|There was no real surprise that Leigh Griffiths would be a talking point when Hibs came to Parkhead today. He may be a Hibs fan but that did not prevent him from doing what he does best on the pitch; scoring a goal. It was a nice present for manager Brendan Rodgers as he oversaw his Celtic game. Griffiths was not on the pitch much longer after his 27th minute goal before an injury meant he was replaced by Moussa Dembele. The Scotland striker's 14th goal of the season was enough to take all three points from a Hibs side who had drawn 2-2 with Celtic in their previous two league games this season. He had recovered from an ankle knock to come off the bench and score the winner at Partick Thistle on Tuesday night and he replaced Odsonne Edouard in the starting line up, while stopper Jozo Simunovic came in for Mikael Lustig with centre-back Dedryck Boyata moving to right back. Striker Oli Shaw replaced Simon Murray for Hibswho looked far from overawed in the early stages.
Celtic should have taken the lead in the 14th minute after midfielder Callum McGregor was fouled by Dylan McGeouch just outside the box. Griffiths' curling free-kick was parried by Ofir Marciano and, with the goal at his mercy, Scott Sinclair somehow managed to hit the post. The game opened up further and Griffiths volleyed wide from a Sinclair cut-back. At the other end, Celtic keeper Craig Gordon used his foot to block a Brandon Barker drive after the attacker had outstripped the Hoops defence. Hibs had themselves to blame for Griffiths' goal. Captain Paul Hanlon failed to deal properly with a Kieran Tierney cross from the left, his weak headed clearance immediately returned on the angle past Marciano by the striker. There was a muted celebration from Griffiths in front of the travelling fans, and minutes later he limped off. Dembele came on for his first piece of action this year, with Rodgers having recently expressed concern that transfer speculation had affected him, and ended the afternoon with a booking for simulation. In the 51st minute Sinclair had another good chance but Marciano saved, while Hibs midfielder John McGinn forced a decent save from De Vries with a powerful 25-yard drive in the 78th minute. Celtic stood firm although, with a Europa League tie against Zenit St Petersburg coming up, they will wait nervously on news of the damage from Griffiths' injury.
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
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