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Friday, 30 November, 2001, 16:12 GMT
Hartson hammers Hibs
Hartson found the net twice for Celtic
John Hartson is congratulated by his Celtic team-mates
Celtic 3-0 Hibernian

Celtic made it 12 league wins in a row with a comfortable triumph over Hibs at Parkhead.

John Hartson capped a great performance with two goals and set up Neil Lennon's strike as the champions temporarily moved 13 points clear at the top of the SPL.

The home side seldom had to break sweat against ragged opposition, who defended woefully and were tame in attack.

Hibs have only picked up one point in their last five league outings and now lie eighth in the table. This time last year they were in second spot.

Chris Sutton returned to the Celtic line-up and played in a central defensive role with Bobo Balde missing. Momo Sylla replaced Lubo Moravcik.

Petta dances away from de la Cruz
Petta dances away from de la Cruz
Hibs fielded the same side which knocked Dundee United out of the CIS Cup on Tuesday.

Henrik Larsson was first to threaten with a free kick from the edge of the penalty area which flashed narrowly wide.

Celtic went in front after 12 minutes when a deep cross from the right by Paul Lambert was misjudged by Alen Orman leaving Hartson ample time to pick his spot and send a looping header high into the net.

Hartson should have added a second three minutes later when a series of blunders from the Hibs defence presented the Welsh international with a golden opportunity but his shot from 12 yards clipped the outside of the post.

Robert Douglas was at full stretch to tip away a dangerous cross from Orman with Zitelli in close attendance.

The Celtic keeper then had to look smart to block a stinging shot from Orman.

Another good delivery from Orman was met by Francisco Luna but the Spaniard's header went straight at Douglas.

Petrov was given a glimpse of goal after a neat lay-off from Larsson but shot wildly over the bar from a good position.

Zitelli and Sylla challenge for possession
Zitelli and Sylla challenge for possession
Six minutes before the interval Hartson struck again with a delicate chip from 20 yards after a rash lunge from Ulrik Laursen opened up a huge gap in the visitors' defence.

Goalkeeper Tony Caig was stranded yards from his line and could only watch as the ball floated into the net.

A few minutes later, Ulises de la Cruz outstripped the Celtic defence but his team-mates were too slow to catch up and connect with his inviting cut back across goal.

Tom McManus did well to pierce the Celtic defence at the start of the second half but Douglas was swift off his line to block the 20-year-old's shot.

Larsson did well to dance past keeper Caig after good work from Hartson but the Swede's shot from a tight angle was blocked on the goal-line by Ian Murray.

With 72 minutes on the clock Neil Lennon added a third goal, shooting high into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area following a lay-off from Hartson.


Celtic: Douglas, Mjallby, Sutton, Valgaeren, Sylla, Lennon, Lambert, Petrov, Petta, Larsson, Hartson. Subs: Gould, Thompson, Moravcik, Maloney, Crainey.

Hibernian: Caig, Orman, Smith, Jack, Laursen, De la Cruz, Murray, O'Neil, Zitelli, Luna, McManus. Subs: Colgan, Brebner, Brewster, Arpinon, O'Connor.

Referee: W Young

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Celtic manager Martin O'Neill
"I thought we played very well today"
Hibs manager Alex McLeish
"There was a lot to be positive about"
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