THERE was delight and despair for Neil Lennon after Celtic’s impressive 3-0 dismissal of Hibs at Parkhead yesterday.
JOY at what the Hoops boss rated a “10 out of 10” performance against Jack Ross’ strong Easter Road outfit that added three more points in the quest for the historic tenth successive title.
GRIEF at the possibility of being without both Albian Ajeti, who snapped up his fifth goal for the club with the second against the Edinburgh men, and James Forrest for the Europa League play-off against Sarajevo in Bosnia on Thursday and the next two Premiership games against St Johnstone in Perth on Sunday and Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side on October 17.
Lennon went into the confrontation against his old Leith club kowing the champions could not afford a slip following the news the Govan side had won 5-1 at Motherwell earlier in the day.
The Irishman, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “It was 10 out of 10, the best of the season. One of the best of my time as manager the first or second time around.
“I thought we were outstanding and I thought the football we played was brilliant. The control of the game was brilliant.
“We defended when we had to, really well. And it was just an outstanding all-round team performance.
“It was a big game for us. Hibs came here having not dropped a point away from home, but we were miles ahead in all departments.”
The bad news, though, is that £5million Swiss striker Ajeti will join Forrest in being scanned after tugging his hamstring while scoring his goal to add to Callum McGregor’s early opening strike.
Lennon added: “Hopefully, that will only be a couple of weeks. Albian has not had a lot of football in the last 12 months and you can’t just throw him into game after game.
“We try to do it bit by bit, getting him fitter game-by-game. Then something like that happens. It’s unfortunate because he is in great goalscoring form and we will definitely miss him.
“James has had a scan and then we will have a fair idea of the length of time after that. I would doubt very much he would make the Scotland game against Israel a week on Thursday.
“Ryan Christie will be fine. He was almost winded by an elbow on the stomach and pretty sore at half-time. He should be okay.”
The playmaker was felled as he helped set up the second goal and looked in some distress before he was replaced at the interval by £3.25million new Bhoy David Turnbull who looked the part and played a key role in Mohamed Elyounoussi’s goal for the third and killer strike against the visitors.