Celtic 2-2 Hibs: McGinn double not enough to end Celtic run

John McGinn scored a double but it wasn't enough to end Celtic's unbeaten run. Picture: SNS Group
John McGinn scored a double but it wasn't enough to end Celtic's unbeaten run. Picture: SNS Group
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John McGinn scored two sensational second half goals to put Celtic's long unbeaten run under threat but ultimately Hibs had to sette for a thoroughly merited point at the home of the Scottish champions.

Callum McGregor had put Celtic ahead with an early goal but McGinn hammered a first time shot beyond goalkeeper Craig Gordon to haul Hibs level, the ex-Hearts man pulling off a sensational save to prevent Steven Whittaker firing the Capital side ahead.

McGinn did exactly that, sending a thunderbolt into the roof of Gordon's net but just as it looked as if Hibs would become the first Scottish side to beat Celtic in 58 attempts, McGregor claimed his own second of the game.

Hibs boss Neil Lennon got his expected enthusiastic welcome as he returned to Celtic Park for the first time, waving briefly to the crowd before taking an unfamiliar seat in the away dug-out.

It was the Edinburgh club who enjoyed the first opening, James Forrest's trip on Anthony Stokes giving Hibs a free-kick inches outside the Celtic penalty area.

Stokes took it himself, forcing Craig Gordon to tip the ball over the cross bar.

But it was Celtic who took the lead in the 15th minute, Kieran Tierney playing a superb ball forward for Moussa Dembele who stepped inside and played the ball in for McGregor who didn't have to break stride as he stroked it beyond the helpless Ross Laidlaw.

Tom Rogic went close to making it two for the Glasgow side, dispossessing McGinn and testing Laidlaw with a shot delivered with the outside of his right boot before Stokes drilled a low effort straight at Gordon from 18 yards.

A terrific long ball from Lewis Stevenson sent Martin Boyle sprinting clear of the Celtic defence but the paciest player in the Hibs side wasn't able to cash in on his speed as Dedryck Boyata got back to him, forcing him to balloon the ball over the bar.

Odsonne Edouard had an equally glorious chance to increase Celtic's lead a couple of minutes later when Jonny Hayes' pass left him with only Laidlaw to beat - but the goalkeeper got his left boot to the shot to clear the danger.

Edouard was replaced by Scott Sinclair at the interval and the substitute almost got Celtic's second goal within three minutes, playing a one-two with Dembele only to see Laidlaw half-stop his low shot, Stevenson stepping in to complete the clearance.

But it was Hibs who who equalised in dramatic fashion, Marvin Bartley latching onto Vykintas Slivka's pass and although his run was blocked, the ball broke for McGinn who lashed a vicious low shot into the bottom left hand corner of Gordon's net from 22 yards out.

Gordon may not have been able to do anything about that but he kept Celtic level with a stunning point-blank save as Steven Whittaker got on the end of Stokes' knockdown from McGinn's corner.

The Hibs defender was only a yard or so out but somehow the ex-Hearts man managed to get across his line to get a hand to his shot with Whittaker looking as if he was already beginning to celebrate.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers had, by this time, thrown on former Hibs striker Leigh Griffiths and he used the last of his three substitutes in replacing Forrest with Patrick Roberts as Hibs threatened to end his side's run of 57 matches unbeaten in domestic competition.

And that threat grew all the greater as McGinn claimed another superb goal to fire Hibs ahead with 14 minutes remaining. Mikael Lustig could do no better than head Efe Ambrose's long ball down to the midfielder's feet and he wasted no time in again taking the shot on first time, hammering it high into the roof of Gordon's net.

But McGinn and Hibs’ joy was shortlived as McGregor claimed his second goal of the game, coolly drilling a low shot through a ruck of players and into Laidlaw's net after Griffiith's cross had fallen to him.

Sinclair went close to winning it for Celtic three minutes from time as he broke through Ambrose's challenge only for Laidlaw to pull off a tremendous save, the Hoops player complaining that Ambrose had grabbed him to prevent him getting a cleaner strike.

Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Rogic, Boyata, Tierney, McGregor, Ntcham, Forrest (Roberts 70\), McGregor, Edouard (Sinclair 46), Dembele (Griffiths 60), Hayes.

Substitutes not used: De Vries, Ajer, E Henderson, Ralston.

Hibs: Laidlaw, Whittaker, Ambrose, Hanlon, Stevenson, Slivka (Barker 83), Bartley (S Murray 89), Boyle, McGinn, McGeouch, Stokes.

Substitutes not used: Dabrowski, Matulevicius, Swanson, F Murray, Porteous.

Referee: Willie Collum