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Celtic stunned by Hibs defeat

Celtic’s lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League was cut to six points yesterday after Leigh Griffiths’ early goal earned Hibernian a 1-0 win at Easter Road.

After an impressive start to the season Hibs had taken just one point out their previous four matches while the league leaders started the game looking for their sixth straight league win.

However, the home side started brightly and took just nine minutes to open the scoring when Griffiths took advantage of some slack defending to latch on to a long ball and finish low past Fraser Forster.

Eoin Doyle should have done better with a header from a Griffiths cross and then blazed over just before the break as Hibs bossed the first half.

The Hoops upped the pace after the interval and Victor Wanyama came close before Efe Ambrose blew a great chance for an equaliser when he somehow scooped his effort over the bar from a couple of yards out.

Hibs keeper Ben Williams then made a superb save to deny Gary Hooper as they earned their first league win since November 11.

“I thought it was a great game played in a great spirit with real intensity to it,” said Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

“I’m not disappointed with our performance but I am disappointed at the goal obviously and disappointed with my own formation so I will take the blame for that. On another day we would have won the game comfortably.”

Hibs have now taken four points out of six against Celtic this season and manager Pat Fenlon was pleased with the result.

Celtic’s closest rivals failed to take real advantage.

Second-placed Inverness could only manage a goalless draw against St Johnstone while Motherwell battled back from two goals down to earn a deserved share of the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Fir Park.

Results and standings

Scottish Premier
Dundee 1 - Aberdeen 3
Hibernian 1 - Celtic 0
Motherwell 2 - Kilmarnock 2
Ross County p - Hearts p
St Johnstone 0 - Inverness 0

  P W D L F A Pts
Celtic 20 12 4 4 39 15 40
Inverness 21 8 10 3 44 35 34
Motherwell 21 9 7 5 37 29 34
Hibernian 21 9 4 8 31 29 31
Aberdeen 21 8 6 7 28 26 30
Kilmarnock 20 7 6 7 31 26 27
St Johnstone 21 6 9 6 23 26 27
Dundee Utd 19 6 7 6 28 28 25
Hearts 20 6 7 7 20 22 25
St Mirren 20 5 6 9 25 34 21
Ross County 20 4 9 7 21 30 21
Dundee 20 3 3 14 13 40 12

Premier League today
Dundee Utd-St Mirren - 16.00

Division One
Airdrie 1 - Partick 1
Falkirk 3 - Dumbarton 4
Livingston p - Hamilton p
Morton 4 - Dunfermline 2
Raith 2 - Cowdenbeath 2

Division Two
Arbroath 2 - Albion 1
Ayr United 0 - Alloa 0
Forfar 3 - East Fife 2
Sten’muir 1 - Queen of South 3
Stranraer 0 - Brechin 2

Division Three
Annan 2 - Elgin 0
Clyde 2 - Berwick 1
Montrose 3 - Stirling 2
Peterhead 2 - East Stirling 0
Queen’s Park 0 - Rangers 1

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