Celtic extend lead after 'dominant' Kilmarnock win

6 months ago 89
Luis Palma scores for Celtic against KilmarnockLuis Palma doubled Celtic's lead in the first half

Celtic moved seven points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership after eventually seeing off a spirited Kilmarnock.

With second-place St Mirren playing struggling Rangers on Sunday, the leaders knew they could extend the gap going into the international break and shake off the disappointment of the late midweek loss to Lazio.

And they did that with one of their strongest domestic displays of the season, moving to a tally of 22 points from 24 and avenging their Viaplay Cup defeat by Kilmarnock, who remain four points above bottom place.

Reo Hatate waltzed through the visitors' defence to slip a shot past Will Dennis for the opener and Luis Palma doubled the advantage with a sweet strike following Joe Wright's error.

David Watson pulled a controversial goal back before the unmarked Greg Taylor sealed all three points in Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers' 700th game as a manager.

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After the disappointment in the Champions League on Wednesday, Celtic were very much back in their comfort zone, laying siege to their opponents with Taylor and Palma's prowess on the left and Hatate's intricate work centrally.

Kyogo Furuhashi had a goal disallowed for offside at 0-0 and Hatate was denied a second by Lewis Mayo's interception in the six-yard box and and later a Dennis save.

The midfielder also thought he had won a penalty only for the video assistant referee to rule Watson's challenge was legal.

Celtic felt Taylor and Alistair Johnston had been fouled before Danny Armstrong created the chance for Watson to finish on the right but the goal stood.

But it mattered little in the end because of the Taylor effort, before Daizen Maeda and James Forrest threatened a fourth late on.

Player of the match - Reo Hatate

Reo Hatate scores for Celtic against KilmarnockThe Japan midfielder orchestrated much of Celtic's best play and netted a deserved goal

VAR favours Palma after Lazio heartache - analysis

Palma's inclusion allowed Celtic to take advantage of a pocket of space whenever he cut inside on the left. Indeed, it was Wright's wayward pass into that area that led to Palma's goal, the winger striking after his forward pass was cut out.

The goal was checked by VAR amid suspicion Kyogo was offside but, unlike Wednesday, the decision went in Palma's favour. The winger had netted as a substitute against the Italians only to eventually be ruled offside.

As well as a dose of good fortune, Kilmarnock needed a strong defensive performance and they were badly caught out at all three goals, the third the most galling with Taylor left free to convert Maeda's header on at a corner.

And they cannot say they did not have chances. Wright headed an Armstrong free-kick into the ground and over at 2-1 and Vassell was unable to convert a deflected Watson cross late in the contest.

What they said

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers: "It was a very good performance. The score line probably didn't reflect the dominance in the game. Reo Hatate, I thought he was outstanding and that's what I want from him. [Luis Palma] was excellent. [Liam Scales] has really grown as a player. He's been outstanding.

"I don't think [the Kilmarnock goal] was a goal. The young Kilmarnock player has Greg [Taylor] in a hold position and as soon as he swivels to go in behind, he's brought to the floor. Lo and behold they go up the other end and go into the space that Greg leaves. We're disappointed with that. It's one of those things."

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes: "We were disappointed with the first goal. I would expect more pressure on the ball. [For the second goal] I thought it was an offside in the passage of play. Disappointed with our part in that.

"We get a good goal. Joe Wright should do better with his header at 2-1. We got undone. We've got to get tighter marked. We lose a poor third goal."

What's next?

After the international break, Celtic visit Hearts on Sunday, 22 October (14:15 BST) and Kilmarnock host Livingston the previous day (15:00).

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-3-3

1Hart2Johnston20Carter-VickersSubstituted forPhillipsat 73'minutes5ScalesBooked at 76mins3TaylorBooked at 68mins33O'RileySubstituted forHolmat 85'minutes42McGregor41Hatate38MaedaSubstituted forYangat 89'minutes8FuruhashiSubstituted forOhat 88'minutes7PalmaSubstituted forForrestat 73'minutes

Substitutes

6Phillips13Yang15Holm19Oh24Iwata28Gonçalves Bernardo29Bain49Forrest56Ralston

Kilmarnock

Formation 3-5-2

1Dennis17Findlay4Wright6DeasSubstituted forPolworthat 45'minutes5MayoBooked at 28mins11ArmstrongSubstituted forBrownat 89'minutes12WatsonSubstituted forCameronat 89'minutes8Lyons3Ndaba10KennedySubstituted forDallasat 89'minutes9VassellBooked at 76minsSubstituted forMurrayat 89'minutes

Substitutes

14Sanders15Murray18Cameron19Davies20O'Hara21Dallas25Warnock29Brown31Polworth

Referee:Matthew MacDermid

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 3, Kilmarnock 1.

Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Kilmarnock 1.

Foul by Reo Hatate (Celtic).

Brad Lyons (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Yang Hyun-Jun (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Corrie Ndaba (Kilmarnock).

Reo Hatate (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Brad Lyons (Kilmarnock).

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Andrew Dallas replaces Matthew Kennedy.

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Aaron Brown replaces Daniel Armstrong.

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Fraser Murray replaces Kyle Vassell.

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Innes Cameron replaces David Watson.

Substitution, Celtic. Yang Hyun-Jun replaces Daizen Maeda.

Substitution, Celtic. Oh Hyeon-Gyu replaces Kyogo Furuhashi.

Attempt missed. Kyle Vassell (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from very close range is too high.

Substitution, Celtic. Odin Holm replaces Matt O'Riley.

Attempt saved. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt saved. Daizen Maeda (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Goal! Celtic 3, Kilmarnock 1. Greg Taylor (Celtic) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daizen Maeda following a corner.

Attempt missed. Daizen Maeda (Celtic) header from a difficult angle on the left misses to the right. Assisted by Matt O'Riley with a cross following a corner.

Player of the match

HatateReo Hatate

with an average of 8.69

Celtic

Squad number41Player nameHatate

Squad number7Player namePalma

Squad number5Player nameScales

Squad number33Player nameO'Riley

Squad number20Player nameCarter-Vickers

Squad number8Player nameFuruhashi

Squad number42Player nameMcGregor

Squad number3Player nameTaylor

Squad number2Player nameJohnston

Squad number38Player nameMaeda

Squad number1Player nameHart

Squad number6Player namePhillips

Squad number15Player nameHolm

Squad number49Player nameForrest

Squad number13Player nameYang Hyun-Jun

Squad number19Player nameOh Hyeon-Gyu

Kilmarnock

Squad number1Player nameDennis

Squad number5Player nameMayo

Squad number12Player nameWatson

Squad number17Player nameFindlay

Squad number6Player nameDeas

Squad number8Player nameLyons

Squad number10Player nameKennedy

Squad number4Player nameWright

Squad number11Player nameArmstrong

Squad number3Player nameNdaba

Squad number9Player nameVassell

Squad number18Player nameCameron

Squad number15Player nameMurray

Squad number31Player namePolworth

Squad number29Player nameBrown

Squad number21Player nameDallas

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