Hibs bounced back from their Ibrox mauling with a dogged, determined and hard-earned draw at home to Celtic, as Brendan Rodgers’ league leaders were held goalless at Easter Road.
Just seven days on from shipping four goals against Rangers, Nick Montgomery’s team dug into all of their remaining reserves, surviving a late Celtic tsunami of pressure in their final third, to earn a precious point.
On a day when they provided a perfect response to criticism of being too open in Govan, it was the least they deserved.
In a first half short on incident, it took until the closing couple of minutes for Celtic to actually get a decent effort – or two – on target, former Hoops goalie David Marshall thwarting his old club by pulling off a point-blank double save from Paulo Bernardo and Daizen Maeda.
The fact that the champions had been forced to wait so long for a proper sighting of the Hibs goal was a testament to the defensive discipline of the home side, who looked as if it might take dynamite to blast them out of their compact 4-4-2 shape.
With Martin Boyle played up top alongside Dylan Vente, Montgomery’s men – accused of playing far too open in their 4-0 thumping at Ibrox last weekend – were always going to have the odd chance to hit on the counter.
One blistering attack saw Martin Boyle come very close to scoring, the attacker just unable to make a more accurate connection with a perfect Jordan Obita cross.
Hibs enjoyed a good spell of pressure leading up to the hour mark, putting the squeeze on Celtic and, with Boyle staying higher up the park, looking to open up some space in and around the visitors’ penalty area.
As the game got stretched in the closing stages, Celtic had chances to claim all three points, with a James Forrest volley crashing off the crossbar the closest they came.
The reigning champions laid siege to the Hibs goal in the closing ten minutes, in fact, as the home side were forced deeper and deeper in response to incessant pressure.
But Monty’s men saw out the 90 minutes, plus three extra for stoppages, to secure a result that steadied the ship after a first defeat under the new gaffer– and send the home fans away happy.