Celtic 3-0 Hibernian: Commons double sees Hoops edge closer to the title

Mikael Lustig gets the other goal for the SPL leaders who will have to wait to claim their second straight title, while the visitors are condemned to the bottom six after the split
A double from Kris Commons along with a Mikael Lustig header saw Celtic move closer to the SPL title with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Hibernian.

A James McFadden equaliser for Motherwell against St Mirren meant that the Parkhead will have to wait until after the break to claim the trophy.

The home side made two changes from the side that drew at St Mirren, with Beram Kayal and Georgios Samaras dropping out of the team, with Lustig and Anthony Stokes replacing the pair.

With a Scottish Cup semi-final against Falkirk upcoming next week, Pat Fenlon was delighted to be able to recall Paul Hanlon along with Jorge Claros and David Wotherspoon in place of Lewis Stevenson, Tom Taiwo and Eoin Doyle.

Both sides played very open early on, with Gary Hooper for Celtic and Leigh Griffiths for the visitors looking dangerous, but neither of them could find the opener.

Just before the quarter of an hour mark the leaders went ahead after a superb passing move which saw Charlie Mulgrew play the ball to Hooper, he in turn found Commons on the edge of the area and after nearly losing the ball between his feet, he regained control and fired beyond Ben Williams.

Hooper should have extended the lead for the home side with half an hour gone as he received a pass from Stokes, but the English striker couldn’t find a way past Williams to double the advantage for Celtic.

Hibernian rarely threatened the Celtic goal, with the only real effort coming from Griffiths, after he was played in by Alex Harris, but the attack was snuffed out by Victor Wanyama as the leaders went into the break ahead.

Within five minutes of the restart the home side had doubled their lead as Lustig had the freedom of the right hand side, crossing into the box for Commons, who turned his mark Hanlon and smashed home for his second of the game.

Neil Lennon’s side continued to press forward and a could have extended their advantage as Stokes had an effort from the edge of the Hibernian penalty area, but Williams was able to beat the ball away for a corner.

Commons should have sealed his hat-trick just before the hour mark as Claros gave away possession on just outside his own box, allowing Hooper to round Williams before trying to play in his team-mate, but the 29-year-old lost possession before he could finish.

A minute later they did claim a third after a corner between Commons and Joe Ledley saw the Welshman cross for Lustig to head home despite the claims from the visitors that the Swede had used his hand.

The home side continued to press late on with Hooper getting his head to an Emilio Izaguirre cross from the left, but his effort drifted wide of goal.

They couldn’t add to their lead, but most of the Celtic Park crowd were in party mood despite having to wait until after the split to claim the title.