Sport Soccer

Saturday 16 December 2017

Ledley opens floodgates to keep Celtic marching on

Celtic 4 Kilmarnock 0

Joe Ledley opens the scoring for Celtic against Kilmarnock
Joe Ledley opens the scoring for Celtic against Kilmarnock
Celtic's Charlie Mulgrew scores against Kilmarnock
Celtic's Kris Commons and Kilmarnock's Manuel Pascali battle for the ball

Ronnie Esplin

Celtic's procession towards the Scottish Premiership title went almost unopposed in their trouncing of Kilmarnock at Parkhead.

Midfielder Joe Ledley opened the scoring in the 11th minute of a desperately one-sided affair with an angled-drive before Killie defender Lee Ashcroft turned the ball into his own net from a James Forrest cross.

Midfielder Charlie Mulgrew grabbed a third in the 67th minute before substitute Amido Balde, on for Teemu Pukki after the break, added a fourth in injury-time, helped by Killie goalkeeper Craig Samson, who let a less than powerful shot slip through his hands.

The Hoops have now gone 23 league games unbeaten since the start of the season to sit 18 points clear of second-placed Aberdeen, and another clean sheet means the champions equalled the club record of 10, last achieved in 1921/22.

With those sort of statistics, Celtic manager Neil Lennon kept changes to a minimum with Forrest and Pukki coming in for Nir Biton and Georgios Samaras.

There was no surprise that the champions took control of the game from the first whistle.

There was, however, some surprise that they were not awarded a penalty in the ninth minute when Killie skipper Manuel Pascali tugged the shirt of Kris Commons inside the box as the Hoops player tried to find space to get a shot away.

Referee Brian Colvin was unimpressed but what looked like a poor call was forgotten two minutes later when Forrest set up Ledley for the Wales international to drive the ball low past Samson and into the far corner of the net.

That opened the floodgates, leaving Celtic marching on towards the title.

Irish Independent

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