St Mirren 0-2 Celtic
James Forrest celebrated being named as one of Fifa's 13 young players to watch by scoring as leaders Celtic survived a tough test in Paisley.
St Mirren's Marc McAusland and Celtic's Gary Hooper both forced good saves in an even first half.
Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster denied Paul McGowan and new Buddies signing Dougie Imrie after the break.
But Forrest's low controlled shot after 70 minutes and Scott Brown's curler 17 minutes later won it for Celtic.
And it stretched the Glasgow side's run to 12 successive wins in the Scottish Premier League as they moved five points clear of Rangers ahead of the reigning champions' meeting with Aberdeen later in the afternoon.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon had shuffled his pack, bringing in Cha Du-ri, Ki Sung-Yueng and Forrest coming in for Adam Matthews, Emilio Izaguirre and Anthony Stokes.
But, although they started well, it was the Buddies who created the first chance after 12 minutes.
Former Celtic winger Graham Carey's corner as flicked on to the far post, where defender McAusland's half-volley from 10 yards was trapped on the line between the gangly legs of Forster.
Gary Hooper showed the confidence and eye for goal that has attracted a couple of failed bids from Southampton with an audacious attempt to catch out St Mirren goalkeeper Craig Samson.
However, his swift volley on the turn from all of 35 yards was pushed wide by the former Scotland Under-21 international.
Steven Thompson was thankful for a goal-line clearance by one of his own defenders after powering a header towards his own net as he attempted to clear a corner.
The Buddies' new signing from Hamilton, Dougie Imrie, had gone straight into Danny Lennon's side in place of the experienced Gary Teale.
And a cross from the former Clyde and Inverness forward, operating on the right despite preferring his left foot, found its way to Carey at the back post, where the winger sent a half-volley across the face of goal.
Forrest, whose progress limited Carey's chances at Celtic, at last managed to evade his markers and his near-post cross was headed across goal by Hooper.
Another Forrest cross landed on top of the crossbar, but a draw at half-time was fair on the balance of play.
St Mirren came out confidently after the break and Imrie shot straight at Forster before the goalkeeper produced a superb reaction save after Paul McGowan's flick diverted a wayward shot towards goal from 14 yards.
The frustrated Lennon hauled off Georgios Samaras and Ki after 57 minutes and the introduction of Kris Commons and Stokes gave Celtic new impetus.
St Mirren had a lucky escape moments later when Thomas Rogne's header from a corner came off McAusland's up-stretched arm.
It was the long arm of Forster that was to the fore when he superbly sent for a corner a powerful Imrie drive after the forward was found in space on the edge of the box from McGowan's neat flick.
St Mirren were undone after 70 minutes when Brown did well to play a first-time pass from Samson's punched clearance into the path of Forrest and the Scotland winger's low drive with the outside of his foot found the inside of the post from 18 yards.
Lee Mair forced another fine reaction save from Forster, while Hooper fired just wide at the other end.
However, Brown's superb finish from 18 yards ensured a victory against a Paisley outfit who have not scored in the last six meetings between the sides and who have not won a league game since beating Rangers on Christmas Eve.
