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Celtic ease pressure with easy win over Hibs

Celtic allowed Old Firm rivals Rangers just one day at the top of the Scottish Premier League table as they breezed past Hibernian 3-1 last night. The Hoops temporarily relinquished pole position when 'Gers beat St Johnstone on Tuesday night but managed to storm straight back to the spot they have held for much of the season.

Anthony Stokes kicked things off at Celtic Park when he received a low cross from left-back Emilio Izaguirre and angled his shot into the bottom corner past Hibs keeper Mark Brown in just the fourth minute.

That lead was doubled just over 15 minutes later when new fan favourite Gary Hooper converted from the penalty spot after skipper Scott Brown had been brought down in the area before adding a second, and his 15th for the season, six minutes before the break.

This time Stokes turned provider, playing a neat ball into the path of the former Scunthorpe United man who slotted home from close range.

Hibernian could not provide any answers throughout the first half but managed to give themselves some hope when their only shot on target for the night, which was a 67th minute penalty, was put away by Liam Miller following Charlie Mulgrew's foul on David Wotherspoon.

That was the visitor's only real threat for the entire 90 minutes and it could have ended 4-1 when Hooper fired wide from the spot after substitute Freddie Ljungberg won a penalty but the striker was unable to complete his hat-trick as the Bhoys went two points clear at the top of the table.

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