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Sinclair hits double but Celtic held after late Hibs comeback at Easter Road

Hibernian hit two goals in the final 15 minutes to take a point against Brendan Rodger’s side.

Oliver Shaw celebrates scoring Hibernian's second goal on Sunday.
Oliver Shaw celebrates scoring Hibernian's second goal on Sunday.
Image: Andrew Milligan

CELTIC LET A two-goal lead slip as Hibernian came from behind to claim a 2-2 draw in a thrilling encounter at Easter Road on Sunday.

Scott Sinclair’s double in four second half minutes appeared to have the Scottish champions cruising to another league victory.

However, former Celtic player Efe Ambrose’s deflected shot gave Hibs hope in the 76th minute before Oli Shaw sent the home fans wild with an equaliser three minutes later.

Celtic’s 68-match unbeaten run almost came to an end in stoppage-time as Shaw’s shot was cleared off the line by Mikel Lustig to ensure a result that replicates the scoreline the last time the teams met in the league at Celtic Park in September.

The result means Celtic’s lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership has been cut to five points following rival Rangers’ 2-1 win against Ross County on Saturday.

“I thought we were outstanding in the game for the first 75 minutes and controlled the game,” Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said.

“We were 2-0 up and it should have been four or five with the chances we had and then we presented them with two goals.

“We’ll certainly reflect on it as two points dropped.”

After their disappointing defeat to Anderlecht in midweek, Celtic started the game with a point to prove and it took a perfectly-timed sliding challenge from Lewis Stevenson to nick the ball off the feet of Callum McGregor as he got in behind the Hibs defence early on.

Paul Hanlon then bravely blocked a rocket shot from Olivier Ntcham with his head before James Forrest should have given Celtic the lead.

Hibernian v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership - Easter Road Scott Sinclair (right) hit a double on Sunday afternoon. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

A horrendous misplaced pass from Dylan McGeouch across his own 18-yard line was intercepted by his former Celtic teammate who raced in on goal, but the winger somehow put his shot wide of the post with only the keeper to beat.

The near miss seemed to be a wake-up for Hibs, who immediately created a chance of their own with John McGinn’s diagonal pass releasing Martin Boyle in the box but his drilled low shot was saved by Craig Gordon with his legs.

Hibs were doing well to frustrate the visitors but the game burst into life on the hour mark when Sinclair fired Celtic in front.

The winger’s shot was deflected into the path of Odsonne Edouard whose first time strike cannoned off the base of the post but Sinclair was quickest to react and bury the rebound past Marciano.

Sinclair scored his second minutes later as he cut in from the left and let fly with a thunderous strike that took a deflection off the back of Marvin Bartley on its way into the net.

The winger thought he had completed his hat-trick in the 74th minute when he sent an angled low shot into the bottom corner but his effort was adjudged to be offside.

Just as it looked Celtic were going to cruise to victory, Hibs pulled a goal back.

Ambrose pounced on a loose ball in the box after Steven Whittaker’s shot was blocked and his shot flew into the net via a deflection off Scott Brown.

Hibs had their tails up and levelled matters when Lewis Stevenson’s deflected cross fell to Shaw 12 yards out and he swivelled to fire high past Gordon.

– © AFP 2017

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