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Celtic’s convincing win over Hibernian impresses manager Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon file photo
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Neil Lennon gave his Celtic side a perfect report card after their convincing 3-0 win over Hibernian at Parkhead.

First half goals from Callum McGregor and Albian Ajeti had the Hoops comfortable at the interval, although the Switzerland striker injured himself scoring his fifth goal in nine appearances since signing from West Ham for £4.5million and had to be replaced by Odsonne Edouard.

Attacker Mohamed Elyounoussi completed the scoring in the 75th minute to take Celtic to within a point of Premiership leaders Rangers with a game in hand over their Old Firm rivals.

A delighted Lennon said: “It was 10 out of 10, the best of the season and one of the best of my time as manager, first or second time around.

“I thought we were outstanding and I thought the football we played was brilliant. I thought the control of the game was brilliant.

“We defended when we had to – really well – and it was just an outstanding all -round team performance.

“I’m pleased, it was a big game for us. Hibs came here having not dropped a point away from home.

“We were miles ahead in all departments and I was really, really pleased with it.”

The Northern Irishman revealed that winger James Forrest, who missed the game with an ankle knock, will have a scan on Monday, while Ryan Christie, replaced by David Turnbull at the interval, should be fine for the Europa League play-off against Sarajevo on Thursday.

Ajeti, however, is set to miss the next few matches.

Albian Ajeti File Photo

Albian Ajeti’s hamstring strain was a rare setback for Celtic on Sunday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

He said: “Ajeti looks like a hamstring strain, so hopefully that will only be a couple of weeks.

“He has not had a lot of football in the last 12 months and you can’t just throw him into game after game after game.

“We try to do it bit by bit, getting him fitter game by game – and then something like that happens.

“It’s unfortunate because he is in great goal scoring form and we will definitely miss him.

Celtic v Hibernian – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park

Celtic manager Neil Lennon liked what he saw from his team (Jane Barlow/PA)

“Christie will be fine, he should be OK. He was almost winded by an elbow on the stomach and  pretty sore at half-time. He should be OK for Thursday.

“James will have a scan tomorrow but I doubt very much he will make the Scotland game (versus Israel).”

Hibs boss Jack Ross noted that his side had made several chances against the champions without really testing Celtic keeper Vasilis Barkas.

He said: “I was surprised by how many times we were in, in the first half in particular.

Hibernian v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Easter Road

There was frustration for Jack Ross (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“It is not often you come here and do that. We need to take those opportunities.

“I don’t think there were any glaring misses, but equally there were chances I am sure Christian (Doidge) and Kevin (Nisbet) feel they would have expected to make more of.

“Even Joe (Newell) had a couple from outside the box. It didn’t quite happen for us in that respect, but the number of opportunities we created was encouraging.”