Celtic   2 - 1   Kilmarnock

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Page last updated at 15:30 GMT, Saturday, 24 December 2011

Celtic v Kilmarnock

Highlights - Celtic 2-1 Kilmarnock

Celtic moved to within a point of Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers with a home victory over Kilmarnock.

Georgios Samaras headed the home side ahead at the end of an otherwise frustrating first half for Celtic.

The striker netted again with a driven shot from the edge of the box seven minutes into the second half.

Substitute Danny Racchi pulled one back for the visitors with an excellent strike on 87 minutes but Killie were unable to find a leveller.

The hosts' win coupled with St Mirren's victory over Rangers in the earlier kick-off reduces the gap between the two Old Firm sides to the smallest of margins ahead of Wednesday's second Glasgow derby of the season at Celtic Park.

James Forrest's powerful drive flashed past goalkeeper Cammy Bell's post as Celtic looked to take an early lead.

At the other end, good work by Paul Heffernan set up a chance for Dean Shiels but he also shot wide.

Forrest continued to trouble the Killie defence and his shot was spilled by Bell and then pounced upon by Hooper only for the Celtic striker to flick the ball wide.

Mohamadou Sissoko's defensive header was inches away from being an own goal as the ball drifted just wide of Bell's goal, Celtic unable to make anything of the resulting corner.

Scott Brown's shot failed to seriously test Bell as the home fans began to get frustrated at the lack of goals.

But Celtic managed to break the deadlock in first-half injury time and Killie were culpable for their own downfall.

James Forrest and Garry Hay Forrest (left) was lively in the first half but was taken off early in the second

The visitors tried to pass their way out of defence and conceded possession deep inside their own half.

Cha Du-Ri sent a high ball into the box from the right and Samaras's downward header found the net.

And, moments after Celtic fans had cheered news of Rangers' loss in Paisley, Samaras claimed his second of the day.

Hooper was the architect with a pass through to the Greek and he evaded Sissoko before slamming a shot into the bottom corner.

By this point, Forrest had been withdrawn and replaced by Kelvin Wilson, back after a lengthy injury absence.

Another effort from Hooper went wide after he had skipped away from Manuel Pascali.

Mohamed Bangura took the place of Samaras before Ki Sung-Yueng failed to make a clean connection with two good chances.

Charlie Mulgrew's free-kick was deflected wide of the Killie goal as the match began to fizzle out.

But there was some late excitement for the visiting fans as Shiels' replacement Racchi fired home a blistering shot from 28 yards.

Heffernan then came into collision with Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster and, as the ball ran loose, James Dayton was unable to take advantage.

And, despite a few more nervous moments for the hosts, they saw out the win.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Scottish Premier

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Celtic 2-1 Kilmarnock FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Samaras 45+2
  • Samaras 53
  • Racchi 87

Celtic

  • 01 Forster
  • 11 Cha Du-Ri
  • 21 Mulgrew
  • 08 Brown
  • 16 Ledley
  • 18 Ki Sung-Yeung (Rogne 90+1)
  • 33 Kayal yellow card
  • 67 Wanyama
  • 09 Samaras (Bangura 65)
  • 49 Forrest (Wilson 50)
  • 88 Hooper

Substitutes

  • 24 Zaluska,
  • 03 Izaguirre,
  • 06 Wilson,
  • 25 Rogne,
  • 20 McCourt,
  • 46 McGeouch,
  • 14 Bangura

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Bell
  • 03 Hay (Kennedy 77)
  • 04 Fowler
  • 23 McKeown
  • 88 Sissoko yellow card
  • 08 Kelly
  • 09 Buijs (Dayton 63)
  • 11 Harkins
  • 20 Shiels (Racchi 73)
  • 29 Pascali yellow card
  • 14 Heffernan

Substitutes

  • 53 Jaakkola,
  • 13 Kroca,
  • 26 Pursehouse,
  • 28 Fisher,
  • 10 Dayton,
  • 22 Racchi,
  • 33 Kennedy
Ref: George SalmondAtt: 49,352
CELTIC
KILMARNOCK

