Sport Soccer

Friday 23 February 2018

Stokes adds gloss to Celtic's stroll

Celtic 4 Kilmarnock 1

Ronnie Esplin

An unlikely double from defender Adam Matthews helped Celtic to a commanding victory over Kilmarnock in this Scottish Premier League encounter at Parkhead.

Killie teenager Ross Barbour thought he had squeezed the ball over the line in the 37th minute only for referee Calum Murray to wave play on, and the visitors' frustration was compounded three minutes from the interval when Hoops substitute Joe Ledley – on for Emilio Izaguirre – fired the hosts into the lead with a long-range drive.

Former Celt Cillian Sheridan levelled two minutes after the break before Matthews arrowed in a shot from 25 yards and, after Anthony Stokes – on for Kris Commons – grabbed a third, the Wales international sealed a convincing win from close range to take the champions 15 points clear of Inverness at the summit.

The only real downside for manager Neil Lennon, who got the response he wanted after his side were knocked out of the Scottish League Cup by St Mirren at Hampden on Sunday, was the injuries picked up by Izaguirre and Georgios Samaras.

He will hope both will have recovered for next month's Champions League last-16 clash with Juventus.

Irish Independent

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