Neil Lennon´s men responded to Rangers´ 5-0 victory over Motherwell 24 hours earlier with an emphatic 4-1 win over Dundee United at Celtic Park.
Celtic went ahead on 23 minutes when Gary Hooper slotted home after a mistake by Garry Kenneth and increased their lead with a superb strike from Israeli international Beram Kayal 10 minutes after the break.
Kris Commons made it 3-0 in the 85th minute before Johnny Russell pulled one back for the visitors in stoppage time. Substitute Daryl Murphy then restored the three-goal advantage with the last kick of the game to bring the Hoops within one point of Rangers with a game in hand.
Celtic could now go top if they win their game in hand against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Wednesday.
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Lennon praise for duo.
Manager Neil Lennon has praised midfield duo Beram Kayal and Scott Brown for driving Celtic closer to the Scottish Premier League title, reports the Daily Mail.
Kayal was on the mark with a sensational 25-yard strike and Lennon said: “I thought Kayal was world class. He and Brown were magnificent from start to finish.
“They had to cope with three United players in there because we wanted to play with a bit of width with James Forrest and Kris Commons.
“Kayal and Brown had to really work hard and the effort, strength and power they bring to the team is fantastic. It is as good a midfield as we have had for a long time here. Allied to that you have Joe Ledley, who is out, and you can drop Shaun Maloney in there. We have Efrain Juarez and Ki Sung Yueng, so we are pretty strong in that area.”
Izaguirre named Player of the Year.
Celtic left-back Emilio Izaguirre has been named Cheque Centre PFA Scotland Player of the Year, reports the Belfast Telegraph.
Izaguirre beat team-mate Gary Hooper, Old Firm rival Steven Naismith and Kilmarnock’s Alexei Eremenko to the award at a ceremony in Glasgow, with Dundee United striker David Goodwillie winning the young player award.
Izaguirre, 24, joined Celtic on a four-year contract after playing for Honduras in the World Cup last summer and assistant manager Johan Mjallby spoke of his impact at the club.
“Emilio has probably been the signing of the season and it’s brilliant for him to win,” said the Swede.
“He has been absolutely marvellous. He is maybe not the best left-back in the world but he is up there and I think this boy has every chance to be one of the best.”