PLAYER OF THE MATCH
The champagne football Celtic produced for 45 minutes would allow any of their front six to merit such commendations. Their fluidity and interchanges, in which Callum McGregor, David Turnbull, and Tom Rogic were franchised in as much as Kyogo Furuhashi and wingers Jota and Mikey Johnston, completely swept Hibs away. Rogic was at his balletic best in dancing past four players to set up the visitors’ 33rd minute third and it looked like the Australian was in the mood to mesmerise throughout in unrivalled fashion. However, his loss to a knee injury just before half-time could only deprive him of most valuable player distinction. Instead, with his whirling dervish runs that led him to be at the heart of everything - baging one goal and narrowly failing to convert two other glaring opportunities - Furuhashi just edged it.
The Green Brigade never surprise. Pleasantly. Yet, even for them - or those who attach themselves to this ultra group - the denigration of the minute’s silence to Walter Smith felt like a new low. I was about to make my way along from the far end of the Hibs main stand, and so was in position to look down and across to the visiting support when the mark of respect to an immense figure and great man began. The loud “boo” and the “**** off” that immediately followed the silence beginning came undoubtedly from just behind the Green Brigade banner. As did the bird whistling which punctured it.
Celtic’s away support isn’t dragged to the gutter by just one faction, though. That was demonstrated by most of the away end singing Roaming In The Gloaming, with its “**** King Billy and John Knox”...Knox, the head of a church of course. Similarly, with chants of Orange Bastards - Orange shorthand for Protestant in the same way it is understood the use of Fenian in the west of Scotland means Irish Catholic. Let no pious Celtic supporters claim sectarianism is entirely one-sided. They have an away support that disproves that contention.
The brilliant block Joe Hart produced in denying Joe Newell with his outstretched right leg just after Celtic had taken a 10th minute lead was pivotal in preventing Hibs getting a foothold, even before it went 3-0.
GAVE US A GIGGLE
It seemed inexplicable that Celtic were adorned in a kit from last season. They produce three each season - each costing a pretty penny - and yet none were suitable for being the away team against Hibs. Whose colours aren’t exactly a random variable.
A few nasty tackles from Alex Gogic forced Don Robertson to reach for an early yellow. The official didn’t get card happy as a result, though, even with the encounter played at a frenetic pace. Yet Celtic players were adamant he proved lenient in only cautioning Ryan Porteous after he seemed to go in studs-up on Callum McGregor early in the second period. The Hibs’ defender doesn’t always have a reputation that precedes him against Glasgow clubs it would seem then…