Scottish Premiership Wrap: Celtic up and running, Inverness off to a flyer
By Football News
Celtic came from behind to get their Scottish Premiership title defence off to a winning start against Ross County on Saturday.
The Celtic Park crowd were stunned into silence when Darren Maatsen struck a stunning opener for the visitors after just three minutes.
However, Neil Lennon’s side reacted well and deservedly drew level in the 28th minute when Anthony Stokes bundled home from close range after Mikael Lustig’s scrambled effort was blocked.
The champions then piled on the pressure in the second half and it was Stokes who eventually broke County’s resistance with a smart finish three minutes from time to settle it 2-1.
Aberdeen also opened their season with a 2-1 win as they defeated Kilmarnock at Pittodrie.
Jonny Hayes notched the first-ever goal in the newly-rebranded Scottish Premiership, finishing well from close range after Calvin Zola’s effort was parried by goalkeeper Craig Samson.
Willo Flood, a summer signing from Dundee United, then extended Aberdeen’s lead with a debut goal, his glancing header from Niall McGinn’s cross beating the goalkeeper.
Kris Boyd pulled one back for the visitors when his shot from just inside the area went in off the post.
And the former Rangers striker nearly equalised after a defensive mix-up but shot wide, enabling Aberdeen to claim victory.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle, last season’s surprise package in the Scottish Premier League, made an excellent start to the season with a 3-0 home win over St Mirren.
The visitors had been unlucky not to open the scoring in the first half, Jim Goodwin’s free-kick coming back off the post.
But shortly after half-time it was the home side who went ahead. David van Zanten handled in the area and debutant James Vincent made no mistake from the resulting penalty.
Aaron Doran extended Inverness’ lead less than a minute later, taking advantage of goalkeeper David Cornell’s poor clearance to roll the ball into the net.
And Billy McKay made it 3-0 just before the hour mark, nodding in from David Raven’s cross.
Van Zanten then capped a day to forget for himself and St Mirren when he was shown a second booking late on to earn himself a red card.
The new Scottish Premiership season got under way with a 0-0 draw between Partick Thistle and Dundee United on Friday.