Celtic secure fifth Premiership win in a row by beating Kilmarnock

Celtic stretched their lead at the top of the Premiership table.

Celtic secure fifth Premiership win in a row by beating Kilmarnock SNS Group

Celtic bounced back from their Champions League disappointment by defeating Kilmarnock 3-1 at home in the cinch Premiership.

Brendan Rodgers’ men looked eager to atone for their midweek loss to Lazio and were two goals ahead at half-time through Reo Hatate and Luis Palma.

David Watson got one back for Kilmarnock midway through the second period before Greg Taylor added a third to send Celtic seven points clear at the top of the table after a fifth consecutive league win.

Rodgers made two changes from the Lazio match. In came Cameron-Carter Vickers and Palma, with Nathaniel Phillips and Hyun-jun Yang starting on the bench.

Kilmarnock also made two changes from their draw with St Mirren. There were starting places for Robbie Deas and Watson who replaced Innes Cameron and the injured Kyle Magennis.

Celtic started on top and had the ball in the net within five minutes but Kyogo Furuhashi had strayed into an offside position before finishing well.

Kilmarnock’s response was a curling effort from Danny Armstrong that arced beyond the far post before former Killie defender Taylor came close with a half-volley.

Celtic moved in front after 22 minutes after great play from Hatate. The Japanese fastened on to a quick free-kick from Callum McGregor, burst past Watson before finishing low in the corner.

Hatate almost came close to doubling his tally with an acrobatic volley that was well saved before Palma stretched Celtic’s lead after 33 minutes.

The winger attempted a pass to Hatate only for the ball to rebound back to the Honduran who took advantage to smash in an unstoppable shot.

Celtic started the second half again on the offensive and Hatate’s run and shot was deflected narrowly wide of goal by Kilmarnock defender Lewis Mayo.

Hatate then thought he had won a penalty after he and Watson tangled at the edge of the Kilmarnock box. Before it could be taken, however, the VAR, David Dickinson, asked referee Matthew MacDermid to have a second look and the decision was overturned.

Hatate was involved in most of Celtic’s promising attacks and only an alert save from William Dennis prevented him from adding a third goal.

Kilmarnock grabbed an unlikely lifeline after 72 minutes. Vassell and Alistair Johnston clashed as they chased down a long ball but play was allowed to go on and Liam Polworth teed up Watson who finished well.

The visitors passed up a good chance to draw level when Stuart Findlay nodded wide from a free-kick and that proved costly when Taylor tucked in Celtic’s third after Daizen Maeda had flicked on Matt O’Riley’s corner.

Maeda was then denied by Dennis after running the length of the pitch, with James Forrest unable to convert the rebound.Show less

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