Celtic have re-established a nine-point advantage at the top of the Premiership with a 2-0 win over Ross County in Dingwall.
Injury-time goals in both halves sealed the win in an otherwise nervy afternoon for the Hoops who missed a host of chances.
Jota scored the opener from the penalty spot after VAR intervention when the ball struck the arm of Alex Iacovitti in the last minute of the first before Alex Bernabei clinched it with his first goal for the club in second-half stoppage time.
The league leaders had the lion’s share of chances in the game, with 28 to County’s eight, but the hosts also came close on a few occasions in a game that was, at times, too close for comfort for the visiting fans.
Celtic went into the game six points ahead of Rangers as they prepare to host their city rivals in next week’s derby and they dominated the first-half without creating many real chances.
It took them until the final minutes of stoppage time at the end of the 45 to break the deadlock.
Kyogo and Greg Taylor both came close to opening the scoring before referee Willie Collum pointed to the spot after consulting VAR to penalise the Ross County captain for a handball in the box.
Jota stepped up and smashed his penalty down the middle of Laidlaw’s goals for his tenth goal of the season to put the Hoops 1-0 up.
The home side came out for the second half with a much more positive outlook and created a flurry of chances through Smith, Brophy and Edwards.
George Harmon was then denied by a great Joe Hart save just after Iacovitti cleared one of the line up the other end.
Kyogo should have doubled Celtic’s lead a few minutes later after a cut back from Jota, but with the goals gaping he put it just by the post as County were left thanking their lucky stars.
It was Daizen Maeda up next with another great chance after Alistair Johnston’s whipped cross from the right hand side, but the Japan international failed to connect and the score-line remained on a knife edge going into the last 20 minutes.
County continued to hang in there and Laidlaw made a fine double stop from Oh in the South Korean’s first action after replacing Kyogo up top.
Oh had another chance to put the game out of sight after a good run through the defence but his shot was just wide of the post just minutes before Celtic were nearly left to regret their missed chances when Sims headed over the bar with less than ten minutes to go.
Jota struck the bar just as the assistant referee announced eight minutes injury time would be added on and Haskabanovic’s effort was just over in the second minute of the stoppage time.
And Bernabei sealed the game in the 95th minute with a superb strike to send the away fans home happy.
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