Match report as Celtic drew 0-0 with Hibs. Hoops midfielder James Forrest hits the crossbar late on. They are now eight points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership. Watch Kilmarnock vs Aberdeen live on Sky Sports Football from 11am on Sunday
by Alison Conroy, digital sports journalist @Alison J. Conroy
19:02, United Kingdom, Saturday 28 October 2023
Brendan Rodgers’ wait for a win at Easter Road continues after his Celtic side held to a 0-0 draw with Hibs.
The Hoops had the chance to go 10 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership but struggled after their midweek Champions League effort against Atletico Madrid.
Both teams wasted early chances – Hibs goalkeeper David Marshall denied Daisen Maeda and Callum McGregor, while Hibs striker Martin Boyle sent an effort over the bar.
His shot from James Forrest hit the crossbar late in the match, forcing Celtic to settle for a share of kicks, as this point put them eight points ahead of Rangers, who played on Sunday.
Hibs, who have not achieved any wins in their last four league matches, move up to eighth place.
Deadlock on the way to Easter
Celtic dominated possession early, but it was sloppy passing from Hibs that led to them having their first two chances of the first half. Paulo Bernardo fired wide from 22 yards before Marshall denied McGregor and Luis Palma with the rebound shot wide.
Anthony Ralston replaced Alistair Johnstone after the Celtic right-back received a ball in the face from Rocky Bushiri.
Ralston and fellow full-back Greg Taylor were occupying positions in the middle of the park but Celtic were struggling to break down Hibs.
- Brendan Rodgers made one change to Celtic’s starting lineup against Atletico Madrid
- Paulo Bernardo started in place of the injured Rio Hatate.
- Hibs started with Martin Boyle up front alongside Dylan Fenty, with Jair Tavares making just his fourth appearance for the club on the right wing.
- Rocky Bushiri replaced Paul Hanlon at centre-back.
The only time they trailed in the first half saw Taylor’s low cross reach Bernardo, who was unable to get the ball off his feet but tipped it away from Marshall only for the goalkeeper to recover brilliantly to deny Maeda.
Hibernian’s only moments of the first half saw Eli Ioane shoot straight at Joe Hart after starting a counter-attack himself and Dylan Fenty fire over the ball after a set-piece.
The hosts’ best chance came at the end of the first half when Jordan Obita sent a perfect cross to Puel, but the striker was unable to block his shot from six yards.
Rodgers made four attacking substitutions before midway through the second half, as Mickey Johnston made his first appearance with the club since March 2022, after spending last season on loan with Portuguese club Vitoria Guimaraes.
The Divers made their mark as Celtic began to pin down their hosts. Hyun-Gyu Oh blocked a difficult header before Marshall threw himself to his right to block Johnston’s long-range effort.
Hibs: Marshall (7), Miller (7), Fish (6), Yoann (6), Fenty (7), Puel (7), Newell (6), Gigo (6), Obita (7), Tavares (7). Bushiri (7)
Submarines: Levitt (7), Whittaker (6), Le Fondre (6)
Celtic: Hart (6), A. Johnston (5), Carter-Vickers (6), Scales (7), Taylor (6), McGregor (6), O’Reilly (6), Bernardo (6), Maeda (5), Palma (5), Kyogo (5)
Submarines: Ralston (6), Turnbull (5), Forrest (5), Oh (4), Mr Johnston (5)
Player of the match: David Marshall
Good play from Johnstone saw David Turnbull attempt to set up Oh but his low cross was turned wide before Forest hit the crossbar from the resulting corner.
The last chance saw Forest turn a low cross from Turnbull across the near post in stoppage time.
Rodgers: We lacked strength
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers spoke to Sky Sports full-time:
“The first 60 minutes were very slow from our point of view and when we made the changes, it brought energy to our game.
“We didn’t do enough today to win the game.
“We’ve played with speed and tempo before after European games, so if you’re doing it in the last 15 or 20 minutes, you can do it in the first 25 minutes.
“The players gave everything, but we were not strong enough.
“I will judge the team after 10 matches, in which we won eight and drew two, and faced almost every difficult field in this division.
“The players are collecting points and performing well, today we were not at our best.
“I think that [Alistair Johnston] Well, he was obviously a bit shaken by the ball coming at him so quickly.”
MONTGOMERY: Very proud
Hibs manager Nick Montgomery speaks to Sky Sports:
“I’m very proud of the players, I think it was a great effort because you’re talking about a team that just competed with Atletico Madrid.
“I thought we defended today the way I want to defend, we created a few good chances and limited them to four shots on goal.
“They then changed half the team with six good players and six good players, and kept the intensity going. At that point we really had to stand strong and I think we did that.”
Hibernian They are home to Ross County Their next Scottish Premiership match on Tuesday night kicks off at 7.45pm.
Celtic Hosts St Mirren On Wednesday night, the game starts at 7:45 p.m.