Scottish Premiership
St MirrenSt Mirren0CelticCeltic4

St Mirren 0-4 Celtic: Late goal blitz earns champions win

By Jamie LyallBBC Scotland

Celtic "wanted to right the wrongs" of their shock loss to St Mirren by routing the same opposition on Wednesday, says manager Neil Lennon.

The Scottish champions avenged a 2-1 home reverse 12 days ago by trouncing St Mirren 4-0 in Paisley.

Celtic scored three goals in three second-half minutes to blow the hosts away and move within 18 points of Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers.

"That's far more like us," Lennon told BBC Radio Scotland.

"Almost like we were at this time last season - absolutely rampant. We're just looking for more of that now.

"Against a team in form, we've absolutely taken them apart. Once they got the second goal, they really turned it on, they didn't rest up. I think they wanted to put the wrongs of 12 days ago right."

Unsurprisingly, Jim Goodwin set his St Mirren side up just as he had 11 days earlier, when the victors left Celtic Park with a first triumph in Glasgow's East End for over three decades.

The hosts began sharply, fizzing the ball around with all of the belief of a team in super recent form. But they wilted suddenly with the loss of Jamie McGrath to injury and a fabulous Tom Rogic opener. McGrath left the pitch clutching a shoulder after a heavy fall, and a minute later, Celtic pounced.

Rogic collected the ball on the right flank from a Jonjoe Kenny throw-in, spun, swaggered his way into the box and cracked a vicious left-foot strike into the far bottom corner. It was vintage Rogic and in truth, Celtic have not seen enough of it from their rangy Australian this season.

After the opener, Celtic's grip on the game tightened. Kristoffer Ajer galloped around with menace, often steaming deep into Saints territory on great, lancing runs from the backline. When he wasn't marauding, the Norwegian's range of passing was tremendous.

Celtic threatened little before the break, but for all of St Mirren's endeavour, never looked in danger of conceding. Connolly scampered after a Kyle McAllister through-ball on the stroke of half-time, but on the stretch, prodded wide. In the final third, St Mirren's distribution deserted them.

After the interval, Celtic began to motor. Rogic was at the heart of their incisive play. The midfielder shaped to shoot from right of centre, but instead slid in Odsonne Edouard, who was denied by a wonderful point-blank Jak Alnwick stop.

The goalkeeper twice blocked David Turnbull from distance, then watched Edouard and Rogic both blast wide. St Mirren's shape, so entrenched and effective at Celtic Park, was concertinaed as the visitors sliced through them.

Young defender Stephen Welsh, an impressive performer since winning his place in the team, was carried off after having his foot trodden on by Jonathan Obika. The striker was yellow-carded for the late collision. Earlier, Callum McGregor ought to have been booked for a rash challenge on Ethan Erhahon, and Scott Brown was cautioned after clattering Ryan Flynn.

From all the thundering tackles, it was Flynn's rather delicate tug on the arm of Greg Taylor that proved most telling. The midfielder was caught out by Taylor's scurrying run into the box. Down went Taylor, up stepped Edouard, and the spot-kick was dispatched ruthlessly to Alnwick's right.

The Frenchman has now scored in each of his past five games, bagging six goals in total.

Rather than settling for what they had, Celtic continued to go through the gears, Edouard's strike the first of a remarkable three-minute treble. Ryan Christie caressed home a delightful left-foot chip from right of centre, then teed up David Turnbull to smack home from close range.

In the end, it was a rout. Celtic bared their teeth, an attacking relentlessness the champions have shown far too little of late.

Man of the match - Tom Rogic

Ryan Christie and Tom Rogic of celtic
Celtic do not always get a lavish tune out Rogic, but on his game, he is one of Scotland's premier forward players. His goal was excellent, his link-up play slick, and his loping runs a constant danger to St Mirren.

What did we learn?

Goodwin will be irked that his players posed so few questions of Scott Bain in the Celtic goal. They lived with Celtic in the first half, but were run hopelessly ragged in the second. Still, their desire and persistence cannot be faulted.

For all of their many and pervasive troubles, a Celtic side possessing Edouard, Rogic, Christie and Turnbull is still a team with a vast attacking arsenal. Lennon will be just as content that his defence was largely unflustered.

What did they say?

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "Really disappointed with the second half, we just weren't at the same level as in the first half. We looked as if we lost our way a bit, a lack of discipline in terms of the overall shape of the team and we were allowing Celtic too much space and time on the ball.

"Celtic were excellent and caused us a lot of problems, albeit we were still well in the game up until about 80 minutes. To lose those three goals was extremely disappointing."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "It's outstanding. It's probably the best we've played here for a long, long time. We weren't great first-half, unforced errors on the ball, scored a great goal from the best player on the pitch in Rogic.

"I had a few words with them at half-time and second-half they were unbelievable, and we could have won the game by a lot more when you think of the chances we created."

What's next?

St Mirren make the trip north to struggling Aberdeen, who they eliminated from the League Cup earlier this season, on Saturday. Celtic travel to in-form St Johnstone a day later. The Perth side have lost only one of their past nine games.

