Ten-man Celtic survive another storm
Georgios Samaras gave ten-man Celtic a 1-0 win at Hibernian after Tony Mowbray's team survived another diving controversy. Greece striker Samaras put Celtic ahead just before half-time with his first league goal since December, but midfielder McGeady earned a second yellow card for diving after the break.
Mowbray and his staff were furious and it seemed the Hoops would suffer from another decision over a piece of simulation just five days after Arsenal striker Eduardo's fall earned a crucial penalty that ended Celtic's UEFA Champions League challenge. But, despite being a man down for last 30 minutes, Celtic finished strongly to maintain their 100 per cent start to the league season and keep pace with leaders Rangers.
There was no sign of any hangover from that Arsenal defeat as a flowing Celtic move early on ended with McGeady driving high over the bar. Samaras was next to threaten with a header from Danny Fox's corner that flashed over the crossbar.
Celtic captain Gary Caldwell almost gave his side the lead in the 37th minute as a Shaun Maloney corner from the left inadvertently came off his knee and flew over. But Mowbray's team went in front in more conventional fashion in the 41st minute when Samaras got on the end of an Andreas Hinkel cross from the right to head past Graham Stack.
Hibs made a more positive start to the second half and Derek Riordan tested Artur Boruc with a close-range drive. The Celtic goalkeeper then had to claw away the resultant corner to safety before Hibs captain Chris Hogg headed John Rankin's next corner over the bar.
The hosts were given a helping hand in the 62nd minute when McGeady was sent off. The Republic of Ireland talent, booked in the first half for a foul on Riordan, was shown a second yellow by referee Dougie McDonald after going to ground as he was tackled by Paul Hanlon. Moments later, as the game threatened to boil over, there was more drama when Boruc was at full stretch to tip David Wotherspoon's long-distance drive on to the post before the ball was cleared to safety.
In the 76th minute Boruc made another good save from Riordan before substitute Colin Nish, on seconds earlier for Anthony Stokes, curled an effort from the edge of the box inches over. Stack foiled Samaras in stoppage time as the striker ran through on goal and Celtic had done enough to hold on.