Round-up: Teemu Pukki strikes it lucky for Celtic against Hibernian


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The Independent Football

Celtic bounced back from their Champions’ League hammering by Barcelona with a 1-0 home win against Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership.

Teemu Pukki scored the winner in the 28th minute from close range to extend his side’s unbeaten run in the league to 15 games and keep them on course to retain their title.

“It is a big thing as it has been many games since my last goal so it will give me confidence,” said Pukki. “The job of the striker is to score so I was thinking about it.”

Phillips’ sticking point

Matty Phillips returned to haunt his former club as Queens Park Rangers’ beat Blackpool 2-0 yesterday to move top of the Championship. The winger, who moved to Loftus Road in the summer for £5 million, broke the deadlock with a second-half strike at Bloomfield Road before Charlie Austin sealed the points on 73 minutes. Phillips jumped in the air with delight after scoring having been heckled by Blackpool fans during the game and took to Twitter to defend his decision to celebrate. “Not having all this about disrespect for celebrating,” he said. “I took the stick I got, a goal is a personal achievement. It is a massive three points for us, we are top of the league.”

Ward on the board 

Jamie Ward and Craig Bryson secured a sixth successive league win for Steve McClaren’s Derby County, who proved too strong for struggling Charlton Atheltic at The Valley. The Rams have lost just once in the 10 games since the former England manager took over from Nigel Clough and yesterday’s 2-0 win took them within three points of the promotion spots. Ward (above) scored the 32nd-minute opener and Bryson added a second three minutes from time to inflict a fifth defeat in a row on Charlton.

McCormack sinks Rovers

Leeds United moved into the top six with a resounding 3-0 Yorkshire derby win at Doncaster Rovers.

Matt Smith headed home a free-kick from Alex Mowatt in the 20th minute to put Brian McDermott side’s ahead but Rovers battled back and were unlucky not to equalise when Theo Robinson fired home in the 66th minute only to have the effort disallowed for offside amid a storm of protest.

Ross McCormack took full advantage to claim his 11th goal in the last seven games before Rodolph Austin added a third with three minutes remaining.

Watford woe deepens

Sheffield Wednesday claimed their first away league win of the season to extend Watford’s dismal sequence of results at Vicarage Road. Connor Wickham capitalised on being fouled by Nyron Nosworthy in the first half to fire the resulting free-kick past Jonathan Bond from 20 yards. The 1-0 defeat made it nine games without a win for Gianfranco Zola’s side, who have now also failed to score in their last four matches at home, all of which have ended in losses.

Cranky Karanka

Aitor Karanka was furious with Middlesbrough’s players for conceding a crucial late goal for the third game running in their 1-0 home loss to Brighton. After a last-gasp strike led to defeat at Derby and a late equaliser cost them at Birmingham, the Boro manager was livid after Matthew Upson’s 86th-minute header. “Of course I am angry,” he said. “We are giving gifts to our opponents in every game. I can’t believe it. It is the same thing again. It is always a lack of concentration. It just cannot continue.”