Celtic player ratings vs Hibernian: Lennon's Bhoys answer critics with dominant showing
Celtic continued their fine domestic form with another win in a tricky-looking clash against Hibernian this afternoon.
Goals from Callum McGregor, Albian Ajeti, and Mohamed Elyounoussi ensured that the Hoops kept up their 100% home domestic record this season. Despite some promise from Hibs on the counter, there was no real danger to Vasilis Barkas throughout the 90 minutes.
It was also a win that reeled in Rangers at the top of the Premiership once again. Celtic managed to get the gap at the summit down to one point, with Neil Lennon’s men having a game in hand.
And here, we take a look at the individual player ratings from this afternoon’s Parkhead clash as one of Lennon’s subs laid down a marker.
Vasilis Barkas – 6
Again it was another quiet afternoon for Celtic’s new shot-stopper. Saw a couple of efforts fly off-target but didn’t really have anything of any real note to do. Looked a tad dodgy with a cross that bounced just in front of him, but no other issues.
Shane Duffy – 6
Not his best performance and he’ll expect better. Misjudged the flight of a couple of balls and was too weak on one occasion against Kevin Nisbet. Recovered well as the game wore on and was always looking to lead from the back.
Kristoffer Ajer – 6
Close to giving him a positive 7, but it’s difficult to forget how easily he was turned by Martin Boyle in the first half. No other issues outside of that and easily dealt with the threat of Christian Doidge throughout. Tried to do too much at times going forward.
Nir Bitton – 8
Superb again. Followed on from his Riga display with another commanding performance as the right-sided centre-back. Constantly used the space available to him down the right side and came close to scoring early in the second half. Another cool performance and deserves to keep his place in the team.
Jeremie Frimpong – 8
Electric. Gave Hibernian’s Josh Doig and Lewis Stevenson a coupe of tough afternoons as he consistently bombed forward and got balls into the area. He’s adding some real energy down the right flank, and will be a big tool for Celtic in the coming weeks.
Callum McGregor – 7
Made the afternoon a helluva lot more simplistic with his early goal – a fine low effort from 25 yards. Looked a lot more like himself today and was sharp in the midfield, nipping in to win loose balls and keep Celtic in the ascendancy. Came close to a second midway through the second 45.
Scott Brown – 6
Better than what he produced in Riga on Thursday, but there should still be a level or two for him to hit. Moved the play around quicker this afternoon but the passing was still a touch loose. Had a decent crack on goal early in the second half that forced Ofir Marciano into a stop.
Ryan Christie – 5
Quiet from Ryan today but did plenty of grafting for the side. Showed real good physical qualities to ensure that Gogic knew he was in a game. Combined the play well but not a lot to talk about attacking-wise. Hooked at half-time for David Turnbull.
Mohamed Elyounoussi – 8
Magic. Followed on from his goal against Riga with another this afternoon. Slotted a brilliant finish under Marciano and linked up generally well with Edouard too. Looked a class apart.
Greg Taylor – 5
Tries his best but simply didn’t look good enough this afternoon. Too many bad touches when in good positions down the left flank. Defended well and tracked back on occasion, but too often his crosses hit the opposition or go into an area where there are no attackers. A great worker, but an improvement is needed.
Albian Ajeti – 6
Off after 35 minutes but, as is the norm, got himself on the scoresheet regardless. Five goals in six Premiership games for Ajeti, who seemed to be holding his hamstring a touch after he buried a rebound from Elyounoussi’s low strike. Wasn’t in the game too much up until then, but he’s showing a massive habit of finding the net when we need him to.
Odsonne Edouard (5) – Linked up well with Elyounoussi after coming on from Ajeti. Still running into opposition defenders and losing the ball too easily.
David Turnbull (7) – Showed Lennon that he needs a lot more minutes on the pitch. Extremely positive and tidy in possession, and his introduction increased the tempo. Was everywhere in the second half, coming up with a beautifully weighted-ball that led to Elyounoussi’s late strike. Also came close to scoring minutes after coming on. Massive second half display from him.
Olivier Ntcham (2) – Not on long enough to make much of an impact. No real errors of note either.
Patryk Klimala (2) – Same as above.
Ismaila Soro (2) – Given last five. Same as above.