Player of the match

WelshStephen Welsh

with an average of 8.43

St Mirren

  1. Squad number8Player nameFlynn
    Average rating

    5.89

  2. Squad number4Player nameShaughnessy
    Average rating

    5.75

  3. Squad number25Player nameErhahon
    Average rating

    5.75

  4. Squad number22Player nameFraser
    Average rating

    5.57

  5. Squad number5Player nameMcCarthy
    Average rating

    5.56

  6. Squad number17Player nameMcGrath
    Average rating

    5.54

  7. Squad number9Player nameObika
    Average rating

    5.52

  8. Squad number21Player nameConnolly
    Average rating

    5.50

  9. Squad number11Player nameDurmus
    Average rating

    5.48

  10. Squad number7Player nameDoyle-Hayes
    Average rating

    5.45

  11. Squad number1Player nameAlnwick
    Average rating

    5.41

  12. Squad number14Player nameMacPherson
    Average rating

    3.93

  13. Squad number23Player nameErwin
    Average rating

    3.92

  14. Squad number10Player nameMcAllister
    Average rating

    3.87

Celtic

  1. Squad number57Player nameWelsh
    Average rating

    8.43

  2. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull
    Average rating

    6.87

  3. Squad number18Player nameRogic
    Average rating

    6.63

  4. Squad number35Player nameAjer
    Average rating

    6.56

  5. Squad number17Player nameChristie
    Average rating

    6.28

  6. Squad number22Player nameEdouard
    Average rating

    6.27

  7. Squad number16Player nameKenny
    Average rating

    6.22

  8. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    6.17

  9. Squad number3Player nameTaylor
    Average rating

    6.08

  10. Squad number10Player nameAjeti
    Average rating

    5.77

  11. Squad number8Player nameBrown
    Average rating

    5.74

  12. Squad number29Player nameBain
    Average rating

    5.67

  13. Squad number27Player nameElyounoussi
    Average rating

    5.49

  14. Squad number11Player nameKlimala
    Average rating

    5.28

  15. Squad number4Player nameDuffy
    Average rating

    4.88

  16. Squad number9Player nameGriffiths
    Average rating

    4.87

Line-ups

St Mirren

Formation 3-5-1-1

  • 1Alnwick
  • 22Fraser
  • 5McCarthy
  • 4Shaughnessy
  • 21ConnollySubstituted forMacPhersonat 72'minutes
  • 8FlynnBooked at 78minsSubstituted forErwinat 81'minutes
  • 7Doyle-Hayes
  • 25Erhahon
  • 11Durmus
  • 17McGrathSubstituted forMcAllisterat 15'minutes
  • 9ObikaBooked at 64mins

Substitutes

  • 2Tait
  • 3Mason
  • 10McAllister
  • 14MacPherson
  • 15Finlayson
  • 23Erwin
  • 26Lyness
  • 30Henderson
  • 33Jamieson

Celtic

Formation 4-1-2-1-2

  • 29Bain
  • 16Kenny
  • 57WelshSubstituted forDuffyat 68'minutes
  • 35Ajer
  • 3Taylor
  • 8Brown
  • 18RogicBooked at 84minsSubstituted forGriffithsat 85'minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 14TurnbullSubstituted forElyounoussiat 85'minutes
  • 22EdouardSubstituted forKlimalaat 80'minutes
  • 10AjetiSubstituted forChristieat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Barkas
  • 4Duffy
  • 9Griffiths
  • 11Klimala
  • 12Soro
  • 17Christie
  • 19Johnston
  • 27Elyounoussi
  • 93Laxalt
Referee:
Don Robertson

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home14
Away19
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home15
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Mirren 0, Celtic 4.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Mirren 0, Celtic 4.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic).

  4. Post update

    Marcus Fraser (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonathan Obika (St. Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kyle McAllister.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lee Erwin (St. Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ilkay Durmus.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ilkay Durmus (St. Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ethan Erhahon.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Patryk Klimala (Celtic).

  9. Post update

    Conor McCarthy (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Scott Bain.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jonathan Obika (St. Mirren) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Jonjoe Kenny (Celtic).

  13. Post update

    Ethan Erhahon (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Leigh Griffiths replaces Tomas Rogic.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Mohamed Elyounoussi replaces David Turnbull.

  16. Booking

    Tomas Rogic (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Shane Duffy (Celtic).

  18. Post update

    Lee Erwin (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Goal!

    Goal! St. Mirren 0, Celtic 4. David Turnbull (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

  20. Goal!

    Goal! St. Mirren 0, Celtic 3. Ryan Christie (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tomas Rogic.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers2824406886076
2Celtic27177361214058
3Hibernian28147739261349
4Aberdeen2712873128344
5Livingston27116103531439
6St Mirren2695122632-632
7Dundee Utd28710112338-1531
8St Johnstone2879122737-1030
9Motherwell2777132539-1428
10Kilmarnock2873182640-1424
11Ross County2865172153-3223
12Hamilton2655162352-2920
View full Scottish Premiership table

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