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  • Scott Brown fires Celts to victory against Kilmarnock

    Scott Brown fires Celts to victory against Kilmarnock

    By: Tony Connelly on 17 Feb, 2019 18:04

  • Scottish Premiership
    Sunday, February 17, 2019
    Rugby Park, Kilmarnock

    CELTIC…1
    (Brown 90)

    KILMARNOCK…0

    SCOTT Brown fired Celtic to victory with a last-minute goal against Kilmarnock to secure a 1-0 win at Rugby Park. The Celtic captain's goal helped the Scottish champions move eight points clear at the top of the table. 

    Brown’s half volley from the edge of the penalty area saw the Celtic captain score his second goal in consecutive domestic games for the Hoops.  

    Both sides showed a willingness to attack from the off and James Forrest linked up well with Jeremy Toljan out on the right to create Celtic’s first goalscoring opportunity of the game. Some neat passing between the pair resulted in Forrest cutting into the box and rolling the ball to Edouard’s feet. With his back to goal, the Frenchman turned and got a shot off but it flew narrowly wide of the post.

    Shortly after that, McGregor threaded a pass through to Ryan Christie who spotted Edouard’s run in behind the Killie defence. It was a good ball from the Hoops midfielder but Daniel Bachmann rushed off his line to block the shot.

    Kilmarnock used their pace in wide areas to threaten Celtic on the counter-attack. The first attempt was an ambitious long-range strike from Eamonn Brophy which was off target. Out on the right Chris Burke was the home side’s main source of attack. He gifted Brophy a golden opportunity midway through the first half after breaking away in possession, but the striker’s shot from the right side of the six-yard box was blocked.

    Later in the first half Ryan Christie linked up Callum McGregor on the edge of the area with a lovely back-heel return pass, but McGregor slipped at the crucial moment and the keeper saved comfortably.

    Jonny Hayes looked increasingly comfortable in the left-back position with a good defensive performance and some quality crosses into the Kilmarnock box.

    Celtic settled into their attacking rhythm 10 minutes after the start of the second half as they increased the pressure on their opponents. Kilmarnock defended well, though, and didn’t allow Brendan Rodgers' side any clear-cut opportunities.

    They defended in numbers, packing the final third so as to deny Celtic any space to work with. The Hoops tried to find a way past them with quick passing on the edge of the area and they almost succeeded in doing so. McGregor returned Christie’s pass with a chipped effort over the opposition defence, but the keeper was alert to the danger and pounced on the ball as it came into his six-yard box.

    Christie came close midway through the second half from a set-piece from around 30-yards but his shot flew wide of the top corner.

    Celtic were handed an advantage with 15 minutes remaining in the game when Kirk Broadfoot was shown a straight red for a high-footed challenge on Brown.

    The Hoops piled on the pressure in the final stages of the game as they desperately looked to take all three points. The best chance came from a Hayes cross into the box. Christie rose high to get on the end of it with a powerful header but he was unable to direct it on target.

    Scott Sinclair tried to play Olivier Burke through on goal with a scooped pass over for the Hoops striker but it was a yard too far in front of him.

    Vakoun Issouf Bayo made his Celtic debut as a late substitution and the Ivorian striker nearly scored with a deft flick at the near post from Timothy Weah’s low cross.

    His effort won Celtic a corner which proved to be pivotal in determining the outcome of the game. Scott Brown latched on to Kilmarnock’s clearance from the corner with a half-volley which took a deflection and veered past the keeper.

    The goal sent the traveling Celtic fans into hysteria and Brown’s celebrations with the fans saw him given a second yellow, leaving both teams with 10 men during injury time.

    CELTIC: Bain; Tolja, Boyata, Ajer, Hayes; Brown, McGregor, Christie (Bayo 88); Forrest (Weah 76), Sinclair; Edouard (Burke 69)
    Subs: Gordon, Lustig, Bitton, Okoflex

    KILMARNOCK: Bachmann; O’Donnell, Broadfoot, S. Boyd, Taylor; Power, Dicker, Brophy (Bruce 76); Burke (McKenzie 84), Jones, McAleny (Millar 81)
    Subs: MacDonald, K. Boyd, Waters, Tshibola

    Website Man of the Match: Scott Brown

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