Celtic thrash Partick Thistle 5 nil at Firhill

Partick Thistle 0

Celtic 5

Celtic were at their thrilling best as they thrashed Partick Thistle 5-0 in their Ladbrokes Premiership encounter at Firhill.

The Hoops came racing out of the traps and striker Leigh Griffiths scored from the spot in the 17th minute and further goals from midfielder Tom Rogic and Patrick Roberts had the game finished before the interval.

Brendan Rodgers' treble-chasing side cruised the second half and Callum McGregor and Roberts added further goals to a put a more realistic complexion on the scoreline.

The champions extended their unbeaten domestic run from the start of the season to 45 games to move on to 103 points, equalling the record by the Hoops league-winning team of 2001-02.

Celtic will be presented with the league trophy against Hearts at Parkhead on Sunday before they face Aberdeen in the William Hill Scottish Cup final the following week and on this form, they will take some beating from a Dons side who have failed in five attempts this season.

Rodgers made five changes with Scott Brown back from a two-game suspension and Cristian Gamboa, Erik Sviatchenko, Emilio Izaguirre and James Forrest returning to the side.

David Amoo, Chris Erskine and Stevie Lawless came into a Thistle side which had to endure a 90-minute chasing.

Keeper Tomas Cerny beat away Forrest's drive from the edge of the box in the third minute and thereafter the visitors dominated.

Cerny tipped a curling shot from Roberts round the post for a corner after Gamboa had headed over from six yards and McGregor missed the target when clean through.

Thistle, distressed and dishevelled, were hanging on and survived again when Izaguirre crashed a left-footed shot off the post from 12 yards after being played in by Forrest.

However, after Jags defender Callum Booth up-ended the slippery Roberts in the box, referee Andrew Dallas pointed to the spot and Griffiths drove his penalty low past Cerny and into the corner for Celtic's 100th league goal of the season.

The Scotland striker then created the second in fine style in the 26th minute, waltzing into the Thistle box and cutting the ball across for Rogic to bundle the ball in from close range.

An old-fashioned thrashing was promised.

Moments later, Cerny saved McGregor's drive and with Celtic in total control, Brown headed a Griffiths corner over the bar.

However, with four minutes of the first half remaining Roberts, on loan until the end of the season from Manchester City, sent a wonderful strike from 25 yards high past Cerny.

The Jags keeper, injured trying to prevent Rogic's goal, came off at the interval, as did captain Abdul Osman, replaced by Mark Ridgers and Ryan Edwards respectively.

In the 63rd minute Kolo Toure and Scott Sinclair replaced Dedryck Boyata and Griffiths.

Celtic's grip remained tight and in the 81st minute McGregor sent a shot crashing off the bar but the referee and his assistant declared it had crossed the line before it bounced back out, and a couple of minutes later Roberts capped a memorable performance by curling his second in from the edge of the box.

- PA


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