FIVE talking points from Celtic's 3-1 win over Kilmarnock.


Neil Lennon’s decision to shape up with a back three likely had more to do with finding a way to accommodate two men at the other end of the pitch, with Leigh Griffiths again chosen in attack alongside Odsonne Edouard after his return to goalscoring form at Firhill at the weekend.

Those two certainly seemed more comfortable with their roles early on than Jozo Simunovic, Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien did, but once they settled into the game, they gave Killie’s attack little encouragement.

It was the combination between the front pairing that justified Lennon’s call though. Not only did both Edouard and Griffiths get on the scoresheet, but they linked up well too.


Staying on the subject of Griffiths, it would have heartened Scotland manager Steve Clarke to see the forward continuing his progress here as he notched his second goal in as many matches.

More importantly though, it would have been the sharpness of Griffiths that would have caught the eye of the national team boss, as he overcame something of a slow start to link up well with Edouard and have a real influence on the match.

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His set-piece deliveries are still on the money too, swinging over a cracker of a corner for Jullien to head home the third.

There is still some way for Griffiths to go to get back to his best, but if he keeps getting the game-time and keeps getting the goals, he will be a shoo-in to make the squad for that all-important tie against Israel.


Jonny Hayes has shown himself to be a more than capable member of the Celtic squad when called upon over the last couple of seasons, and Neil Lennon’s deployment of wing-backs here may go some way to explaining why he was preferred to Greg Taylor on the former Killie man’s old patch.

After all, when Lennon has spoken publicly about why Taylor has yet to see more game-time, he has cited the improvement the Scotland man has to make to his attacking play.

He looked to have taken that advice on when playing a starring role in Celtic’s win over Partick Thistle on Saturday, but he found himself back on the bench here, suggesting he still has work to do to convince his manager he can nail down a slot on Celtic’s left-hand side.


Kilmarnock fans have had to be patient to see the keeper in action, as the 31-year-old has been warming the bench since his arrival on loan back in September, and while he got his debut in Saturday’s cup win over Queen’s Park, it was still something of a surprise to see him retain the gloves over Larentiu Branescu for this one.

Whether he does going forward will be a poser for Alex Dyer, as Koprivec produced a real mixed bag of a performance.

His save to deny Simunovic early on was breathtaking, but he followed that up with a moment of hesitation under a cross that should have cost Killie the opener, only for Edouard to fire wide.

He really should have done better too with Griffiths’ goal, succeeding only in helping the ball in at his near post, leaving Dyer with a decision to make for the visit to St Johnstone on Saturday.


It may seem lazy to have a go at Kilmarnock’s pitch for the umpteenth time, but while the problem with artificial surfaces all too often is that they are sticky, it was the opposite here as the slick surface saw players skiting around and struggling to keep their feet. Both Edouard and Griffiths fell inside the Killie box during the opening stages with no one near them as they tried to make sharp turns.

Things improved as the night wore on and the rain dissipated, and thankfully, the surface played less of a part in proceedings.