Hibs debrief: Josh Campbell's continued ascent, Steven McLean's performance, strength in depth disparity
A look back at Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Celtic Park as Hibs battled for most of the game with ten men.
Player of the match
Josh Campbell was everywhere for the Hibees. The midfielder puts in some amount of work for his team but this game was another example of his burgeoning quality in possession. Asked to lead the line after Elie Youan’s red card, he didn't have much support but still managed to make himself a nuisance and get Hibs up the park. He also tucked away the penalty for his ninth goal of the campaign.
Maybe an odd choice as the game was already gone by then, but Sead Haksabanovic’s goal in stoppage time underlined the difficulty of getting anything at Celtic Park, especially for a team made to play the majority of it with ten men. The home side didn’t do anywhere near enough to cut open Hibs throughout the game, scoring via a penalty and a set-piece before the substitute rifled a late finish into the far corner from distance, underlining the incredible depth of talent enjoyed by Ange Postecoglou’s side.
Hibs were on the receiving end of a poor officiating performance from Steven McLean. The first yellow card given to Youan was harsh, considering it was his first foul, but the second was a shocker. Youan does catch Cameron Carter-Vickers in the head with an attempted bicycle kick, but he was barely off the ground as the Celtic defender stooped low to try and win his header. McLean also failed to notice the foul on Paul Hanlon for the Hibs penalty and awarded Celtic a bizarre spot kick of their own later in the game. VAR had to intervene on both occasions.
Benefit of hindsight
Lee Johnson has been questioned by some Hibs fans online for his use of substitutions during the game with Jake Doyle-Hayes, Will Fish and Lewis Miller all going off despite having great games defensively. However, Miller and Doyle-Hayes were in the starting XI for the first time since July and August, respectively, so clearly didn’t have 90 minutes on their legs. Fish also picked up a knock. The Hibs boss picked the perfect tactics and team, he just couldn’t match the quality Celtic brought off the bench.