Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1CelticCeltic2

St Johnstone 1-2 Celtic: Odsonne Edouard double completes comeback

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

Being "settled" has helped Odsonne Edouard return to form, says Neil Lennon after the Frenchman scored twice in two minutes as Celtic fought back from behind to beat St Johnstone.

Shaun Rooney gave Saints a shock lead, putting the hosts on course for their first win over Celtic since 2016.

Edouard's intervention 10 minutes later saved Celtic, who are 18 points behind leaders Rangers with a game in hand.

"He makes us better, there's no doubt about that," Lennon told BBC Scotland.

The win makes it four league wins in a row for Celtic, whose game in hand is against Aberdeen on Wednesday.

"They seem in a good place at the minute," Lennon said. "The body language and the confidence is better, and Odsonne is in free flowing form. Even with the two goals I thought his all round play was superb.

"He's just a good player, you can't keep a good player down for long. He was maybe disappointed that things didn't materialise the way he wanted to in the first half of the season. But he's settled now. His all round game is top class at the moment. He makes us better, there's no doubt about that."

It is only St Johnstone's second defeat in 10 games, both against the Old Firm.

Kristoffer Ajer and Shane Duffy put efforts over the bar in what was a slow start from Celtic, but they began to move through the gears the more the first half progressed.

Rooney got in sharply to deny Edouard, then the Frenchman's low cross met Tom Rogic at the back post and Callum Booth had to clear off the line.

Celtic kept coming as St Johnstone struggled to get out of their own half. David Turnbull and Ryan Christie had efforts from outside the box, but goalkeeper Zander Clark remained largely untroubled. Celtic were dominating in every department, but couldn't break the deadlock before half time.

St Johnstone had not scored at home against Celtic since February 2017 - a Dedryk Boyata own goal. When Duffy misjudged a cross, Craig Conway had a golden chance to end that barren run but the shot was poor and Scott Bain easily collected it.

However, they made no mistake when another opportunity arrived a minute later. Booth's cross was perfect for Rooney, who outmuscled the Celtic defence and bulleted a header past the goalkeeper.

The home side were checking the history books as they eyed a first win over Celtic in nearly five years. But just 10 minutes later Christie skipped past Jason Kerr on the right-hand side and laid the ball on a plate for Edouard, who put Celtic back on level terms.

Within two minutes they led, Edouard collecting Greg Taylor's ball, spinning the defender and goalkeeper, then slotting home.

After that, Celtic were the ones being pushed back. Chris Kane had a shot blocked and Glenn Middleton had a left-foot curler deflected wide.

Celtic freshened things up with the introduction of Leigh Griffiths and Mohamed Elyounoussi, but they could not add to their lead.

Man of the match - Ryan Christie

Ryan Christie and Callum Booth
Ryan Christie was pivotal in both goals as Celtic finally found a way to unlock the St Johnstone defence

What did we learn?

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson didn't do a lot wrong. His side defended well in a first 45 minutes where Celtic tried everything to break them. And after weathering that storm they attacked with vigour in the second half.

But two moments of class from Celtic showed what they still have in their locker.

What did they say?

St Johnstone 'disappointed' not to claim something - Callum Davidson

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson: "It's a difficult one to take. What I will give my players credit for is they kept working. I'm really disappointed we didn't take anything from the game.

"We've got some big games coming up. In the last eight weeks we've only lost to Rangers and Celtic, so we'll take that positive mindset into them."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "The manner of the performance was very good. The reaction was top class and we scored two beautiful goals.

"On a really sticky pitch they looked like a real good football team today."

Celtic 'in a good place' - Neil Lennon

What's next?

Celtic are at home to Aberdeen on Wednesday (18:00 GMT), which is their game in hand over Premiership leaders Rangers. St Johnstone are next in action on Saturday when they are away to Motherwell (15:00).

