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Celts title hopes dashed by managerless Hibs

22 December 2007 19:13

GLASGOW (AFP) - Celtic suffered another blow to their Scottish Premier League title hopes when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to managerless Hibernian on Saturday.

David Murphy put the Easter Road side ahead but Celtic levelled through Czech Republic midfielder Jiri Jarosik in the second half.

The result means Celtic have taken only six points from a possible 15 in their last five games and although they lead the SPL table by three points, second placed Rangers have played three games less.

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan could not fault his players' effort but admitted they have not been at their best in recent weeks.

He said: "We made a great start to the game for the first 20 minutes then they ran up the park and scored and for 15 minutes we had a problem.

"In terms of character both teams were equal in wanting to win but in terms of chances we won by a long way.

"We needed to relax in front of goal as we rushed too many chances and Jiri showed us how to do it by side-footing the ball for the goal."

Celtic had the first effort on target in the seventh minute.

Former Hibs midfielder Scott Brown won a tackle in the middle of the pitch before blasting a 25-yard power driver towards goal, requiring the visitor's Belgian goalkeeper Yves Makalamby to dive to his left to push the ball away.

But against the run of play Hibs, who had been rocked by John Collins' shock resignation as manager on Thursday, took the lead in the 20th minute.

Left-back Murphy drove forward from the halfway line, played a smart one-two with Moroccan Abdessalam Benjelloun, and then smashed a spectacular shot past goalkeeper Mark Brown which struck the underside of the bar before bouncing into the roof of the net.

Both sides could have scored at the start of the second half.

First Scott Brown's shot across the face of goal was just wide in the 46th minute and two minutes later Brian Kerr's looping header was destined for the net until Mark Brown made a fantastic fingertip save to push it over.

But in the 78th minute Celtic finally made the breakthrough.

Scott Brown's corner was headed back across goal by Stephen McManus, Dutch striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink touched out to Jarosik - who replaced Massimo Donati in the 64th minute - and the Czech poked the ball low into the corner of the net from 10-yards.

Hibs caretaker manager Tommy Craig was delighted with his players' display.

He said: "We had a great run at the start of the season and produced some wonderful performances but then suffered a bit of a dip.

"This was a return to that level and hopefully if we can maintain that sort of effort and performance we can climb the table."

In the other SPL games bottom of the table Gretna got only their second win of the season with a 2-1 victory away to Dundee United - who they have now beaten twice.

Kenny Deuchar and Nicky Deverdics scored for Gretna in the first half with Noel Hunt briefly levelled the score for United.

Inverness Caledonian won 3-2 at Hearts. Caley were two ahead through Russell Duncan and a John Rankin penalty, and although Christophe Berra and a last minute penalty from Lithuanian striker Andrius Velicka cancelled out their advantage Graham Bayne scored a dramatic injury time winner.

Third placed Motherwell lost 3-0 at home to Falkirk, with Michael Higdon's double after the break followed by a Patrick Clegg goal.

And St Mirren drew 0-0 at home to Kilmarnock.

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Info

1 - 1

Competition
Premiership
Date
22 December 2007
Kick-off
16:00
Half-time
0 - 1
Full-time
1 - 1

Goals

0 - 1
1 - 1

Saturday 2 August

Friday 1 August

22:25
21:54
20:48
20:47
19:51
19:41
19:11
18:50
18:27
18:09
18:08
17:51
17:27
16:57
16:47
16:26
16:15
16:06
15:34
15:23
15:05
14:29
14:28
13:58
13:32
13:25
12:59
12:31
12:11
11:43
11:35
11:12
10:59
10:51
10:08
10:01
09:54
09:45
09:44
09:04
08:41
08:23
07:42
06:56
06:00
05:58
05:53
05:43
04:15
03:57
03:53
03:51
03:49
02:50
02:39
02:24
01:54

Thursday 31 July

23:53
23:28
22:40
22:30
22:17
21:53
21:47
21:30
21:07
19:31
19:19
19:16
19:07
18:42
17:41
17:40
17:14
17:10
16:42
16:39
16:37
16:33
16:24
16:22
16:04
16:03
16:03
15:40
15:05
14:05
13:58
13:46
13:17
13:10
12:40
12:10
11:50
11:12
10:50
10:18
10:11
09:58
09:24
09:21
08:00
07:30
07:23
07:22
07:12
07:10
06:06
05:56
05:07
03:50
03:47
03:27
03:25
02:28
00:58

Premiership table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
3 0 +0 0
4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0
6 0 +0 0
7 0 +0 0
8 0 +0 0
9 0 +0 0
10 0 +0 0
11 0 +0 0
12 0 +0 0

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