Celtic stunned by Hibs defeat
Celtic's lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League was cut to six points today after Leigh Griffiths' early goal earned Hibernian a 1-0 win at Easter Road.
After an impressive start to the season Hibs had taken just one point out their previous four matches while the league leaders started the game looking for their sixth straight league win.
However, the home side started brightly and took just nine minutes to open the scoring when Griffiths, who could return to parent club Wolverhampton Wanderers in January, took advantage of some slack defending to latch on to a long ball and finish low past Fraser Forster. Eoin Doyle should have done better with a header from a Griffiths cross and then blazed over just before the break as Hibs bossed the first half.
The Hoops upped the pace after the interval and Victor Wanyama came close before Efe Ambrose blew a great chance for an equaliser when he somehow scooped his effort over the bar from a couple of yards out.
Hibs keeper Ben Williams then made a superb save to deny a fierce Gary Hooper strike as they earned their first league win since 11 November. Celtic's closest rivals failed to take real advantage as second-placed Inverness could only manage a goalless draw against St Johnstone while Motherwell drew 2-2 with Kilmarnock.
Hibs have now taken four points out of six against Celtic this season and manager Pat Fenlon was pleased with the result. "We have played them twice now and done quite well so I am delighted with today's performance," he said.
Lennon shoulders blame
Celtic manager Neil Lennon said his formation was to blame for the defeat. The Hoops started the match with a 3-4-3 formation but they struggled to cope with Hibs in the early exchanges.
Celtic changed to a flat back four and improved after the break as they chased an equaliser.
However, Hibs held on to end Celtic's five-game winning run in the SPL and Lennon said he had to shoulder the blame.
"I'm not disappointed with our performance," Lennon said. "But I am disappointed at the goal and disappointed with my own formation and how I set it up early on so I changed it. I will take the blame for that.
"We had two formations set up and I've chosen the wrong one by the looks of it. The three at the back didn't really work for us and when we went to a flat back four we were in control of the game.
"For 70-odd minutes we dominated the game and I'm disappointed with our final ball and composure in front of goal. On another day we would have won the game comfortably.
"So in terms of attitude and desire and intensity I can't fault the players - it was there for all to see. We just lacked an edge in front of goal today."
Celtic now face Motherwell on Wednesday.