Player of the match

ChristieRyan Christie

with an average of 6.74

St Johnstone

  1. Squad number7Player nameConway
    Average rating

    5.96

  2. Squad number16Player nameMiddleton
    Average rating

    5.91

  3. Squad number10Player nameWotherspoon
    Average rating

    5.84

  4. Squad number18Player nameMcCann
    Average rating

    5.78

  5. Squad number19Player nameRooney
    Average rating

    5.77

  6. Squad number24Player nameBooth
    Average rating

    5.70

  7. Squad number4Player nameMcCart
    Average rating

    5.69

  8. Squad number5Player nameKerr
    Average rating

    5.69

  9. Squad number6Player nameGordon
    Average rating

    5.69

  10. Squad number13Player nameBryson
    Average rating

    5.65

  11. Squad number1Player nameClark
    Average rating

    5.56

  12. Squad number9Player nameKane
    Average rating

    5.55

  13. Squad number14Player nameMay
    Average rating

    5.28

  14. Squad number11Player nameO'Halloran
    Average rating

    4.85

Celtic

  1. Squad number17Player nameChristie
    Average rating

    6.74

  2. Squad number22Player nameEdouard
    Average rating

    6.60

  3. Squad number16Player nameKenny
    Average rating

    6.15

  4. Squad number35Player nameAjer
    Average rating

    6.11

  5. Squad number3Player nameTaylor
    Average rating

    6.06

  6. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull
    Average rating

    5.90

  7. Squad number29Player nameBain
    Average rating

    5.87

  8. Squad number18Player nameRogic
    Average rating

    5.80

  9. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    5.80

  10. Squad number8Player nameBrown
    Average rating

    5.75

  11. Squad number4Player nameDuffy
    Average rating

    5.60

  12. Squad number9Player nameGriffiths
    Average rating

    4.94

  13. Squad number27Player nameElyounoussi
    Average rating

    4.81

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Clark
  • 5KerrSubstituted forO'Halloranat 83'minutes
  • 6Gordon
  • 4McCart
  • 19Rooney
  • 18McCann
  • 13Bryson
  • 24Booth
  • 7ConwaySubstituted forMiddletonat 70'minutes
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 9KaneSubstituted forMayat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Brown
  • 11O'Halloran
  • 12Parish
  • 14May
  • 15Gilmour
  • 16Middleton
  • 17Melamed
  • 26Craig

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 29Bain
  • 16Kenny
  • 4Duffy
  • 35Ajer
  • 3Taylor
  • 8Brown
  • 42McGregor
  • 18RogicSubstituted forGriffithsat 76'minutes
  • 17ChristieBooked at 73mins
  • 14TurnbullBooked at 58minsSubstituted forElyounoussiat 76'minutes
  • 22Edouard

Substitutes

  • 1Barkas
  • 9Griffiths
  • 10Ajeti
  • 11Klimala
  • 12Soro
  • 19Johnston
  • 27Elyounoussi
  • 56Ralston
  • 93Laxalt
Referee:
Steven McLean

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home6
Away10
Shots on Target
Home1
Away5
Corners
Home3
Away9
Fouls
Home13
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Celtic 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, Celtic 2.

  3. Post update

    Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Callum Booth (St. Johnstone).

  5. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Liam Gordon.

  6. Post update

    Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Glenn Middleton (St. Johnstone).

  8. Post update

    Ryan Christie (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Craig Bryson (St. Johnstone).

  10. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Kristoffer Ajer.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jamie McCart.

  12. Post update

    Greg Taylor (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Glenn Middleton (St. Johnstone).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces Jason Kerr.

  15. Post update

    Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone).

  17. Post update

    Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

  18. Post update

    Jamie McCart (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Odsonne Edouard (Celtic).

  20. Post update

    Jamie McCart (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers2925406986179
2Celtic28187363224161
3Hibernian28147739261349
4Aberdeen2812973128345
5Livingston28116113534139
6Dundee Utd29810112638-1234
7St Mirren2796122632-633
8St Johnstone2979132839-1130
9Motherwell2877142643-1728
10Kilmarnock2973192641-1524
11Hamilton2765162753-2623
12Ross County2865172153-3223
View full Scottish Premiership table

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