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Neil Lennon’s Hibs Put Celtic’s Scottish Title Party On Ice

Scott Brown

Celtic wasted a chance to clinch the Scottish Premiership title as they crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat away to Hibernian on Saturday.

The runaway leaders were rocked by Jamie Maclaren’s first half opener for Hibs at Easter Road.

Vykintas Slivka headed in Hibernian’s second goal in the closing stages and, although Celtic substitute Odsonne Edouard reduced the deficit with four minutes remaining, the Hoops were unable to claim the win that would have wrapped up the title.

Brendan Rodgers’ side could still be crowned champions this weekend depending on results elsewhere, if not, they can clinch the trophy against Glasgow rivals Rangers at Parkhead next week.

Hibs weren’t willing to play the role of wallflowers at Celtic’s title party and quickly put the visitors on the back foot.

Goalkeeper Craig Gordon saved Florian Kamberi’s close-range effort before the Hibs striker volleyed Danny Swanson’s corner over the bar.

In the 24th minute, Hibs took the lead when Lewis Stevenson swung a cross past Gordon and Dedryck Boyata’s poor marking allowed Maclaren to knock the ball in from close-range.

Celtic were wobbling and, moments later, Gordon had to react quickly when the ball came off Boyata toward the net.

The champions-elect regained their composure and threat and in the 41st minute midfielder Olivier Ntcham flashed a pass from Kieran Tierney over the bar from 12 yards.

Gordon dived to catch Swanson’s long-range drive early in the second, his save bettered by Ofir Marciano at the other end when he raced from goal to deny Tom Rogic.

As Celtic threw men forward, Hibs broke with menace and with 11 minutes remaining Slivka,  who had come on for Maclaren seven minutes earlier, met a cross from Kamberi at the near post and glanced a header past Gordon.

It could have been worse for Celtic as Kristoffer Ajer had to scoop the ball from his own goal line after a mix-up in the defence.

With four minutes left, Edouard burst into the Hibs area and slotted past Marciano, but Hibernian held out during five minutes of tense stoppage-time.

© Agence France-Presse

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.