Hibernian 2-2 Celtic: Visitors cap comeback with injury-time equaliser


Kevin Nisbet's angled drive doubled Hibs' lead
Kevin Nisbet’s angled drive doubled Hibs’ lead

Diego Laxalt lashed home an injury-time equaliser as champions Celtic fought back from 2-0 down in a dramatic Scottish Premiership draw at Hibernian.

But the latest blow to their title bid leaves Celtic eight points behind leaders Rangers with a game in hand.

Jamie Murphy rifled the second-half opener in off the post after Scott Bain saved a penalty from Kevin Nisbet, who doubled the lead via the same upright.

An Odsonne Edouard penalty halved the deficit amid a late Celtic siege.

Laxalt’s first Celtic goal scrambled a point but Neil Lennon’s men now have just one win in four league games.

Fourth-place Hibs missed the chance to move above Aberdeen, who face Rangers at Ibrox on Sunday.

Despite the need to avoid further slip-ups in their pursuit of an unprecedented 10th successive title, Celtic didn’t rouse themselves until two goals behind in the closing stages.

The visitors dominated a scrappy first half but failed to turn their 70% possession into clear opportunities.

Buoyed by his recent Scotland heroics, Ryan Christie was the man looking to make things happen, almost breaking the deadlock shortly before half-time with a curling drive tipped wide. Mohamed Elyounoussi steamed in to meet the resulting corner and glanced a header past the post.

Hibs were gifted the chance of an opener early in the second half when Scott Brown clumsily barged into the back of Martin Boyle. Bain dived low to his right to save Nisbet’s penalty, but Murphy raced in to convert the rebound off the far post.

Seven minutes later it was 2-0 as Murphy’s head flick freed Nisbet down the left-hand channel and the striker arrowed his angled drive in via the upright.

Celtic finally began to show some urgency and Ofir Marciano twice denied substitute Edouard before the French striker tucked home from the spot after Paul McGinn’s handball.

The visitors kept pushing, with Christie and Tom Rogic having shots saved before Laxalt pounced on a loose ball in the box to thunder into the roof of the net.

There could have been a final twist at the other end but Sean Mackie was unable to keep his effort down as a pulsating finale ended in the spoils being shared.

Man of the match – Kevin Nisbet

Undeterred by his second penalty miss in succession, the Hibs striker was a constant menace and netted a superb goal
Undeterred by his second penalty miss in succession, the Hibs striker was a constant menace and netted a superb goal

What did we learn?

Neil Lennon looks no closer to solving the problems that have plagued Celtic all season. Hibs’ second goal again highlighted the champions’ defensive vulnerabilities and they were meek in forward areas until 20 minutes from time.

Hibs, in contrast, carried out their gameplan to perfection but will be frustrated at only collecting one point rather than three. After damaging recent defeats by Hearts and Aberdeen, this was a rousing response from Jack Ross’ team.

What did they say?

Hibs head coach Jack Ross: “Our immediate emotion is frustration. We put so much into the game and then conceded an avoidable goal so late.

“But I’m proud of the players’ performance and it’s a day for dwelling on the positives.”

Celtic manager Neil Lennon: “It was exciting but I’m really disappointed with the goals we gave away.

“Totally unnecessary and I thought we had decent control of the game. We lacked that bit of oomph and the final ball is poor.”

What’s next?

Hibs host St Johnstone in the Premiership on Tuesday (19:00 GMT) while Celtic are away to Sparta Prague on Europa League duty on Thursday (17:55).

Player of the match

MurphyJamie Murphy

Hibernian

  1. Squad number18Player nameMurphy

  2. Squad number15Player nameNisbet

  3. Squad number1Player nameMarciano

  4. Squad number26Player nameMackie

  5. Squad number10Player nameBoyle

  6. Squad number14Player nameMallan

  7. Squad number11Player nameNewell

  8. Squad number13Player nameGogic

  9. Squad number6Player nameMcGinn

  10. Squad number5Player namePorteous

  11. Squad number4Player nameHanlon

  12. Squad number20Player nameHallberg

  13. Squad number2Player nameGray

  14. Squad number22Player nameMcGinn

Celtic

  1. Squad number93Player nameLaxalt

  2. Squad number29Player nameBain

  3. Squad number22Player nameEdouard

  4. Squad number17Player nameChristie

  5. Squad number9Player nameGriffiths

  6. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor

  7. Squad number4Player nameDuffy

  8. Squad number35Player nameAjer

  9. Squad number6Player nameBitton

  10. Squad number18Player nameRogic

  11. Squad number30Player nameFrimpong

  12. Squad number27Player nameElyounoussi

  13. Squad number10Player nameAjeti

  14. Squad number21Player nameNtcham

  15. Squad number8Player nameBrown

Line-ups

Hibernian

  • 1Marciano
  • 6McGinn
  • 5Porteous
  • 4HanlonBooked at 79mins
  • 26MackieBooked at 89mins
  • 10BoyleBooked at 73mins
  • 14MallanBooked at 15minsSubstituted forHallbergat 84′minutes
  • 13Gogic
  • 11NewellSubstituted forMcGinnat 89′minutes
  • 18MurphySubstituted forGrayat 80′minutes
  • 15Nisbet

Substitutes

  • 2Gray
  • 8Wright
  • 19Gullan
  • 20Hallberg
  • 22McGinn
  • 24McGregor
  • 25Doig
  • 33Barnes
  • 43Elder

Celtic

  • 29Bain
  • 30Frimpong
  • 6Bitton
  • 35Ajer
  • 93Laxalt
  • 8BrownSubstituted forDuffyat 72′minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 17Christie
  • 18RogicSubstituted forNtchamat 87′minutes
  • 27ElyounoussiSubstituted forGriffithsat 72′minutes
  • 10AjetiSubstituted forEdouardat 58′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Barkas
  • 3Taylor
  • 4Duffy
  • 9Griffiths
  • 11Klimala
  • 21Ntcham
  • 22Edouard
  • 44Elhamed
  • 52Henderson

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