating about the Swiss striker's health after he hobbled off in the immediate aftermath of his crucial strike.

The Premiership champions started at a real pace and were rewarded when McGregor drilled a fizzing effort past the outstretched Ofir Marciano.

3 talking points as Christian Doidge and Hibs dent Rangers' title charge

  3 talking points as Christian Doidge and Hibs dent Rangers' title charge An end-to-end game at Easter Road saw the sides share the spoils in a 2-2 draw.Drey Wright put the hosts ahead, but goals from Alfredo Morelos and Scott Arfield turned the game on its head.

It it all appeared rather easy with Hibs allowing the Hoops schemer the freedom of Parkhead to pick his spot from 25 yards out and he duly did.

But Jack Ross' side aren't easily discouraged and the visitors were right back on the front foot as they looked to heap pressure on Celtic with Chris Doidge going close and Kevin Nisbet carrying the fight.

The Hibs striker caused Shane Duffy a host of problems in the first half and relished the physical battle. Anyone unfamiliar with the Dunfermline goal machine before this season will certainly be impressed with his non-stop work ethic.

But despite all of the Easter Road side's good intentions they were 2-0 down when Ajeti was on hand to poke home Moi Elyounoussi's rebounded shot after great work from Ryan Christie.

Alfredo Morelos bias is clear and Rangers star would have been red carded if roles were reversed - Hotline

  Alfredo Morelos bias is clear and Rangers star would have been red carded if roles were reversed - Hotline Gordon Parks took your calls and there wasn't really anyone happy with performances over the weekend. Alfredo Morelos taking an elbow from Ryan Porteous was also on the Hotline agenda and there were no Celtic fans handing their side plaudits for taking the spoils against Livingston.

His joy was short-lived and he was immediately replaced by Odsonne Edouard after signalling to bench that his game was over.

David Turnbull came on for Ryan Christie at the interval and the former Motherwell man nearly scored his first goal in green and white but his effort was expertly turned over by Marciano.

Frimpong continued his assault on the Hibs backline after the break as Lewis Stevenson replaced the shellshocked Josh Doig who had been up against from the first minute.

Turnbull continued to catch the eye and appeared a Celtic veteran as he patiently moved the ball and made clever moves to find pockets of space to receive a return pass.

Joe Newell had a chance on the counter attack but his weak effort ended up clear of the crossbar as Hibs struggled to really put the hosts under the cosh.

Turnbull capped off his 45-minute cameo by slotting in Elyounoussi who finished in style as Celtic showed their ability on the counter attack.

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  Scott Brown tips Leigh Griffiths Celtic return splash as skipper reveals quicksilver kid leaves him lagging The Hoops skipper reckons the Scotland star can come in for Albian Ajeti after the Swiss striker's injury. Manager Neil Lennon was delighted at the power-packed performance which he claimed was their best of the season and saw Hibs hammered.

And the hosts cruised to victory in the closing stages as they produced a season-best display.

3 talking points

Frim and proper

a man with a football ball on a field © SNS Group

The Celtic right-back burst onto the scene last season but he looks even quicker now and gave Hibs rising star Doig a chasing for long spells. He has pace and a brilliant trick where he slows before speeding up and leaving his opponent in the dust but his in-game intelligence is also at a very high level. Lennon insists his side aren't below their best but there's no doubt they have improved markedly since the Netherlands youth international replaced James Forrest in Riga and continued his all-action display against the Hibees. The only slight criticism would be sometimes his end product isn't always on target but he appears destined to be a vital player this season.

Hibs have positives

Joe Newell's emergence has been impressive and his technical ability marks him out as a key man. Martin Boyle working alongside Nisbet and Doidge will cause most teams problems. But there will probably be a sense of frustration during the post-match analysis as they had chances to strike during the first half with Nisbet causing Nir Bitton and Duffy some serious strife. Former Sunderland manager Ross will be content with his side's start to the season but will want more than just platitudes when taking on Celtic and Rangers away from home in the coming seasons. They are certainly a side jam-packed with talent but they must cut out the individual mistakes that cost them.

Will it be Christie, Ntcham or Turnbull in midfield? Celtic's predicted XI to face FK Sarajevo

  Will it be Christie, Ntcham or Turnbull in midfield? Celtic's predicted XI to face FK Sarajevo Celtic will look to book their place in the Europa League group stages for the third consecutive year, but standing in their way is a one-legged playoff tie against FK Sarajevo in Bosnia. Neil Lennon’s men are no strangers to the Balkans, having faced off against Thursday’s opponents fifteen months ago in the UCL first-qualifying round; goals from Mikey Johnston, Odsonne Edouard and Scott Sinclair sealing a crucial 3-1 win to take back to Glasgow. The return-leg saw the Hoops stroll to a 5-2 win over both legs.

Brown bounces back

a group of people playing football on a field © SNS Group

Don't call it a comeback but the Celtic skipper produced his finest performance of the season so far. He was quicker to move the ball and appeared to be playing five yards further up the pitch. That was helpful for the backline as both Kris Ajer and Bitton were allowed to carry the ball forward. The 35-year-old almost netted the third goal but his smart effort was well saved. That's his fourth game in 11 days but he certainly didn't appear jaded. Brown will be asked once again to rise to the Celtic challenge as he takes his side to Bosnia for their Europa League crunch. The only pause for thought would be it doesn't dispel the notion that he isn't needed in games where teams sit in. Perhaps his excellent showing was aided by Hibs insistence on going toe-to-toe.


Gallery: The Answer is Ajeti - What we learned from Celtic's 3-2 win over Livingston (Read Sport)

a group of football players on a field: Four Findings: Celtic 3-2 Livingston

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