Four Findings: Hibernian 2-2 Celtic
Celtic were able to rescue a point after completing a comeback from two goals down on Saturday at Easter Road.
Despite some good first-half pressure from Celtic, both sides entered halftime scoreless. Hibs opened the scoring after Jamie Murphy scored the rebound after Scott Bain saved the penalty in the 52nd minute. Kevin Nisbet scored in the 59th minute to give the hosts a 2-0 advantage.
Celtic’s comeback started in the 79th minute when Odsonne Edouard scored from the penalty spot. Diego Laxalt opened his scoring account for Celtic with a thumping strike in extra time.
Celtic remain in second place in the SPFL with eleven points separating them and first-place Rangers with two matches in hand.
The Hoops will return to Europa League action on Thursday when they visit Sparta Praha before kickstarting their League Cup campaign next Sunday against Ross County.
Here are ‘Four Findings’ from Celtic’s match against Hibernian.
The Final Touch
Celtic had some good opportunities, but it was the final pass or the final shot that wasn’t there for much of the game. The final pass couldn’t quite match the runs to create full opportunities.
The Hoops took 21 shots and forced 10 saves out of Marciano, but so many of those shots were simple saves. Celtic really should have made more of their opportunities.
Celtic’s mental lapses have been very costly this season, and it was very evident on Saturday. The first instance came from Scott Brown, who had played well on Saturday, committed to a clumsy challenge through the back of Martin Boyle, giving Hibs a penalty early in the second half.
The second instance came from the ensuing penalty when Jamie Murphy got the rebound as Jeremy Frimpong and Nir Bitton both switched off to allow Murphy to corral and score the rebound unchallenged.
The final notable instance came on the second goal when Frimpong and Christie couldn’t get sorted and allowed Kevin Nisbet to give Hibs the 2-0 advantage. Those were three crucial mental lapses that put Celtic in a bad situation, all of which could have been avoided.
Odsonne Edouard came on in the 58th minute and was lively. He dropped deep on numerous occasions to receive the ball and took his penalty well.
Celtic must hope that this is what kicks the French youth international into gear and give Celtic their best option up front. The Hoops are a much more lethal side when Edouard is playing well.
The future of Neil Lennon has been a hot topic in recent weeks following his team’s poor play. While many think Eddie Howe should be his replacement.
Contrary to the opinions of many, Neil Lennon must stay and ride the ship out. While Europe has been disastrous, Lennon is still in line to complete the quadruple treble and sits eight points back from Rangers with a game in hand.
Assuming there will be three more matches against Steven Gerrard’s men, Celtic can easily find their form and turn the season around if they can take care of business domestically.