Match ends, Celtic 4, Hibernian 1.
Celtic 4-1 Hibernian: Oh Hyeon-gyu double as league leaders ease to victory6 December 2023
Brendan Rodgers praised "excellent" Oh Hyeon-gyu after the striker made the most of his rare start by netting a double as leaders Celtic swaggered to Scottish Premiership victory over stunned Hibernian.
The South Korea international - deputising for the rested Kyogo Furuhashi - netted in both halves as his side showed greater urgency than in recent flat performances.
A powerful Matt O'Riley header and a composed Luis Palma penalty - awarded after a controversial VAR check - wrapped up the confident win.
Hibs had their moments and pulled one back with a Christian Doidge tap-in, but stay fifth after being overawed by their opponents' quality.
"Oh was excellent," Celtic manager Rodgers said. "He was a really good reference for the team, his hold-up play, in the box he's there and obviously his second goal shows he can also run in behind.
"Great strength and then really good composure. I was really pleased with him. He came into the game and did really well."
Rodgers had promised opportunities for his fringe players and a quick start. The former provided the latter when Mikey Johnston won the corner that allowed the ball to ricochet off an unknowing Oh and into the back of the net inside five minutes.
Buoyed by the early goal and his manager's vote of confidence, the 22-year-old passed up the opportunity to score a second as he failed to convert Alistair Johnston's fantastic cross.
After O'Riley had continued his sensational season with a fine header, Hibs tried to fire a rapid response through the pace Elie Youan, though his lofted effort bounced off the chest of goalkeeper Joe Hart.
The visitors somehow made it to the break just two goals down after a minute of madness that culminated with a goalline clearance, but VAR would give Celtic the opportunity to stretch ahead early in the second period.
Lewis Stevenson caught the standing leg of Alistair Johnston in the box, with John Beaton checking the monitor before Palma stepped up to ease the leaders' recent penalty problem.
Determined to make his mark in a rare start, Oh ensured the headlines were his when he bullied Will Fish out of the way to clear his route to goal and roll the ball beyond David Marshall.
Having stuck to their brave principles in imposing conditions, Nick Montgomery may feel his side merited a goal as Youan's industry was rewarded with a square ball turned home by Doidge.
Celtic piled on the pressure as they sought added gloss to an already shining win, but Palma's free-kick, Kyogo's volley and Tomoki Iwata's rifled effort failed to find a fifth late on.
Player of the match - Callum McGregor (Celtic)Oh will deservedly soak up the plaudits for his double, but captain Callum McGregor was at his relentless best as his perpetual motion raised the intensity in the manner his manager demanded. He even managed to get a rare rest.
Celtic's depth on show as Hibs play their way - analysis
After battling away in a rare goalless draw at Easter Road earlier this season, the two clubs once again picked up their mantle as the division's great entertainers.
Celtic's last three games have all been plagued by a lack of energy and inventiveness, with Rodgers acutely aware of their deficiencies in his scalding of the players at half-time on Sunday.
Admitting he had never been angrier than he was the at interval in Perth, the Celtic manager will be more pleased with what he saw here.
The likes of Johnston, Oh and Iwata are not only adding competition to the squad, but vitally, they're actively raising the standards of a team who threatened to sleepwalk in their title defence.
At this point, it should be no surprise that Hibs stuck to their guns and endeavoured to play their brand of football at the home of the champions.
They had flashes - Youan striking the post in the second period the standout moment - without teasing Celtic into the game of fraught madness that may have benefitted the visitors.
It's just a second league defeat since Montgomery's arrival, and shouldn't derail the positive progress they've made under the Englishman in recent weeks.
What they said
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers: "This could have been a really tricky game for us because Hibs are a really good team. I thought our pressure was really good. Overall, delighted with the performance and I thought we were convincing winners."
Hibernian manager Nick Montgomery: "The most disappointing thing was the manner of the goals we conceded. They never carved us open really, it was our own doing, just poor defending. The first two goals are totally avoidable."
Celtic travel to Kilmarnock in an attempt to avenge their only domestic defeat of the season on Sunday (12:00 GMT), while Hibs make the short trip to West Lothian to face Livingston the day before (15:00).
- 20Carter-VickersSubstituted forPhillipsat 45'minutes
- 3TaylorSubstituted forRalstonat 57'minutes
- 42McGregorBooked at 44minsSubstituted forGonçalves Bernardoat 82'minutes
- 90JohnstonSubstituted forTilioat 63'minutes
- 19OhSubstituted forFuruhashiat 63'minutes
- 7PalmaBooked at 21mins
- 28Gonçalves Bernardo
- 5FishBooked at 84mins
- 33BushiriSubstituted forHanlonat 67'minutes
- 32CampbellSubstituted forMolotnikovat 67'minutesBooked at 86mins
- 6LevittSubstituted forJeggoat 58'minutes
- 29da Veiga Vieira TavaresSubstituted forWhittakerat 82'minutes
- 10BoyleSubstituted forDoidgeat 58'minutes
- John Beaton
Second Half ends, Celtic 4, Hibernian 1.
This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/67562657?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA