Three things we learned from Celtic v Hibs

Mark Atkinson analyses the action at Celtic Park ...

Saturday, 20th October 2018, 5:18 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th October 2018, 5:22 pm
Martin Boyle was Hibs' best player. Pic: SNS

Shocking start haunted Hibs

To take anything from Celtic Park, it's so important to keep the door shut early in the match. Hibs failed to do so. They looked uncomfortable in a 3-5-2 formation that had Lewis Stevenson at centre-half and the midfield failed to stop Celtic bursting through. The change to 4-1-2-1-2 and a diamond midfield gave them greater solidity and a base to attack, but by then the damage was done. Coming back from 2-0 down in Glasgow is a nigh impossible task. A shame, because Hibs shone once they settled into a better system and the players got over a bout of stage fright and shoddy defending.

Boyle can be dangerous striker

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Much has been said about Hibs missing the Kamberi-Maclaren partnership in attack. There is no doubt that they are a prolific duo, but Martin Boyle proved in this match that he can deputise for the Aussie in attack. Boyle's movement was excellent and was sharp in either dropping deep or going in behind the Celtic defence. He was denied in the first half by a stunning Craig Gordon save, but got the better of the big keeper in the second half with a delicate, composed dink. A man in great form right now.

Hanlon's absence was felt

Hibs have dealt with Paul Hanlon's injury in their matches leading up to Celtic, but put under a sterner test, his absence was keenly felt. Opting for a back-three, Lewis Stevenson - much more comfortable at left-back - had to slot in as the third central defender. Hanlon's excellent reading of the game and positional awareness would have no doubt helped Hibs when Celtic were at their slickest. If Lennon goes for a back-three in Hibs' next league match away at Hearts, he will be desperate to have the left-sided Hanlon restored to his team for more balance and solidity.