Keane gives Lennon second win
Robbie Keane gave Neil Lennon his second win as Celtic caretaker boss as his penalty secured a 1-0 victory over Hibernian on Sunday.
Lennon, who replaced sacked manager Tony Mowbray last month, oversaw a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock in his first game and on-loan Tottenham star Keane's second half spot-kick extended the interim chief's 100 percent record.
The win at Easter Road also moved second-placed Celtic back to within 10 points of leaders Rangers. "I am more pleased than I was last week. I asked them at half-time, 'Can you see it through now? Can you go and get a goal and maybe another one and win the game?' And they did it," he said. "Without being brilliant, I am pleased with the character my team showed and the ability to grind out a result.
"My back four and midfield two were outstanding when they had to be and we had to rely on the goalkeeper [stand-in Lukasz Zaluska] but that is what he is paid for. We dominated the second half at times and I would like us to create more chances but we are two games in. Possibly we could have drawn or lost that game earlier in the season," he added.
Polish goalkeeper Zaluska was back between the posts for Celtic as his compatriot Artur Boruc was left out due to a family bereavement. Zaluska was called into action after just five minutes as he pushed Ian Murray's header away for a corner. From the set-piece, Hibs had another chance but defender Sol Bamba shot over the bar from close-range.
Hibs were well on top in the opening stages and Zaluska had to make another good save. Anthony Stokes raced clear of the Hoops defence and tried to drive a shot in at the near post but Zaluska saved well.
Lennon's side threatened for the first time when Lee Naylor's corner was headed back across goal by Georgios Samaras and Josh Thompson volleyed over. Then referee Charlie Richmond ignored a penalty claim from Keane after he claimed Murray had handled the ball in the area.
The visitors were below their best in the first half and Hibs took the lead when Stokes had the ball in the Celtic net in the 39th minute, only for it to be ruled offside. Keane has been in prolific form since his loan move from Tottenham in January, but the Republic of Ireland striker mis-kicked from Marc-Antoine Fortune's cross two minutes before the interval.
Keane makes it 12 for 12
Celtic started the second half in more convincing fashion and Aiden McGeady cut inside before driving over the bar from the edge of the area. The Hoops kept pressing and took the lead in the 61st minute.
Naylor's free-kick was pushed away by Stack for another corner but as the home side tried to clear their lines from the set-piece, Stokes conceded a penalty by raising his foot up to McGeady's head in a lunging attempt to halt the midfielder's run. Keane stepped up and slammed the penalty to Stack's right-hand side for his 12th goal in 12 games. Hibs nearly drew level in the 68th minute when Derek Riordan's long-range shot hit the top of the Celtic bar.
Riordan and John Rankin were replaced by Danny Galbraith and Abdessalam Benjelloun as the Leith side tried to get back on level terms. But the hosts never found enough momentum to trouble Celtic again as Lennon continued his impressive start.