After that tale of two halves at McDiarmid Park on Sunday, Celtic were back in action again last night, this time at home against an in-form Hibs team under new manager Nick Montgomery.
After the worst half of football I’ve watched all season on Sunday, Celtic responded in the second half after manager Brendan Rodgers gave the players a half time dressing down and were totally different beast in the second period and we all hoped we could maintain that momentum going into tonights fixture.
Thankfully we weren’t disappointed and Celtic came out this evening looking like they were starting from where they had left off on Sunday. You could instantly see that we had come with that intensity and pace that the manager demands. Brendan had put his faith in the players who dug Celtic out of a hole on Sunday, with Mikey Johnston, Tomoki Iwata and Oh all starting and I think most of us would have agreed with those decisions.
Inside five minutes we took the lead through the man tasked with leading the line tonight, South Korean striker Oh, with more than a helping hand from Cameron Carter-Vickers who did fantastically well to get his header on target after a lovely corner from Luis Palma. Celtic continued to go through the gears as they constantly pressured Hibs, both on and off the ball, and it felt like it wouldn’t be long until we added to our early goal. The chances were certainly flowing yet it wasn’t until a well taken header by man of the moment Matt O’Riley in the 36th minute that we fully reaped our rewards for a dominant display.
The second half saw us again come out looking like we were in the mood. It only took five more minutes for the third goal to come when Alistair Johnston was felled in the box and Luis Palma dispatched the resulting penalty. Celtic fans will be glad the Honduran seems to have learned his lesson regarding the ‘stuttering run-up’ technique. Only a matter of minutes later the three points were all but wrapped up when Oh grabbed his second of the night with an impressive finish from inside the box.
Joe Hart and the Celtic defence will be disappointed to have given away a consolation goal late in the game after having previously dealt with any Hibs attacks with relative ease but it didn’t change the fact that Celtic were excellent tonight and fully deserved their win.