Neil Lennon once booked himself into the Celtic job by promising to bring back the thunder.

He didn’t quite come with storm clouds and bolts of lightning on Saturday afternoon but he is the closest manager yet to raining on Celtic’s parade on their own turf.

The unbeaten run, though, continues.

In many ways Lennon was right to acknowledge in the aftermath of a hugely entertaining 90 minutes that he himself knew more than anyone just how sapped Celtic would have been in the aftermath of their Champions League exertions.

It is not revelatory that significant percentages of teams who play midweek in Europe’s premier competition are often more vulnerable in the immediate aftermath domestically and Hibs were able to utilise that lethargy to their advantage.

If the opening 45 minutes of this encounter suggested a gentle autumnal stroll through a game bathed in late afternoon sunshine, the second period did quite enough to stir it up.

Immediate reflections would point to a meeting that carried the sub-plot of two midfielders auditioning for a main part. Both did themselves no harm at all.

John McGinn’s burgeoning reputation was enhanced by an overall performance that ought to have drawn the man of the match award not just because of the manner in which he lashed two terrific strikes beyond the reach of Craig Gordon in the second period but also because of his contribution that was the heartbeat of the game in the middle of the park.

He may well have shaded the performance of McGregor but the Celtic midfielder is deserving of his call to the international set-up.

It was McGregor who had put Celtic in front in the opening stages in a game that initially appeared as though it would follow what now appears to be a traditional script at Celtic Park.

It is to Hibs’ credit that they did not roll over after that first went in but rather sought to exploit the weakness visible in Celtic’s midfield.

Tom Rogic got away from the close watch of McGinn just twice in the entirety of the game. And Scott Brown’s influence, so often seen only in the snarling superficial, was magnified by his absence.

In many ways Brown has become the most influential player in Celtic colours. It is not just the visible bark he carries but the more subtle complexities that are notable when no-one is able to do them.

Without Brown at the heart of the midfield, Celtic had no-one to spoil the play, to distribute with composure and thought or to maintain a certain level of tempo.

Perhaps even if he had been fit the after-effects of Brussels would have made little difference but certainly there seemed a looseness about Celtic and their distribution with the ball that has not been evident often under Brendan Rodgers.

Not that it should detract from what was an entertaining and dramatic tussle.

Celtic had a viable shout for two penalties at the death when Scott Sinclair, on from the bench at the interval, was tugged back by Efe Ambrose and then when Willie Collum allowed that one to run Leigh Griffiths’ attempted overhead kick appear to be blocked with an arm.

Both calls appeared credible although it would have been hard on a Hibs side who had contributed so much to the affair.

Craig Gordon posted a reminder to some of his critics when he threw himself at a Steven Whittaker effort that appeared destined to hit the back of the net from close range and Hibs on the balance of play were well worth their point.

There was a raggedness about Celtic that hasn’t been witnessed too often of late and whether that comes down to a lethargy on the back of a demanding couple of weeks as they fought on four fronts or whether it was due to a loss of key personnel or perhaps a mixture of both, who knows.

Certainly, though, when these teams meet at Hampden in the semi-final of the Betfred league Cup later this month it will be a different Celtic who turn up at the national stadium.

"Big credit to the Celtic players," said Rodgers after the game. "I thought that mentality and that strength and character came through in the end. We’ve shown why this run of 58 games that we're on is so tough to do when you’re in lots of big competitions and playing lots of big games.

"It’s a massive credit to the players that they can show that mentality to keep going and get a result.”

There is some down time now for the Hoops boss, although he will watch with some trepidation as the bulk of the Parkhead squad head off on international duty.

With Champions League football resuming on the return from the break, he will be looking to have a fully fit squad available by then.