Three things we learned from Hibs 2-0 Celtic
Here are three Hibs-related observations from the victory over Celtic at Easter Road.
Vykintas Slivka loves facing the Old Firm
The Lithuania internationalist has scored three goals for Hibs - one against Rangers and now two against Celtic. Whenever he faces the Old Firm, he tends to be at his best. Aside from his goal, he was eager to get involved and make things happen before being scythed down by Scott Brown and subsequently forced off. Hibs need Slivka to replicate these high-energy displays against the Glasgow sides on a more regular basis. If he can manage that, they will have a real asset on their hands.
Kamberi showed his character
Florian Kamberi has been widely criticised by management and supporters during his recent form dip. The Swiss striker could easily have thrown his toys out the pram or let his head go down after being publicly called out by assistant manager Garry Parker following the draw with St Mirren a week past Wednesday, but instead he has responded positively. After an improved display at Hamilton last weekend, Kamberi looked far more like his old bustling self against Celtic. Made life difficult for the opposition centre-backs and returned to the goal trail with an emphatic finish which should do wonders for his confidence.
Diamond still suits Hibs
With injuries depriving them of their two main midfield enforcers, Marvin Bartley and Mark Milligan, Hibs took to the field with a midfield of naturally attack-minded ball-players. Daryl Horgan, Emerson Hyndman, Stevie Mallan and Vykintas Slivka aren’t particularly renowned for doing the dirty work in the engine room so, upon viewing the team sheet, there appeared a danger that Hibs might be overrun if Celtic, who have been particularly strong in this area, were to get their tails up. Neil Lennon deployed his midfield in a diamond formation - something he hasn’t done too often this season - which meant they were able to remain compact without the ball and stop Celtic playing through them. The fact Mallan was back to his best, popping the ball about the pitch with an air of authority while also snapping into challenges when required, helped Hibs seize the upper hand. The use of this formation also meant Hibs had enough attacking players on the pitch to keep Celtic’s defenders occupied, in stark contrast to the match at Rugby Park two weeks previously when they took to the pitch with seven defensive-minded outfield players against Kilmarnock.