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Celtic 21 points clear in Scotland after rout

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm •  Published: March 1, 2014

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Leigh Griffiths scored a hat trick as Celtic hit back following the first loss in its Scottish Premier League title defense with a 5-0 victory over Inverness on Saturday.

Griffiths opened the scoring in the 11th minute with his first goal at Celtic Park since signing from Wolverhampton Wanderers in January. Griffiths set up Charlie Mulgrew's goal in the 22nd before powering in another strike at the start of the second half.

After substitute Kris Commons netted the fourth with a long-distance drive which squirmed through the goalkeeper's fingers, Griffiths slipped in the fifth.

Celtic is 21 points clear of second-place Aberdeen, which won 1-0 at St. Johnstone.