- Celtic extended their lead at the top of the table to 11 points as they beat Partick Thistle in the Glasgow derby after coming from 1-0 behind at half time. The game was cagey from the open, and both teams gave away cheap chances to one another as Dedryk Boyata and Odsonne Edouard scuppered efforts in front of goal for the champions. At the back, Mikael Lustig and Kristoffer Ajer invited Thistle on with sloppy passing in their own half, creating an air of uncertainty in the Hoops' buildup.
CELTIC FIGHT BACK TO BEAT JAGS IN SPFL RETURN
Hoops win the hard way in game of two halves at Firhill
Despite plenty of possession, Celtic struggled to create many clear cut chances and their passing movements were lacking the fluidity the away fans are used to from their team. The Parkhead sides' problems worsened when Miles Storey capitalised on a poor touch from Lustig and the Swede pulled his man back in panic, referee John Beaton pointing to the penalty spot on 33 minutes. Connor Sammon tucked the ball away, sending Craig Gordon the wrong way.
Unable to pull the scoreline back, it was Partick who won the first half, and Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers needed to make changes to a team who failed to find any rhythm in the opening 45. Leigh Griffiths was brought on in place of the booked Lustig, and Celtic switched to a 3-5-2 setup as they chased the 3 points.
The game opened up for both sides in the second half, as the away teams increased attacking incentive left space at the back which Alan Archibald urged his players to exploit on the counter attack. It would be Rodgers' men however, who would benefit from the end-to-end play, as Scott Sinclair picked the ball up and ran at Mustapha Dumbuya, the Jags' defender bringing down Celtic's top scorer. The Englishman went on to convert the spot kick with assurance to level the score.
Volume increased in the away support as the urgency in the Celtic play improved, but Connor Sammon gave a reminder that the game was still up for grabs as he steered a header just wide of Craig Gordon's right-hand post. It was blow for blow as the game came up to the hour mark, with James Forrest testing Tomas Cerny in the Thistle goal, only for the Jags to threaten down Celtic's right-hand side as another James burst forward, this time Penrice who cut the ball across the six yard box, unable to find Sammon.
Super sub Leigh Griffiths would have the last say on matters as he showed wonderful determination in the box to get his shot away, sneaking it past the oncoming Cerny in the 69th minute. It was a reminder of how vital the number nine's goals have been to Celtic's domestic dominance since he arrived at the club.
Celtic pursued a third whilst trying to limit Partick's chances of nicking a point, and James Forrest and Leigh Griffiths looked most likely to hurt the home team, testing Cerny again in the final 20 minutes of the game. Neither side could alter the scoreline however, and the game ended 1-2.
Next up the Bhoys return to Paradise for a double header against the Edinburgh clubs, on Saturday they take on Neil Lennon's Hibernian, followed by the visit of the only team to beat them this season, Hearts, in a week's time.