BRENDAN RODGERS admitted “the better team won” after Hibs’ 2-1 victory postponed Celtic’s title celebrations.
The Hoops needed three points from Easter Road this afternoon to make sure of their seventh successive Premiership crown.
However, Neil Lennon’s side fought furiously for the win to stall his former club’s inevitable surge to their flag success with Sevco Rangers next up at Parkhead a week tomorrow.
Rodgers conceded: “Over the course of the game, Hibs were better than us.
“They were obviously very intent to not let there be a party for us, as you would expect.
“We didn’t defend well enough as a team and with the ball we were too slow, the passing, we expected too much time on the ball.
“We didn’t keep the ball for long enough periods in their half. I thought our outstanding player was Tom Rogic. He was the one who played up to form.
“Unfortunately, Scott Brown has been ill, but he put himself out their to play. You could see it, he thought he was going to be sick towards the end.
“We’re fighting to close out the league, it’s not done yet. It doesn’t matter how we do it. If it goes to next weekend, then we’ll look to close it out then.
“That’s not in my thoughts now. We need to look at this and see how we can be better.”
TV pictures showed Jamie Maclaren was just offside when he scored the opening goal in the first-half and substitute Vykintas Slivka headed in a second
Odsonne Edouard scored a late consolation for the visitors who have dropped seven points to the Edinburgh club this season.
Easter Road gaffer Neil Lennon said: “We’ve given Celtic four tough games in the league and I thought we were well worthy of the win.
“Celtic are a good side and you need to be concentrated and disciplined. We were strong. We wanted to press Celtic high up the park, we didn’t want them to dominate the ball like they do against most teams.
“That’s as good as we’ve played all season, when you take into context the opposition and the circumstances, and it was so important to win to keep the push for second place going.
We really went for Celtic and matched them for football and intensity. We scored two quality goals and it could have been more.”
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