Jordan White (second right) heads the only goal of the game for Ross County
Jordan White (second right) heads the only goal of the game for Ross County

Ross County moved out of the Scottish Premiership relegation places after their second win over Celtic this season all but ended their visitors’ slim title hopes.

Jordan White’s 71st-minute header hauled County up to 10th and added to their League Cup win in November.

Celtic dominated possession but created little on another dispiriting night for Neil Lennon’s reigning champions.

They are left trailing Rangers by 18 points with eight games left.

That means Gerrard’s side would guarantee the title with a draw in the Old Firm game on 21 March, should they win their next two games.

However, they could win it as soon as 6 March, if Celtic lose to Aberdeen next Saturday.

Celtic arrived in Dingwall on form. Five wins in a row, with 13 scored. In contrast, County had conceded 11 in their last last five and had found themselves rooted to the bottom of the table.

The visitors cleaved out first-half chances, but County did too. Scott Bain had to tip wide a dangerous Blair Spittal pile-driver towards the near post, and Tony Andreu headed over from the corner.

Celtic were always going create something, and when Odsonne Edouard outpaced the defence and cut-back to Ryan Christie, it looked certain to be 1-0. But the Scotland international blasted over from close range.

Christie headed wide and had a near-post shot saved and Diego Laxalt – who replaced the injured Grey Taylor – shot over.

But then County sucker-punched them at the other end. Harry Paton’s free-kick found White, who rose powerfully to head in off an upright in what could be a huge moment in County’s fight for survival.

Christie continued to be Celtic’s main threat but a jinking run into the box ended with another shot over.

Celtic piled on the pressure and almost broke County hearts in the final minute, but Laidlaw got his fingertips to a Mohamed Elyounoussi header.

A late, late Leigh Griffiths free-kick sailed over as County won for the first time against Celtic in the league for eight years, and the second time in three months.

Man of the match – Michael Gardyne

Michael Gardyne and Celtic's Tom Rogic
Gardyne (left) was a colossus in midfield for County as they battled to a huge win in their fight to beat the drop

What did we learn?

County have had a knack this season of producing the best results against the bigger sides. They have won at Easter Road and Celtic Park and hammered Aberdeen at home. And, in their fight to stay up, they have produced another seismic result.

Celtic all too often tried to play too much football on a pitch that was unforgiving. Despite an enormous amount of the ball, home goalkeeper Laidlaw will have had busier nights.

What’s next?

Ross County travel to St Mirren on Saturday (15:00 GMT), and at the same time Celtic will be at home to Aberdeen.

Player of the match

KellyStephen Kelly

with an average of 9.53

Ross County

  1. Squad number18Player nameKelly

    Average rating

    9.53

  2. Squad number3Player nameTremarco

    Average rating

    8.64

  3. Squad number22Player nameTillson

    Average rating

    8.63

  4. Squad number20Player nameSpittal

    Average rating

    8.62

  5. Squad number19Player nameLakin

    Average rating

    8.62

  6. Squad number24Player namePaton

    Average rating

    8.61

  7. Squad number7Player nameGardyne

    Average rating

    8.59

  8. Squad number16Player nameIacovitti

    Average rating

    8.58

  9. Squad number26Player nameWhite

    Average rating

    8.58

  10. Squad number17Player nameCharles-Cook

    Average rating

    8.53

  11. Squad number15Player nameWatson

    Average rating

    8.53

  12. Squad number6Player nameDraper

    Average rating

    8.50

  13. Squad number23Player nameNaismith

    Average rating

    8.43

  14. Squad number5Player nameMorris

    Average rating

    8.40

  15. Squad number1Player nameLaidlaw

    Average rating

    8.33

  16. Squad number28Player nameAndreu

    Average rating

    8.31

Celtic

  1. Squad number57Player nameWelsh

    Average rating

    5.53

  2. Squad number29Player nameBain

    Average rating

    3.32

  3. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull

    Average rating

    3.06

  4. Squad number35Player nameAjer

    Average rating

    3.03

  5. Squad number16Player nameKenny

    Average rating

    3.02

  6. Squad number17Player nameChristie

    Average rating

    3.00

  7. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor

    Average rating

    2.98

  8. Squad number93Player nameLaxalt

    Average rating

    2.81

  9. Squad number3Player nameTaylor

    Average rating

    2.73

  10. Squad number22Player nameEdouard

    Average rating

    2.72

  11. Squad number18Player nameRogic

    Average rating

    2.68

  12. Squad number8Player nameBrown

    Average rating

    2.49

  13. Squad number9Player nameGriffiths

    Average rating

    2.39

  14. Squad number27Player nameElyounoussi

    Average rating

    2.37

Line-ups

Ross County

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 23Naismith
  • 5MorrisSubstituted forWatsonat 42′minutes
  • 16Iacovitti
  • 3Tremarco
  • 20SpittalSubstituted forPatonat 61′minutes
  • 18KellySubstituted forTillsonat 69′minutes
  • 19Lakin
  • 7GardyneSubstituted forDraperat 69′minutes
  • 28AndreuSubstituted forCharles-Cookat 70′minutes
  • 26White

Substitutes

  • 6Draper
  • 8Shaw
  • 9Mckay
  • 14Hylton
  • 15Watson
  • 17Charles-Cook
  • 21Hilton
  • 22Tillson
  • 24Paton

Celtic

Formation 4-1-2-1-2

  • 29Bain
  • 16Kenny
  • 57Welsh
  • 35Ajer
  • 3TaylorSubstituted forLaxaltat 9′minutes
  • 8Brown
  • 18RogicSubstituted forGriffithsat 67′minutes
  • 14Turnbull
  • 42McGregor
  • 22Edouard
  • 17ChristieSubstituted forElyounoussiat 83′minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Griffiths
  • 10Ajeti
  • 11Klimala
  • 12Soro
  • 27Elyounoussi
  • 52Henderson
  • 56Ralston
  • 65Hazard
  • 93Laxalt

Referee:
David Munro

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Ross County 1, Celtic 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Ross County 1, Celtic 0.

  3. Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

  4. Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Foul by Jordan Tillson (Ross County).

  6. Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ross Laidlaw.

  7. Attempt saved. Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Turnbull with a cross.

  8. Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Charlie Lakin.

  9. Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by David Turnbull.

  10. Foul by Diego Laxalt (Celtic).

  11. Jordan White (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  12. Foul by Diego Laxalt (Celtic).

  13. Jordan White (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Foul by Diego Laxalt (Celtic).

  15. Regan Charles-Cook (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Substitution, Celtic. Mohamed Elyounoussi replaces Ryan Christie.

  17. Attempt missed. Ryan Christie (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high.

  18. Attempt saved. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Callum McGregor.

  19. Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ross Draper.

  20. Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ross Draper.