Date: 18th July 2015 at 6:55pm
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Striker - Leigh GriffithsLeigh Griffiths banished the memories of his penalty miss against Stjarnan by netting a hat-trick as Celtic won 4-1 away to Eibar.

The striker tucked a penalty away after Efe Ambrose had opened the scoring early in the second half then put the match beyond Eibar after the home side had pulled a goal back from the penalty spot the completed his hat-trick in the final minute by squeezing a shot home from a tight angle..

After a goal-less first half that featured a penalty save from debutant Logan Bailly the game opened up after the break giving Ronny Deila’s squad the type of workout that they need before flying to Iceland for Champion League duty on Wednesday.

Craig Gordon, Stefan Johansen and Mikael Lustig were missing from the XI that started against Stjarnan on Wednesday night with Deila keen to give his first choice players as much game time as possible.

chris collinsDespite the friendly tag there were plenty of unfriendly challenges going around with Scott Brown the target for the home side.

There was an early scare when Nir Bitton was involved in a clash of heads but after treatment the midfielder was able to continue.

Celtic carved out their first chance in the sixth minute when Ciftci tested the Eibar keeper with a head from a Griffiths cross from the right.

Midway through the first half the hoops almost took the lead when Virgil van Dijk stuck out a foot to connect with an inswinging free kick from Charlie Mulgrew but his effort flashed across goal in the 24th minute.

Within a minute Eibar were awarded a penalty for handball against Dedryck Boyata but fortunately Bailly dived low to his right to push away the spot kick.

There was another lucky escape shortly afterwards when Bailly raced to the edge of the box but held back from clearing. The Eibar striker sent a looping shot goalwards but the retreating Boyata cleared the ball before passing on some ‘thoughts’ to the new goalkeeper.

Ambrose was one of three half-time changes and wasted no time to make an impact as he sent a glancing header into the net from 10 yards out from a tempting Griffiths free kick.

That goal sparked Eibar into a few threatening attacks but on the hour mark the hoops increased their lead from the penalty spot. A glancing header from Stokes put Griffiths through on the Eibar keeper who after initially blocking the ball lost possession then fouled the striker.

There was no debate about who would take the spot kick with Griffiths sending the ball high to the keeper’s left in off the post.

The penalty drama continued in the 67th minute when Arruabarrena scored for the homeside after a close range shot was blasted against the arm of Emilio Izaguirre.

Any thoughts of a comeback for homeside were killed off in the 74th minute when Griffiths took a short pass from Kieran Tierney then drilled in a 20 yard shot that beat the Eibar keeper at his near post.

In the closing stages Griffiths raced onto a long ball out of defence, shot against the keeper’s legs then tucked away the rebound from a tight angle in front of the delighted Celtic support.

Eibar 2CELTIC: Bailly; Fisher (Janko 60), Boyata (Ambrose 46), van Dijk, Mulgrew (Izaguirre 46); Brown, Bitton (Lindsay); Forrest (Tierney 60), Ciftci (Stokes 46), Armstrong (Rogic 60); Griffiths

SUBS: Fasan, Scepovic