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Lennon's side scrape a win with a first-half goal, restoring their four-point lead at the top over Scottish League rivals Rangers in a match dominated by red cards at Celtic Park

An early goal from Joe Ledley was enough to give Celtic a win over Inverness in Neil Lennon's 100th match as manager, with both sides having a man dismissed.

Whilst Rabiu Ibrahim was available for the first time after the Nigerian sorted out issues delaying his eligibility, Lennon did not select the midfielder in his squad and he also had to make do without Thomas Rogne who was out injured.

Terry Butcher, meanwhile, made a host of changes from the side that were beaten by Celtic in the Scottish Cup, Ryan Esson returned in goal in place of Jonathan Tuffey, while new signing Claude Gnakpa was handed a starting place.

The hosts started the brighter of the two sides, and the first chance of the match saw Victor Wanyama's header go just over the bar.

Caley were not looking over-run but Lennon's men managed to open the scoring after a quarter of an hour when Scott Brown played in James Forrest, who delivered a cross for Joe Ledley to tap in.

Charlie Mulgrew was next to threaten the keeper's goal with two attempts in quick succession, firstly with a powerful free-kick which forced a brilliant save from Essen and then a drilled 25-yard low drive that went just wide.

The rest of the first-half saw little action, but after the break things intensified somewhat. Daniel Majstorovic clashed with Jonny Hayes as the Caley wide-man got in behind the defender and the Celtic man was controversially sent-off on the hour mark.

The visitors wasted the chance to take full advantage right away as Gnakpa decided to shoot when he had team-mates waiting in the middle, his effort finding the side-netting.

Butcher's men then made even less use of the extra-man by having one of their own shown the red card less than 20 minutes after Majstorovic was dismissed. Steve Williams was shown a second yellow for an unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras.

Ross then sliced wildly wide before being expertly ushered off the ball inside the box by Mulgrew just as the midfielder fancied his chances of an equaliser that never came for the visitors from Inverness.

The red cards took the main stage in the second period, with neither side really creating any other chances allowing Celtic to see out the victory with ease.

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