Celtic survived a late scare to stay within three points of Premiership leaders Hearts after an enthralling victory over Hibernian.
Tom Rogic and Olivier Ntcham had Brendan Rodgers’ side two goals up within 20 minutes before Scott Brown went off injured.
Florian Kamberi gave Hibs hope before Odsonne Edouard restored Celtic’s two-goal lead on 70 minutes.
Martin Boyle countered immediately but Edouard sealed victory late on.
It was drama from the first to the last whistle at Celtic Park as Rodgers’ men racked up their third Premiership victory in a row.
Hibs fall five points off the pace as they sit in fourth.
Celtic toyed with Hibs
The injury to regular right-back David Gray was pivotal as Hibs changed their shape to a back three. But the formation failed to work as Celtic ran riot going forward.
With only Leigh Griffiths missing from the team that thrashed St Johnstone 6-0 last time out, the champions were clearly keen to pick up where they left off and they relished sinking their teeth into Hibs. Two goals swiftly arrived along with three other efforts off the post as Rodgers’ side toyed with their opponents.
The goal from Rogic was typically elegant from the Australian international. The Ntcham goal was a fine team effort and Edouard profited from a searing moment of wing play from James Forrest before putting the seal on the win with a second.
Hibs would tweak their formation midway through the first half to match up with Celtic, and it brought more stability for the away side as they began to create opportunities. But by then Celtic were in control.
The goals from Kamberi and Boyle gave the second half fizz but in truth Hibs were always on the catch up after their bad start.
Lennon gamble fails to pay off
There was much excited talk in the lead-up to this match over whether or not Hibernian could be considered legitimate title contenders. Neil Lennon had branded such talk as “folly”. On this basis he was correct to do so.
Before the match – and to his credit – the Hibs boss talked about taking the game to Celtic. But the gamble failed as Celtic took control.
Of course this was always going to be a tough test for Hibs, and they remain a work in progress. But in the corresponding fixture last season Hibs truly did take the game to Celtic and came away with a 2-2 draw. So in that context this 4-2 defeat will feel like a setback.
Credit to Celtic. They have been asked many a question this season and at times they have fumbled the answer.
But they have now beaten big rivals Rangers, Aberdeen and Hibernian – albeit it, all at home. The mojo might not be back completely, but they are delivering the results.