Much-changed Celtic rested a number of leading players but still extended their lead at the top of the table with a well-earned 3-1 victory at second-placed Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
The visitors awarded debuts to recent signings Rami Gershon and Tom Rogic, plus youngster Marcus Fraser, yet soon found themselves trailing to Nick Ross’ ninth-minute opener.
However, Kris Commons blasted into the top corner to equalise and debutant Gershon headed them in front early in the second-half – with Miku eventually wrapping up the victory with eight minutes remaining.
Caley actually surged into an early lead when a deep cross from Aaron Doran was only partially scuffed away by the feet of Celtic’s recalled stand-in captain Fraser Forster and Ross returned it into the back of an inviting net.
But a superb break into the area by debutant Rogic soon allowed Commons to lash into the top corner and equalise from the edge of the area.
Rogic then curled another effort narrowly over from decent work by Paddy McCourt, who also dragged wide on the end of a trademark break, while Commons was wayward with a 25-yard free-kick.
Despite their numerous changes Celtic continued to look bright and were rewarded early in the second-half when a lovely turn and cross on the right from Dylan McGeouch was headed firmly inside the near post by Gershon.
Anthony Stokes went close to another when heading against the crossbar at the far upright, although the visitors were gradually being forced into retreat and it took a couple of timely blocks and a hasty clearance off the line from substitute Adam Matthews to preserve their lead.
Celtic though finally made the game safe with eight minutes remaining when fellow replacement Tony Watt broke down the right and allowed Stokes’ inch-perfect pass to set-up Miku for a simple tap in.
Goalscorer Miku almost added another when only being denied by an upright following more good work from Matthews, while Stokes then had a low drive kept out by the stretching Esson.
Inverness CT: Esson, Raven, G. Shinnie, Warren, Meekings, Tudur-Jones, Draper, A. Shinnie, Ross (Roberts 76), McKay, Doran (Sutherland 88)
subs (unused): Reguero, Devine, Taylor, Polworth, Pepper
Goals: Ross (9)
Celtic: Forster, Fraser, Rogne, Gershon (Matthews 66), McGeouch, McCourt (Watt 78), Kayal, Rogic, Commons (Chalmers 46), Miku, Stokes
subs (unused): Zaluska, Herron, Lassad, Atajic
Goals: Commons (20), Gershon (48), Miku (82)
Ref: C. Thomson
|LATEST ON THE VITAL CELTIC FORUMS …|