Possession

  • Celtic 53%
  • Kilmarnock 47%

Attempts on target

  • Celtic 4
  • Kilmarnock 2

Attempts off target

  • Celtic 6
  • Kilmarnock 3

Corners

  • Celtic 8
  • Kilmarnock 2

Fouls

  • Celtic 12
  • Kilmarnock 15
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+4:04 The referee signals the end of the game.
  • 90:00+3:50 The referee blows for offside. Direct free kick taken by Cameron Bell.
  • 90:00+3:20 Manuel Pascali concedes a free kick for a foul on Victor Wanyama. Kelvin Wilson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 90:00+2:11 Free kick awarded for a foul by Joe Ledley on James Dayton. The free kick is delivered right-footed by James Dayton from right channel, clearance made by Charlie Mulgrew.
  • 90:00+0:55 Substitution Sung-Yeung Ki leaves the field to be replaced by Thomas Rogne.
  • 89:23 Unfair challenge on Manuel Pascali by Gary Hooper results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Cameron Bell.
  • 88:47 The official flags Gary Harkins offside. Fraser Forster takes the direct free kick.
  • 88:15 Foul by Sung-Yeung Ki on James Fowler, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Liam Kelly.
  • 86:35 Assist on the goal came from Matthew Kennedy.
  • 86:35 GOAL - Danny RacchiCeltic 2 - 1 Kilmarnock Danny Racchi finds the net with a goal from outside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Celtic 2-1 Kilmarnock.
  • 84:58 Du-Ri Cha fouled by Liam Kelly, the ref awards a free kick. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.
  • 84:21 Sung-Yeung Ki takes a inswinging corner to the near post, James Dayton manages to make a clearance.
  • 83:31 Booking Mohamadou Sissoko booked for unsporting behaviour.
  • 83:17 Unfair challenge on Gary Hooper by Mohamadou Sissoko results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.
  • 81:35 Joe Ledley is caught offside. Free kick taken by Cameron Bell.
  • 80:41 Shot from just outside the penalty area by Du-Ri Cha misses to the left of the target.
  • 78:52 Gary Harkins gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Brown. Direct free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.
  • 76:49 Substitution Garry Hay leaves the field to be replaced by Matthew Kennedy.
  • 76:10 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew played to the near post, clearance by Gary Harkins.
  • 73:21 Corner from right by-line taken by Rory McKeown.
  • 72:10 Substitution Danny Racchi replaces Dean Shiels.
  • 69:53 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Cameron Bell.
  • 68:17 Dean Shiels has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 66:14 Corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew from the right by-line, Header from close range by Victor Wanyama misses to the right of the goal.
  • 65:33 The ball is swung over by Garry Hay, Fraser Forster makes a save.
  • 64:27 Substitution Mohamed Bangura on for Georgios Samaras.
  • 64:06 Georgios Samaras takes a shot. Blocked by Mohamadou Sissoko.
  • 62:44 Substitution James Dayton joins the action as a substitute, replacing Danny Buijs.
  • 60:14 Unfair challenge on Paul Heffernan by Victor Wanyama results in a free kick. Manuel Pascali restarts play with the free kick.
  • 59:23 Georgios Samaras fouled by Mohamadou Sissoko, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Sung-Yeung Ki.
  • 58:17 The ball is delivered by Du-Ri Cha.
  • 56:59 Scott Brown gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Garry Hay. Dean Shiels restarts play with the free kick.
  • 56:22 Joe Ledley crosses the ball.
  • 54:35 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kelvin Wilson on Gary Harkins. Garry Hay takes the free kick.
  • 52:12 The assist for the goal came from Gary Hooper.
  • 52:12 GOAL - Georgios SamarasCeltic 2 - 0 Kilmarnock Georgios Samaras finds the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Celtic 2-0 Kilmarnock.
  • 50:34 The referee penalises Georgios Samaras for handball. Direct free kick taken by Cameron Bell.
  • 48:44 Substitution (Celtic) makes a substitution, with Kelvin Wilson coming on for James Forrest.
  • 48:44 James Forrest concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Buijs. Free kick taken by James Fowler.
  • 48:17 The ball is delivered by Gary Harkins, Georgios Samaras manages to make a clearance.
  • 47:42 Paul Heffernan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Victor Wanyama. Du-Ri Cha takes the free kick.
  • 46:00 Free kick awarded for a foul by Manuel Pascali on Georgios Samaras. Scott Brown takes the free kick.
  • 45:01 The second half has started.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:07 The referee calls an end to the first half.
  • 45:00+1:12 Assist by Du-Ri Cha.
