Partick 0-3 Celtic- Match Report

Partick 0-3 Celtic: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.Celtic new boys star in victoryGary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong both scored in dream debuts for Celtic, who coasted to a 3-0 Scottish Premiership win over Partick Thistle at Firhill.There was less than a minute played when wide-man Mackay-Steven drove past Jags goalkeeper Scott Fox and midfielder Armstrong, who also checked in at Parkhead in transfer deadline day from Dundee United in a combined B#2million deal, was not to be outdone.The 22-year-old notched with a drive on the half-hour mark before midfielder Stefan Johansen fired in a third in the 66th minute to paint a true reflection of the Hoops' superiority.With some conviction Ronny Deila's side extended their winning run to eight games in domestic competitions to go three points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the league with a game in hand over the Dons, and they have now gone nine matches without losing a goal.Conversely, the ninth-placed Jags went into the match with one win in their previous eight games and manager Alan Archibald will wonder what to do next.He made five changes following the 2-1 home William Hill Scottish Cup defeat by Inverness at the weekend, bringing back keeper Fox, Conrad Balatoni, Callum Booth, Lyle Taylor and Declan McDaid, but to no avail.Indeed, the Maryhill men could have been behind even before Mackay-Steven struck.Celtic, who also had striker John Guidetti and right-back Adam Matthews back in the side, with Leigh Griffiths, Kris Commons and Mikael Lustig out injured - and James Forrest also missing - swept up the park from kick-off.After Guidetti had been played in by Mackay-Steven, it took a last-gasp block from Thistle defender Balatoni to deny the Swedish striker, who looked out of sorts for most of the night.However, the home side failed to clear Johansen's corner from the right and Mackay-Steven pounced to drive the ball low past Fox, with the Jags defence on their heels.Five minutes later fellow debutant Armstrong almost got in on the act but this time Fox was equal to the shot, with Thistle defender Frederic Frans getting a boot to the loose ball to foil Guidetti.As the inventive visitors threatened yet again soon afterwards, Fox made an even better save from a Johansen drive.But Armstrong, the last player to score against the Hoops, when they lost 2-1 at Tannadice in December, was not to be denied.He assuredly finished off another swift Parkhead break by sweeping in a pass from Guidetti, who might have scored himself after being set up by the former United midfielder only to hesitate in front of goal.Celtic's under-worked keeper Craig Gordon made a decent save from McDaid's long-range effort three minutes after the break but the scent of a comeback was not in the Firhill air.There was a shout for a Thistle penalty just after the hour mark when Stuart Bannigan's powerful shot was blocked by Hoops left-back Emilio Izaguirre inside the box - it might have been an elbow - but referee Crawford Allan took no notice.Celtic's third came when Johansen latched onto a Nir Bitton header to go through the centre of the Jags' defence before rifling the ball low past Fox into the corner of the net.Once again, the Maryhill rearguard had been exposed.The weary-looking Firhill side were lucky Guidetti did not have on his shooting boots - he blasted a volley wide of the target from close range - as Deila's men stepped up the tempo momentarily, before easing off in the final stages, albeit Gordon made some decent saves from several long-range efforts

Source : PA

Source: PA