- 01 Samson
- 02 van Zanten
- 03 Barron (Mooy - 81' )
- 05 Mair
- 14 McAusland
- 22 Tesselaar
- 17 Mclean
- 23 Carey (Teale - 81' )
- 27 Imrie
- 09 Thompson
- 10 McGowan Booked
- 12 Smith
- 07 Murray
- 08 Thomson
- 15 Mooy
- 21 Teale
- 11 Hasselbaink
- 39 Thomas Reilly
- 01 Forster
- 11 Cha Du-Ri Booked
- 21 Mulgrew
- 25 Rogne Booked
- 08 Brown
- 16 Ledley
- 18 Ki Sung-Yeung (Stokes - 58' )
- 67 Wanyama
- 09 Samaras (Commons - 58' )
- 49 Forrest (Matthews - 87' )
- 88 Hooper
- 24 Zaluska
- 03 Izaguirre
- 06 Wilson
- 02 Matthews
- 46 McGeouch
- 10 Stokes
- 15 Commons
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.90:00 +2:59
Douglas Imrie crosses the ball.89:25
Shot from deep inside the area by Douglas Imrie goes over the bar.88:57
Thomas Rogne is caught offside. Craig Samson takes the direct free kick.88:11
Unfair challenge on Joe Ledley by David van Zanten results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Kris Commons.87:17
The assist for the goal came from Kris Commons.87:17 Goal scored
Goal! - Scott Brown - St Mirren 0 - 2 Celtic Scott Brown grabs a goal from just outside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. St Mirren 0-2 Celtic.86:56
Kris Commons decides to take a short corner.86:18 Substitution
Substitution Adam Matthews on for James Forrest.84:44
Douglas Imrie has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.83:47
The ball is swung over by Douglas Imrie.83:24
Shot by Gary Hooper from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.82:52
Kris Commons has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.82:37
Kris Commons takes a short corner.81:40
Free kick awarded for a foul by Kenny McLean on Scott Brown. Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.80:57 Substitution
Substitution Aaron Mooy comes on in place of David Barron.80:57 Substitution
Substitution Gary Teale is brought on as a substitute for Graham Carey.80:17
Inswinging corner taken by Graham Carey, Lee Mair takes a shot. Save made by Fraser Forster.80:09
David van Zanten produces a cross, Charlie Mulgrew manages to make a clearance.79:57
The ball is delivered by David van Zanten, Kris Commons gets a block in.
The ball is swung over by David van Zanten, Thomas Rogne manages to make a clearance.79:35
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Barron by Victor Wanyama. Free kick taken by Marc McAusland.78:00
Kenny McLean takes a shot from a long way out clearing the bar.76:02
Kris Commons fouled by Douglas Imrie, the ref awards a free kick. Kris Commons crosses the ball in from the free kick, Marc McAusland manages to make a clearance.75:32
David Barron concedes a free kick for a foul on Kris Commons. Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.74:03
David van Zanten produces a cross, save made by Fraser Forster.73:18
Centre by Graham Carey, James Forrest gets a block in.72:53
Foul by Scott Brown on Douglas Imrie, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Marc McAusland.72:02
Shot by David Barron from a long way out goes over the target.70:53
The assist for the goal came from Scott Brown.70:53 Goal scored
Goal! - James Forrest - St Mirren 0 - 1 Celtic James Forrest gets on the score sheet with a goal from just outside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. St Mirren 0-1 Celtic.70:07
Unfair challenge on James Forrest by Jeroen Tesselaar results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Kris Commons, Craig Samson makes a save.69:11
Centre by James Forrest, Paul McGowan makes a clearance.66:28
Corner taken left-footed by Graham Carey from the left by-line to the near post, Anthony Stokes manages to make a clearance.65:30
Graham Carey restarts play with the free kick.65:30 Booking
Booking Du-Ri Cha is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.65:15
Du-Ri Cha gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Graham Carey.62:57
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gary Hooper on Marc McAusland. Free kick taken by Craig Samson.61:17
Graham Carey takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Anthony Stokes makes a clearance.61:00
Douglas Imrie has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Save made by Fraser Forster.59:23
Corner taken by Kris Commons.58:42
Corner from left by-line taken by Kris Commons.58:28
Kris Commons sends in a cross, clearance by Marc McAusland.57:02 Substitution
Substitution Anthony Stokes replaces Sung-Yeung Ki.57:02 Substitution
Substitution Kris Commons is brought on as a substitute for Georgios Samaras.55:21
