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Weary Celtic held at Hibs but extend lead on rivals to eight points

Celtic were held to a goalless draw as Hibernian survived some sustained late pressure.

There had been few clearcut chances heading into the final quarter although David Marshall saved brilliantly from the Celtic attacker Daizen Maeda and Martin Boyle missed a glorious opportunity for Hibs. Celtic sparked into life after making a series of attacking substitutions. Mikey Johnston forced another impressive stop from Marshall and James Forrest hit the bar but Hibs held on. The result puts Celtic eight points clear at the top of the Premiership but Rangers can cut the gap when they host Hearts today.

Brendan Rodgers had started with the same team that played the majority of the Champions League draw with Atlético Madrid as Paulo Bernardo made his first start for the club following his early introduction for the injured Reo Hatate on Wednesday. Celtic fans, meanwhile, again ignored the club’s request not to fly Palestinian flags.

Celtic fans fly Palestinian flags despite the club asking them not to do soCeltic fans fly Palestinian flags despite the club asking them not to do so. Photograph: Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus/Shutterstock

Hibs began with Boyle up front alongside Dylan Vente, with Jair Tavares making only his fourth start for the club on the right wing. Rocky Bushiri replaced Paul Hanlon in central defence following last weekend’s 4-0 defeat by Rangers.

Celtic dominated possession early on but it was sloppy passing from Hibs that led to their first two half-chances. Bernardo shot just wide from 22 yards before Marshall denied Callum McGregor and Luis Palma hit the rebound wide.

Anthony Ralston replaced Alistair Johnston after the Celtic right-back took a Bushiri clearance flush in the face.

Ralston and his fellow full-back Greg Taylor were taking up positions in the middle of the park but Celtic were struggling to break Hibs down.

The only time they got in behind in the first half saw Taylor’s low cross reach Bernardo, who could not get the ball out of his feet but forced it away from Marshall only for the keeper to recover to block from Maeda.

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Mandron’s double helps St Mirren thrash St Johnstone


Third-placed St Mirren put winless St Johnstone to the sword in a 4-0 win. Keanu Baccus opened the scoring with a stunning strike on 36 minutes, with Mikael Mandron adding a brace after the break and Greg Kiltie wrapping things up in the last minute, putting Stephen Robinson’s (left) side level with second-placed Rangers.

Motherwell produced some late heroics to recover from 3-1 down with two minutes to go and draw with Ross County, with all three goalscorers coming off the bench. Conor Wilkinson got what appeared to be a consolation before Luca Ross scored five minutes into added time to earn an unlikely 3-3 draw.

Eamonn Brophy and Simon Murray had put County in front and, although Mika Biereth pulled one back from the spot, the away side had remained in control thanks to Victor Loturi in the 82nd minute.

But Motherwell had other ideas and launched their fightback, with all six goals coming in the second half.

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Hibernian’s only moments of note in the first half saw Elie Youan shoot straight at Joe Hart after starting a counter-attack himself and Vente fire over following a set piece.

Hibernian’s best chance came just after the interval when Jordan Obita curled in a perfect cross for Boyle, but the forward could not keep his volley down from six yards.

Rodgers brought on four attacking substitutions before the midway point of the second half as Johnston made his first appearance for the club since March 2022, after spending last season on loan with Vitória Guimarães in Portugal.

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The subs made their mark as Celtic began to pin their hosts back. Oh Hyeon-gyu had a difficult header saved before Marshall threw himself to his right to parry Johnston’s long-range strike.

Good play from Johnston saw David Turnbull try to set up Oh but his low cross was turned behind before James Forrest volleyed against the bar from the resulting corner. The final opportunity saw Forrest turn Turnbull’s low cross past the near post in added time.

The Hibs manager, Nick Montgomery, told BBC Sportsound: “I’m really happy with the point and really proud of the team to get clean sheet against a team of the quality of Celtic. We probably had the best chance of the game too.

“Defensively, I thought we were resolute. We were really brave with the way we played out. In terms of the final pass and utilising the pace of Martin Boyle, we maybe missed out on that option.”

Rodgers told the BBC: “I thought by the time we started to play with the speed and tempo we like, it was too late. Our plan is to always to make a quick start.

“We’ve played 10 games now. We’ve had eight wins and two draws and done well in the main.”