The Celtic train rolled on against Hibernian last night. Only a reckless late lunge on Emilio Izaguirre caused Brendan Rodgers any concern. The prospects of Jonny Hayes at left back against Valencia one week today, or worse, a midfield without Callum McGregor, who is drafted into defence, are not inspiring.
Two of the three teams below dropped points. Kilmarnock and Aberdeen now have 11 points to make up, while Newco have six. When league duties resume in 10 days we return to Rugby Park, scene of Kilmarnock’s late win over the champions earlier this season. Europe distracted Celtic on that occasion. The next Killie game is sandwiched between matches against Valencia. I could make the case that the visit to Ayrshire is more important than the trip to Spain.
I liked Jeremy Toljan. He adds a speed of thought to our forward play that was missing on the right. Much of the good passing broke down at the edge of the box, no doubt a consequence of having new faces in the striker role(s). The impact last month’s additions are having are pronounced; still more will come.
You should only question the commitment of professionals with good evidence, but last night’s Hibs team were not sufficiently attentive looking. They turned up for the physical challenge, but were passed through regularly. It looks like the renascence, when they could boss any team in the league, is over.