Leigh Griffiths (12)
Charlie Mulgrew (22)
Leigh Griffiths (57)
Kris Commons (78)
Leigh Griffiths (85)
Appearances & Goals To Date
|Youngest Player:||James Vincent (24 years 161 days)
|Oldest Player:||Josh Meekings (2015 years 215 days)|
|Average Player Age:||27 years 1 days|
|Domestic Players:||6 (54.55 % of starting eleven)|
|Youngest Player:||Ryan Christie (19 years 9 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Conor Pepper (2015 years 215 days)|
|Average Player Age:||25 years 234 days|
|Domestic Players:||11 (61.11 % of matchday squad)|
First Team Debuts
John Hughes was forced to leave Aaron Doran out with a thigh problem and he chose Nick Ross ahead of Marley Watkins to start against champions elect Celtic.
Hughes was looking for his side to make an impact at Parkhead and it looked as though his team heeded the pep talk as they broke forward in the first couple of minutes, but it only took Celtic around ten minutes to put us back in our box as Leigh Griffiths scored the opener from close range to dent our aspirations.
Celtic then started to dominate and a further ten minutes elapsed before Griffiths turned provider with a corner to the near post which was flicked home by Charlie Mulgrew as the Inverness defence froze.
A good break down the left saw the ball centred and Foran slid onto it on the edge of the box, but he could only direct the ball just over the bar, Inverness' best chance of the game so far.
The play had levelled out now but Inverness started the game too late and at 2-0 down were chasing the game.
Just over the half hour and Celtic looked to kill the game as Stokes, Griffiths and Mulgrew all had shots blocked, however at this stage it looked as though Celtic would go on to record a comfortable victory.
Izaguirre earned a free kick just before half time but the hard pressed visitors defence managed to get the ball clear.
Nick Ross made his way to the home bye line but was crowded out before getting his cross away and the first half drew to a close with Celtic deservedly 2-0 ahead, the score probably flattering Inverness on this occasion, our defence cut open all too often.
Half Time 2-0
Second half started the way the first had finished and Griffiths flashed a shot into the side net. This stirred Inverness and a good move was ended with Foran lying flat of his face in the Celtic box, but nothing doing with the referee in prime position to judge.
Number three should have come from Griffiths' boot but he chipped a shot just wide from the centre of the box as the Inverness defence was peeled open once more.
Inverness were struggling to get a foothold in this game, not helped by poor balls into the area, most balls floundering on the first defender. However, Billy McKay did get a shot away but it never troubled Fraser Forster.
A period of possession for Inverness followed, but once more the final ball was poor, Meekings floating a long ball well beyond everybody.
Stokes was next along for shooting practice and he fired a low shot just wide, a corner given.
Another good spell of retention saw Ross Draper curl a 25 yard effort just wide but it was game over a minute later when Griffiths latched onto a ball on the left side and thrashed a twenty yard shot behind a startled Dean Brill. Tremendous goal for Griffiths who is on fire.
The visitors plugged away though and McKay slipped at the vital moment right in front of goal, chance gone. Foran had the next great opportunity moments later, but Forster blocked Forans attempt from close range as Richie delayed his parting shot, should really have scored.
Free kick for a foul on Draper twenty five yards out came to nothing, and Celtic broke forward. It would have been four, but Stokes tried to tee up Griffiths, three times in the same move, but it ended without a hat-trick as Griffiths fired high over; Stokes substituted for Commons just after this.
Daniel Devine came on for Warren, obviously with one eye on the League Cup Final, and Watkins replaced Draper for the final twenty two minutes.
Forrest hit the woodwork, his cross bouncing off the top of the bar as Celtic searched for a fourth goal. Brill kept the fourth goal out saving well as Forrest burst onto a ball into the box and Griffiths nearly got his third, lashing a shot behind.
It wasn't all one way traffic, but Celtic were far more incisive in the final quarter and threatened a cricket score at times.
Brill finally cracked as Commons turned and hit a speculative shot from two kilometres range, the ball trickling through him and over the line.
He made up for that seconds later by preventing a fifth with a fantastic double save to deny a rampant Celtic.
The end can not come soon enough for Inverness now and Hughes gives Ryan Christie the last fifteen minutes on the park, replacing Billy McKay.
Commons lifted a chance over the bar as the game continued in one direction now but Griffiths notched his hat-trick soon after tucking the ball into the corner, Inverness looking rather bedraggled by now.
Tansey fired over from the edge of the box but it didn't matter, and Devine put a free header well over. Nothing was going right for Inverness after their midweek exertions.
Full Time 5-0
Least said about this the better. Inverness were trounced. On another day we might have scored two or three, but if you don't take your chances against quality teams then you can expect to be punished, and punished we certainly were.
tm4tj MotM: Leigh Griffiths tore the Inverness back line a new one today and he could have score six, such was Celtic's overall dominance. We have bigger fish to fry, this was just a wee rehearsal for the League Cup Final in two weeks.
Match report written by tm4tj