Monday 20 November 2017

Sinclair expands gulf between Bhoys and rest

Celtic 1 Partick Thistle 0

Celtic's Scott Sinclair celebrates scoring his side's first goal with Liam Henderson (right) Picture: PA
Celtic's Scott Sinclair celebrates scoring his side's first goal with Liam Henderson (right) Picture: PA

Roddy Forsyth

The margins have been thin lately - this was Celtic's third successive 1-0 victory - but Scott Sinclair's 16th-minute strike expanded the gulf between the leaders and Rangers to 14 points with a game in hand.

Partick Thistle, meanwhile, suffered another chapter of making and wasting as many good chances as any one gets against a Celtic side now unbeaten in 21 successive domestic fixtures.

The game was watched by Ethan Phillips, familiar to Star Trek fans for playing Neelix, morale officer on the Voyager. Phillips disclosed that he was visiting Glaswegian relations who were Celtic fans but confessed that he had a soft spot for Thistle.

Certainly, the Jags - who arrived without a win in their six most recent games - could have used input from his fictional character.

Celtic's Moussa Dembele (left) and Partick Thistle's Sean Welsh battle for the ball Picture: PA
Celtic's Moussa Dembele (left) and Partick Thistle's Sean Welsh battle for the ball Picture: PA

Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, had the more agreeable problem of sustaining that long unbeaten domestic record.

Having made five changes for the weekend visit of Dundee, Rodgers shuffled no fewer than eight for Thistle's trip across Glasgow. He had promised to make space for an academy pupil, who turned out to be Calvin Miller, switched from his more accustomed role as a wide midfielder to take Emilio Izaguirre's place at left-back.

The teenager had a moment of potential glory after half an hour, when an intricate passing move sprung him free inside the box but his finish was straight at Tomas Cerny.

By that stage, Celtic were a goal to the good from a free-kick at which they sold Thistle a classic dummy.

When Calum Booth took Cristian Gamboa down on the edge of the Jags' box, Liam Henderson shaped to deliver a cross but, as the Thistle defenders checked towards goal in anticipation, he slipped the ball towards the edge of the box, where the unmarked Sinclair clipped it briskly into the far corner of the net.

This was hard on Partick, who had displayed eagerness to push forward whenever circumstances permitted, driven by the lively Luke Edwards.

The Firhill side, however, have an almost pathological inability to disturb their opponents' goal. Celtic also squandered a clutch of chances but, unlike Partick, they could accommodate the deficiency with room to spare. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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