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  • Derby delight as five-star Celts pass a century of league goals

    Derby delight as five-star Celts pass a century of league goals

    By: Jo Hendry on 18 May, 2017 21:56

  • SPFL Scottish Premiership
    Firhill Stadium, Glasgow
    Thursday, May 18, 2017


    (Griffiths 18, Rogic 26, Roberts 41, 84, McGregor 82)

    CELTIC smashed the 100-goal barrier tonight in the league with a resounding 5-0 win over Glasgow rivals Partick Thistle. And the stylish victory in Maryhill extended the Hoops’ stunning unbeaten domestic run to 45 games since the start of the season and took the Scottish champions to a record-equalling 103 points total, with one match remaining.

    Leigh Griffiths was the man to grab the landmark goal, when he delivered from the penalty spot in the 18th minute, and eight minutes later, Tom Rogic, netted his 11th goal of the season to make it 2-0.

    Patrick Roberts added number three with a sensational strike from 20 yards just before half-time to ensure the Hoops marched on.

    With ten minutes of the game remaining, Callum McGregor struck to make it 4-0 before Roberts grabbed his double with another fabulous finish to cap off another wonderful performance from the Bhoys.

    Brendan Rodgers made five changes to the team for the penultimate league match of the campaign, with Cristian Gamboa and Emilio Izaguirre both restored to the full-back positions in place of Mikael Lustig and Kieran Tierney, while Erik Sviatchenko replaced Jozo Simunovic.

    The only other alterations from last week’s 3-1 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie saw the return of captain Scott Brown, who came straight back into the heart of the Hoops midfield following his two-game suspension, and James Forrest started on the left of an attacking trident, with Scott Sinclair and Stuart Armstrong dropping out. 

    The hosts got the game underway in the evening sunshine and there was a feel-good factor ringing out around Firhill from the first minute, with the buoyant travelling support fully behind the Bhoys.

    The first attempt on goal for the Hoops fell to Forrest, who unleashed a hopeful shot from the edge of the box, but the midfielder’s effort was parried away by Thistle keeper Tomas Cerny.

    Celtic enjoyed the lion’s share of possession inside the opening 10 minutes. Roberts and Callum McMcGregor both carved out great opportunities to open the scoring, with Roberts producing another top save from Cerny, while McGregor couldn’t keep his low-drive on target.

    Forrest teed-up Izaguirre on the 15 minute mark, but the Honduran blasted his effort off the post from close range. However, the six-in-a-row champions didn’t have to wait much longer to get on the scoresheet after Roberts was felled inside the box by Thistle defender, Callum Booth.

    Griffiths placed the ball on the penalty spot and blasted the Hoops to a 1-0 lead, scoring the club’s 100th goal of the season in the process.

    Celtic continued to control the game and looked comfortable in possession, and as the half-hour mark approached, the visitors doubled their lead.

    Griffiths powered down the left-flank and delivered a tantalising ball across the face of goal towards Rogic, who slid in at the back-post to make it 2-0 to the Celts.

    The champions were in cruise control and continued their quest for a third goal. Griffiths came close on 36 minutes, after some great link-up play with Roberts in midfield, but the striker couldn’t get enough power behind his final shot to trouble Cerny.

    Thistle quickly embarked on a counter-attack which resulted in Liam Lindsay getting a header on target, but Craig Gordon was in full control, with a comfortable save.

    However, normal service was resumed in 41st minute, with Roberts blasting the champions to their third goal of the evening with a sublime effort from distance to send Brendan Rodgers’ men into the half-time break with a 3-0 advantage.

    Celtic continued to dominate in the early stages of the second-half. Roberts and Griffiths both looked hungry for more goals from the outset, but neither could create any clear-cut chances.

    On 60 minutes, Kolo Toure and Sinclair both entered the fray for the Hoops, in place of Boyata and century goalscorer Griffiths.

    Sinclair looked to pose an immediate threat, bursting into the box within sixty seconds of entering the field of play, but the winger was quickly closed down before he could manufacture a shot on goal.

    The Englishman came close on 75 minutes but keeper Ridgers was equal to his volley after good work from McGregor and Roberts.

    A trio of goals never looked to be enough for Brendan Rodgers’ men, though, and McGregor added to Celtic’s tally with eight minutes left on the clock, the midfielder dispatching the ball off the under-side of the crossbar, with the crowd waiting with baited breath before the linesman confirmed the ball had indeed crossed the line.

    Fittingly, the last word fell to the outstanding Roberts, who made it 5-0 with a curling shot into the bottom corner of the net to mark his 11th goal of the season.

    Celtic ended the game with another three points and a staggering 104 goals for the season, as they head into the league finale this weekend against Hearts.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Gamboa, Sviatchenko, Boyata (Toure 63), Izaguirre; McGregor, Brown; Roberts, Rogic, Forrest (Bitton 70); Griffiths (Sinclair 63)
    Not used: Bailly, Ralston, Tierney, Kouassi

    PARTICK THISTLE (4-4-2) Cerny (Ridgers 46), Booth, Lindsay, Osman (Edwards 46), Amoo, Doolan, Erskine (Azeez 69), Lawless, Barton, Elliott, Devine
    Not used: Keown, McLaughlin, Nisbet, McCarthy

    Website Man of the Match: Patrick Roberts

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