Football/Soccer

Leigh Griffiths fires Celtic to win over Partick

Celtic's match-winner Leigh Griffiths celebrates after the final whistle of the win over Partick
By Ronnie Esplin, Press Association Sport

Ladbrokes Premiership: Partick Thistle 1 Celtic 2

CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers needed no reminder of Leigh Griffiths' prowess after the striker came off the bench to inspire the Hoops to a 2-1 win over Partick Thistle.

Irish striker Conor Sammon, on loan from Hearts, gave the home side the lead from the spot in the 34th minute after defender Mikael Lustig had conceded the penalty.

Griffiths, fit again after an ankle knock, replaced the Swede for the start of the second-half and sparked the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders into life, scoring the winner after Scott Sinclair had levelled with a penalty.

Rodgers, who has used Griffiths, Odsonne Edouard and Moussa Dembele as his main striker this season, admitted at the weekend that the latter, who stayed on the bench again, has been affected by speculation regarding his future.

However, on Griffiths' impact, the Carnlough man said: "I don't think anyone needs reminding. It is a big issue with you guys (media).

"We need to know what we have and we know what Leigh can do.

"If Moussa comes on we know what he can do. I thought young Odsonne was excellent.

"If Moussa goes we need to bring in another one. Simple.

"Players need competition and we need to be competitive."

Rodgers bristled when the issue of the 21-year-old French striker, who has been linked with Brighton and Crystal Palace, was raised again.

He said: "I think you have asked about Moussa enough since January.

"If you ask about him you need to ask about Jozo (Simunovic) and the other players.

"I think I have done okay in picking the best team to win since I came here. Try to have a little bit of respect for the team I pick.

"We have only lost one of our last 76 (domestic) games.

"If Moussa is in our squad then great, if he is not we will see by the end of January.

"His behaviour is fine, there is no issue and no dramas.

"We are here to win games and I will pick the team I think is best to do that."

Thistle boss Alan Archibald took positives from the defeat, saying: "It was disappointing, we put a lot into the game, a lot of effort and work rate.

"They always control the ball and dictate play but the good thing was we created a lot of chances, good chances.

"But it was a much better performance and we can build it now and take into the next 15 games."

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