Shaun Maloney suffered his first defeat as Hibs manager losing 2-0 at his old stamping ground against Celtic last night.
Ryan Porteous and Paul McGinn were both suspended, resulting in a debut for loan signing Rocky Bushiri, who hasn’t played much football at all this season.
American winger Chris Mueller was on the bench after his switch from Orlando City.
Of the other new arrivals at Easter Road, Ewan Henderson couldn’t face his parent club, Harry Clarke is injured and Elias Melkerson is waiting for a work permit.
Hibs almost opened the scoring in the 2nd minute when Martin Boyle fed Chris Cadden, who fired a brilliant low cross to the back post but Kevin Nisbet ‘s effort struck the post and was cleared.
Celtic went straight up the field and took the lead. Tom Rogic clipped a quick low pass into Daizen Maeda, who fired the ball past Matt Macey.
The hosts continued to dominate before being awarded a controversial penalty when the ball struck Josh Doig’s arm and after consulting his assistant the referee pointed to the spot.
Josip Juranovic sent Macey the wrong way and dispatched the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Hibs came more into the game and kept possession well but were unable to breach the Celtic defence.
The second-half was more of the same with Celtic creating the better chances.
From the corner kick Carl Starfelt flicked it on and Liel Abada struck the back post as Celtic went close to a killer third goal.
On 65 minutes they did have the ball in our net, only for the effort from Cameron Carter-Vickers to be chalked off due to a foul from Starfelt on Hanlon in the build-up.
With three minutes remaining Rogic curled a low effort just wide and the host secured all three points.
When reflecting on the defeat Maloney said: “Mixed really. Obviously disappointed with the result, but after the start that we had I was very pleased with quite a few things.
“The players had a real mentality to keep going at 2-0 down and still tried to play the way that we believe would have been the best way for us to actually come back and win the game.
“I think for large parts of the game, I was very happy. We almost got into positions at times where we could be even more aggressive to attack, pass forward and take on the one on ones, but I think apart from that, to come here in my third game and play the way we did, I’m proud.”
Hibs face Cover Rangers at Easter Road on Thursday night.
Celtic: Hart, Juranovic, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor, McGregor, Hatate, Rogic, Forrest, Abada, Maeda. Substitutes: Bain, Scales, Jota, Ralston, Welsh, Johnston, Giakoummakis, Ideguchi.
Hibs: Macey, Cadden, Bushiri, Hanlon, Doig, Campbell, Doyle-Hayes, Newell, Wright, Boyle, Nisbet. Substitutes: Dabrowski, Stevenson, Doidge, Mueller, Murphy, Allan, Hallberg, Scott, Bradley.