Nir Bitton defends Leigh Griffiths after Celtic striker misses his fourth penalty of the season

Celtic Park

The 25-year-old was still able to lead the Hoops to a 2-1 win.

Nir Bitton has leapt to the defence of Leigh Griffiths on Celtic's official website after the striker missed his fourth penalty of the season when the Hoops came up against Motherwell on Saturday.

The forward went into the game against Well having not scored in his previous four fixtures for club and country but squandered a glorious opportunity to end that run when Patrick Roberts was brought down in the box. 

But while he would squander that chance, Griffiths would later bag a brace to help Ronny Deila's men to a 2-1 win. And Bitton has explained that rather than criticise his teammate for missing the effort from 12 yards, he deserves a huge amount of credit for the contribution he has made throughout the season.

"Griff has kept us in a lot of games this season," he told the club's official website.

"Sometimes the best players in the world can miss a penalty and we just have to look forward. He scored twice yesterday and gave us the win and that's the most crucial thing for him."

His goals against Mark McGhee's men took his tally to 37 for the campaign, which puts him well clear at the top of the club's goalscoring charts so it would be fair to say that it has been largely down to Griffiths that the Bhoys are on the verge of securing their fifth league title in a row. 

While another striker would have probably got near Griffiths' total had they been given the same game-time he has enjoyed this term, it is doubtful that any of the other options in Deila's current squad would have been as ruthless, which may have resulted in the title race being a lot more open than it now is.

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