CELTIC VS HAMILTON ACCIES
13/12/2017 19.45 KO
Neil Lennon’s Hibs were within a Mikael Lustig clearance off the line from ending Celtic’s unbeaten run, a run that now includes sixty eight matches and stretches back to May 2016. In what was an enthralling contest and a magnificent advert for the Scottish game, both sides created numerous chances and there were goals aplenty.
One would have been forgiven for believing it would be plain sailing for the men in pink on the day, as two second half Scott Sinclair goals gave the Hoops a healthy cushion. However, characteristically of a Lennon team, Hibs fought their way back into the game and seemed to inflict some nervy moments upon the heart of the Celtic back four.
It was former Celt Efe Ambrose who got one back for the Edinburgh side when a well worked corner eventually found the central defender in the penalty area, and his effort was deflected into the back of the net. The most worrying thing about the game on Sunday was the manner in which the Hoops responded to Ambrose’s apparent consolation. Within only a few minutes the deficit had been nullified and the two teams were square once more.
While Rodgers’ side has been associated with the utmost professionalism and composure in maintaining such an emphatic unbeaten run – it appeared that these traits had vanished in allowing Hibs to rescue a point from the game. With what was almost the final kick of the game, Oli Shaw had his effort cleared off the line from a back tracking Mikael Lustig – after Craig Gordon had laid the ball on a plate for the Hibs attacker when he misjudged the flight of the ball. It was the type of indecision that had been so rare in an unbeaten run that had broken all sorts of records, however it was a stark reminder that such a run can be eradicated so suddenly.
Shaw celebrates drawing Hibs level
Next on the horizon for the Hoops is a midweek clash with Hamilton Accies at Celtic Park, where they will be looking to extend the run to sixty nine. Despite losing at home to St.Johnstone at the weekend, the Accies have been in a decent spell of form of late, having picked up four points from trips to Tynecastle and Ibrox – including a two nil victory over the Glasgow side. The two sides haven’t met since Celtic’s emphatic 4-1 victory at the SuperSeal stadium back in August where a double from Scott Sinclair, along with goals from Eduoard and Armstrong rounded off an impressive performance. It should prove to be a tricky encounter however – Martin Canning’s side currently sit 9th in the table and the Scot will be looking for his players to make things difficult for the Champions, encouraged by the fact that they have already dropped more points this season than in the one previous.
Martin Canning will be encouraged by the fact Brendan Rodgers' side have dropped points recently
With a hectic Christmas period looming for the Scottish sides, Brendan Rodgers will be looking to utilise his squad to the best of his capabilities, in order to keep his players fresh and raring to go until the winter break of January. With Monday’s Europa League draw pairing the Glasgow giants with a tricky Europa League last 32 round against Russian big spenders Zenit St.Petersburg – the winter break will be arriving at a pivotal time, paired with a transfer window in which the Hoops boss will likely look to improve his starting eleven. However, before that all important Euro tie, there is still a lot of domestic football to be played and a record to maintain – starting with what should be an interesting encounter on Wednesday night – where Brendan Rodgers will be looking for a reaction from his players having surrendered a two goal lead and two points on Sunday.