The referee blows for offside. Direct free kick taken by Fraser Forster.53:43
The free kick is delivered right-footed by Sung-Yeung Ki from left channel.53:43 Booking
Booking Paul McGowan receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.53:35
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras by Paul McGowan.53:23
Corner taken by Graham Carey.51:52
David van Zanten takes a shot. Paul McGowan takes a shot. Save made by Fraser Forster.51:46
The ball is sent over by Steven Thompson, Joe Ledley makes a clearance.51:14
Graham Carey fouled by Sung-Yeung Ki, the ref awards a free kick. Lee Mair takes the direct free kick.50:55
Douglas Imrie takes a shot. Fraser Forster makes a save.50:49
The ball is sent over by Graham Carey.50:08
Douglas Imrie fouled by Georgios Samaras, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Craig Samson.47:17
Kenny McLean crosses the ball.46:39
Victor Wanyama concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul McGowan. David Barron restarts play with the free kick.46:09
Volleyed right-footed shot by Kenny McLean. Save by Fraser Forster.45:01
The match restarts for the second half.45:00 +0:10 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.43:15
Corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by David Barron.42:46
James Forrest produces a cross.41:00
James Forrest sends in a cross.38:44
Corner taken by Graham Carey from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Charlie Mulgrew.37:39
Effort on goal by Graham Carey from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.37:34
Douglas Imrie delivers the ball, Thomas Rogne makes a clearance.35:52
Foul by David van Zanten on Georgios Samaras, free kick awarded. Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.34:23
David Barron produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.32:15
Corner taken by Sung-Yeung Ki.28:32
Douglas Imrie delivers the ball.27:28
Steven Thompson challenges Charlie Mulgrew unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Fraser Forster.26:55
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David van Zanten by Sung-Yeung Ki. Direct free kick taken by David van Zanten.26:00
Douglas Imrie takes a shot. Save by Fraser Forster.24:53
The referee blows for offside. Direct free kick taken by Craig Samson.23:55
Corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew, save by Craig Samson.23:48
Du-Ri Cha sends in a cross, clearance made by Lee Mair.22:45
Du-Ri Cha delivers the ball, save made by Craig Samson.22:35
Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul McGowan on Sung-Yeung Ki. Sung-Yeung Ki takes the free kick.20:26
David Barron challenges Sung-Yeung Ki unfairly and gives away a free kick. Charlie Mulgrew has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.20:04
The ball is swung over by Douglas Imrie, Steven Thompson takes a shot. Save by Fraser Forster.18:49
Corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew.15:50
A cross is delivered by Joe Ledley, Lee Mair makes a clearance.14:19
Corner taken by Sung-Yeung Ki from the right by-line.14:01
Gary Hooper takes a shot. Save by Craig Samson.13:16
Paul McGowan challenges Sung-Yeung Ki unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Sung-Yeung Ki.11:38
Outswinging corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew from the left by-line, clearance by Jeroen Tesselaar.11:14
Marc McAusland takes a shot. Save by Fraser Forster.10:53
Corner taken by Graham Carey from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Charlie Mulgrew.10:25
Direct free kick taken by Lee Mair.10:25 Booking
Booking Thomas Rogne receives a caution.10:16
Thomas Rogne concedes a free kick for a foul on Jeroen Tesselaar.10:06
Du-Ri Cha crosses the ball, clearance by Jeroen Tesselaar.9:08
James Forrest concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul McGowan. Direct free kick taken by Marc McAusland.8:00
Outswinging corner taken by Sung-Yeung Ki, Unfair challenge on Marc McAusland by Thomas Rogne results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Craig Samson.7:46
Du-Ri Cha delivers the ball, blocked by Jeroen Tesselaar.7:10
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kenny McLean by Scott Brown. Jeroen Tesselaar restarts play with the free kick.7:00
Du-Ri Cha sends in a cross, clearance made by Lee Mair.2:05
Centre by Scott Brown, save made by Craig Samson.0:19
Gary Hooper concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee Mair. Craig Samson restarts play with the free kick.0:00
The referee gets the game started.
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