  • 45:00+1:12 GOAL - Georgios SamarasCeltic 1 - 0 Kilmarnock Georgios Samaras grabs a headed goal from close in. Celtic 1-0 Kilmarnock.
  • 42:54 Centre by Sung-Yeung Ki, blocked by Liam Kelly. Corner crossed in by Sung-Yeung Ki, Gary Hooper gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Manuel Pascali. Free kick taken by Cameron Bell.
  • 42:34 Corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew from the right by-line.
  • 40:38 Headed effort on goal by Gary Hooper from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 39:59 Gary Harkins gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Beram Kayal. Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.
  • Correction - 39:17 Beram Kayal fouled by Gary Harkins, the ref awards a free kick. Victor Wanyama takes the free kick.
  • 39:17 Gary Harkins concedes a free kick for a foul on Beram Kayal. Victor Wanyama takes the free kick.
  • 37:38 The referee blows for offside against Gary Hooper. Cameron Bell restarts play with the free kick.
  • 37:27 Georgios Samaras crosses the ball, Rory McKeown makes a clearance.
  • 36:47 James Fowler concedes a free kick for a foul on James Forrest. Free kick taken by Sung-Yeung Ki.
  • 34:37 Corner taken by Sung-Yeung Ki from the left by-line, clearance by Mohamadou Sissoko.
  • 33:16 Scott Brown takes a shot. Save by Cameron Bell.
  • 32:41 Beram Kayal crosses the ball, Mohamadou Sissoko makes a clearance.
  • 32:09 The ball is crossed by Garry Hay, clearance by Charlie Mulgrew.
  • 30:47 The referee gives a free kick against Paul Heffernan for handball. Direct free kick taken by Victor Wanyama.
  • 30:03 Free kick awarded for a foul by Victor Wanyama on Paul Heffernan. Dean Shiels takes the direct free kick.
  • 29:07 Booking Manuel Pascali goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
  • 28:57 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Ledley by Manuel Pascali. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.
  • 28:18 Corner taken short by Dean Shiels, James Forrest manages to make a clearance.
  • 27:07 Booking Beram Kayal is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
  • 26:57 Beram Kayal gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dean Shiels. Direct free kick taken by James Fowler.
  • 26:07 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Ledley by Danny Buijs. Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.
  • 24:56 Charlie Mulgrew takes a corner.
  • 24:18 Garry Hay concedes a free kick for a foul on James Forrest. Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.
  • 22:59 The ball is crossed by Du-Ri Cha, clearance by Mohamadou Sissoko.
  • 20:39 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mohamadou Sissoko on Gary Hooper. Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.
  • 19:32 Dean Shiels produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 18:53 Dean Shiels fouled by Beram Kayal, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Buijs restarts play with the free kick.
  • 18:11 Corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew, Liam Kelly manages to make a clearance.
  • 18:04 Du-Ri Cha crosses the ball, blocked by Danny Buijs.
  • 17:21 James Forrest delivers the ball.
  • 15:41 Foul by Scott Brown on Garry Hay, free kick awarded. Danny Buijs takes the free kick.
  • 14:39 Dean Shiels takes a shot. Save made by Fraser Forster.
  • 13:43 Shot from inside the six-yard box by Gary Hooper goes wide right of the goal.
  • 13:27 James Forrest takes a shot. Save by Cameron Bell.
  • 12:59 The ball is crossed by Garry Hay, save by Fraser Forster.
  • 11:38 The ball is crossed by Du-Ri Cha.
  • 9:44 Dean Shiels produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.
  • 7:59 James Forrest has an effort at goal from outside the box missing to the wide left of the goal.
  • 6:23 Danny Buijs crosses the ball, clearance by Charlie Mulgrew.
  • 5:22 The ball is delivered by Gary Harkins, Sung-Yeung Ki manages to make a clearance.
  • 4:15 The official flags Gary Hooper offside. Cameron Bell takes the free kick.
  • 1:45 Free kick awarded for a foul by Rory McKeown on Gary Hooper. James Forrest restarts play with the free kick.
  • 1:34 Centre by Joe Ledley, clearance made by Manuel Pascali.
  • 0:00 The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.

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Scottish Premier table snapshot

As it stood on 24 Dec 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Rangers 20 26 48
2 Celtic 20 25 47
3 Motherwell 19 3 34
4 St Johnstone 20 4 29
5 Hearts 20 8 28
6 Dundee Utd 20 -3 25
7 St Mirren 20 -5 25
8 Kilmarnock 19 -3 23
9 Aberdeen 20 -5 20
10 Inverness CT 20 -12 18
11 Hibernian 19 -15 14
12 Dunfermline 19 -23 14

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