sport

Commons double downs Hibs

Kris Commons' double took the forward's league tally to 16 Scottish Premiership goals as Celtic defeated Hibernian 4-0 at Easter Road.

Virgil van Dijk and Teemu Pukki were also on the scoresheet on Sunday after the league leaders capitalised on a tiring Hibs outfit to strike three times inside the final quarter hour and stretch their lead at the top to 15 points after 22 unbeaten league games.

Commons was able to capitalise on Emilio Izaguirre's hopeful punt forward and a panicking mix-up between Hibs central defenders Jordan Forster and Michael Nelson to fire the Hoops in front after only nine minutes.

Georgios Samaras, in for the suspended ex-Hibee forward Anthony Stokes, fired straight at Ben Williams as Celtic searched for a second before the half hour.

A young home side were growing into the contest though and midfielder Sam Stanton, no relation to his famous namesake an ex-Hibee and former Bhoy Pat, was causing some consternation in the visiting midfield ranks.

There was a Hibs appeal for a penalty when striker James Collins went down in the box under a challenge from van Dijk but referee Craig Thomson was unimpressed.

Just before the half-hour mark, Celtic's England goalkeeper Fraser Forster - whose 10th straight league clean sheet stretched his personal unbeaten run to 855 minutes - was called into action when he had to save a decent drive from Stanton with Izaguirre completing the clearance.

Forster also came to Celtic's rescue after the break with two saves in a minute from Abdellah Zoubir.

His first came in the 56th minute when he clawed away a long-distance strike which was heading for the top corner, before moments later diving low to his right to block Zoubir's drive for yet another fruitless corner.

At the other end, a dipping volley from the edge of the box from Celtic skipper Scott Brown, also once of the Leith parish, was held confidently by Williams.

However, Forster produced the save of the match in the 66th minute when he flew to his left to push a goal-bound drive from Stanton past the far post.

Play stretched further in the closing stages but Celtic wrapped up the points after Nelson handled a pass from Pukki, allowing van Dijk to step up and curl the 25-yard free-kick past the helpless Williams.

Pukki compounded Hibs' misery in the 83rd minute by driving high past Williams from 16 yards for number three.

And there was time for new Norwegian signing Stefan Johansen to make a late Celtic debut, replacing Charlie Mulgrew, before Alan Maybury conceded a penalty with a clumsy challenge from behind on Pukki, allowing Commons to hammer in the spot-kick.