5 talking points as Leigh Griffiths’ Celtic return unlocks Patryk Klimala to convince Hibs to win


A brace from Patryk Klimala helped Celtic to a 3-1 win over Hibs in their pre-season friendly as Leigh Griffiths returned.The hastily-staged game came just 24 hours after a reunion with Ross County and the players who started that game were treated to the afternoon.

It was a positive start for Hibs, who were exploiting Celtic in large areas and causing many problems.

It was because of this that they scored their first goal, Ben Stirling dropping Daryl Horgan on the right to get a perfect cross.

Young Josh Doig who met him at the back post, shooting past Connor Hazard with a left foot volley.

A very changed Hibs team looked confident and composed, but they were guilty of playing too much by conceding an equalizer.

Melker Hallberg stayed on the ball too long and was stolen by Olivier Ntcham, who chose Karamoko Dembele to score.

Leigh Griffiths arrived just ahead of the hour and it’s the returning striker who gets all the credit for Celtic’s second.

The Scotland international made his way through the Hibs defense and his tight shot was heading towards the net before Klimala secured a few yards.

The Pole got his second of the afternoon shortly after, returning home to the back post from a corner kick as Celtic scored two friendly wins on the spin in just 24 hours.

5 talking points

Positive signs of Klimala

It’s not the finished article, but you can see what drew Celtic to Patryk Klimala.

Whenever he found space to run in defense of the Hibs, he appeared to be a real threat, and his heist game was improved over his performance against Lyon.

Sometimes his move doesn’t resemble that of the best forwards, which is underscored by Griffiths’ smart move when he entered.

That said, Klimala found himself in the right spot to score the second goal and evaded the Hibs defense to come home from a corner for his brace.

At 21 and playing with Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard, there is certainly the potential for the pole to reach new heights.

The Hibs system looks promising

Jack Ross’s side ended the season playing in a 3-4-1-2 system and Hibs took the same approach at Celtic Park.

It looks like the summer has allowed players to develop a great deal of familiarity with what their coach wants, with the capital club causing all kinds of trouble through the wingers.

Expect to see Hibs start in this system against Kilmarnock on Saturday.

Kar in the driver’s seat

The 17-year-old feels like a veteran, such is his time in the spotlight since his breakthrough in 2016. The England youth international is constantly improving and has been excellent for long stays Monday.

His goal showed his killer touch in front of the goal and he was a livewire throughout the clash with the Hibees.

But it’s important to note that he often seems more comfortable as a playmaker than an outright attacker. Demebele is no merchant of speed, instead relying on his skillful touches and superior vision to leave the opposition in shock.

He got a taste of the first team last season and more chances will surely follow in a season for the ages.

Griffiths returns

Griffiths made his comeback just before the hour mark and could have been on the scoresheet immediately.

He showed a smart move to get behind the defense only to be thwarted by the quick thinking of Kevin Dabrowski.

He thought he scored late when he showed nice feet to pass his man and get him over the goalkeeper, only to see Klimala kick him before he crossed the line.

Celtic players were quick to congratulate the 29-year-old, however, showing how appreciated he was in the dressing room.

Griffiths will take some time to get back into shape, but he’s shown enough on his return to warrant a little patience.

Celtic change of shape

Arguably the key turning point for Celtic last season was Lennon’s decision to adopt a 3-5-2 form which brought Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard into the squad.

The Hoops boss is clearly keen to let his opponents guess, and we saw another new team make their debut this afternoon.

With Griffiths’ introduction, the hosts went to a diamond in midfield, although Ntcham drifts widely to the left when in possession.

After the change, Celtic scored two more goals with Griffiths and Klimala possibly showing the beginnings of a successful partnership.

After the 4-4-1-1 we saw against Nice, it’s clear that Lennon is looking at how he can keep things fresh as his team go for 10 in a row.


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