Hibernian 3, Celtic 2. SPL. Sunday, September 23, 2007
Two goalkeeping howlers from Celtic’s Artur Boruc handed the Hibees victory over SPL leaders Celtic after a five-goal thriller at Easter Road.
The result left John Collins’ men as the only unbeaten side left in the league after seven games - with this match their fourth win.
Mark Wilson and Shunsuke Nakamura were ruled out after picking up injuries in Celtic’s midweek Champions League loss to Shakhtar Donestk in Ukraine and were replaced by Jean-Joel Perrier-Doumbe and Aiden McGeady. Hibs were without the suspended Clayton Donaldson, while Filipe Morais dropped to the bench, with striker Steven Fletcher and Kevin McCann being granted starting berths.
Manager Collins sprung a surprise by adopting a 3-5-2 formation that had backfired on a couple of previous occasions.
Goalkeeper Yves Ma-Kalambay was forced to make a couple of early blocks from Scott McDonald efforts after the Australian forward exploited the extra space just outside the six-yard box.
But Hibs stunned the visitors when Fletcher’s slightly deflected drive from 25 yards somehow managed to deceive Polish keeper Boruc.
That settled the home side, but they suffered a blow after 19 minutes, when Fletcher was stretchered off in some distress after picking up a leg knock following a 50-50 challenge with Stephen McManus.
And the Edinburgh side were pegged back seven minutes later after a swift interchange of passes between McDonald and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink inside the Hibs box set up Aiden McGeady to drive the ball into the corner of the net from 16 yards.
Collins had seen enough and pulled off young Lewis Stevenson after 29 minutes and his replacement, Morais, made an immediate impression with some clever jinking runs from central midfield.
The former St Johnstone and Millwall player was involved as Hibs regained their lead with their second goal four minutes before the interval.
Thierry Gathuessi was in the right place at the right time to collect a poor headed clearance by Gary Caldwell and he blasted the ball into the far corner from 15 yards.
Hibs were first to threaten after the break and Caldwell had to clear just before the line after Morais had beaten Boruc to a through ball and lobbed the goalkeeper from an acute angle.
Mickael Antoine-Curier and substitute Dean Shiels both fired efforts wide, but Celtic started to take control.
Only two desperate late lunges from Rob Jones denied Paul Hartley and Scott Brown being put clear close to goal, while Ma-Kalambay did well to turn a powerful McGeady effort over the crossbar.
But, from the resulting corner, Caldwell headed powerfully home from eight yards.
Just when it looked like Celtic would save their unbeaten league record, Boruc dropped Merouane Zemmama’s drive and Shiels forced the ball home with three minutes left.
Hibs: Y Makaba-Makalamby, K McCann (M Zemmama, 74), C Hogg, R Jones, D Murphy, T Gathuessi, G Beuzelin, B Kerr, L Stevenson (F Morais, 30), M Antoine-Curierd, S Fletcher (D Shiels, 20). Subs not used:T Joneleit, A O’Brien, A McNeil, R Campbell.
Celtic: A Boruc, J Perrier Doumbe, G Caldwell, S McManusd, L Naylor, P Hartley, S Brown, M Donati (D Riordan, 89), A McGeady, J Vennegoor of Hesselink, S McDonald (C Killen, 67). Subs not used:J O’Brien, M Brown, D O’Dea, M Zurawski, E Sno.