St. Johnstone 0-2 Celtic: The Hoops go six points clear at the top
Celtic beat St. Johnstone 2-0 at McDiarmid Park on Sunday to move six points clear at the top of the of the Scottish Premiership table.
James Forrest finally made the breakthrough with just 12 minutes to go before substitute Timothy Weah sealed the win in the final minute. And despite Kristoffer Ajer’s injury-time red card, Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic held onto all three points.
Just seconds into the game, there was concern over Celtic’s Ajer after he came off worse in a clash of heads with Tony Watt. After a few minutes of treatment, the Norwegian, thankfully for the visitors, returned to the action.
The first chance, however, fell to St. Johnstone after just five minutes. Matty Kennedy shot too close to goalkeeper Scott Bain, who saved with his feet to keep the scoreline at 0-0. The hosts looked bright and threatened again in the 12th minute but couldn’t get the early opening goal they would have liked to.
Celtic were denied a penalty claim just a few minutes later when Saints’ Jason Kerr slid in to challenge Ollie Burke after a mix-up at the back. The referee rightly waved away as the defender had won the ball.
Rodgers’ men attacked with purpose as the game wore on, with Burke making a mazy run but lacked the end product to the test the opposition goalkeeper.
Celtic made a change at the interval, bringing on new signing Jeremy Toljan for Mikael Lustig. And the visitors moved up a gear in the second period, only to find Zander Clark in brilliant form between the sticks, with the Saints goalkeeper keeping out Burke’s well-struck shot. Clark also denied Simunovic before the Hoops brought on Odsonne Edouard for Burke.
In the 71st minute, St. Johnstone heroically kept the ball out of their own net, with Scott Sinclair being denied the goal. Substitute Edouard was subbed off after three minutes, with Weah replacing him. But just as St. Johnstone’s fans were starting to believe their team could keep Celtic at bay, Forrest opened the scoring from Weah’s cross.
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And it was Weah who wrapped up the deal late on after the hosts lost the ball from their own corner, allowing Callum McGregor to break upfield and set up the young striker for a simple tap in.
Delighted with the 2-0 victory, here’s how some Celtic fans reacted on Twitter.
That’s why we’re Champions 💪🍀🇮🇪
— BarryBhoy ⭐ (@Barrybhoy671) February 3, 2019
Yesss! And if the dons can beat the cheats on wednesday that should be us 9 pts clear and the league is won ☘☘☘ #Celtic
— Donald Livingston (@donaldlivingst3) February 3, 2019
9men no dodgy penalties 3pts! That’s why we’re champions
— TheMaestro8 (@Maestro8The) February 3, 2019
Timo life time contract he’ll be here for 10 in a row
— Cris (@CrisCarrubba) February 3, 2019
Timo Weah just gets what we are all about I know we don’t have him for long but I love his passion
— Paddy (@PaddyB1988) February 3, 2019
and didn’t need any dodgy penalties to win 🇮🇪🍀🍀🇮🇪
— 🇮🇪 Cork_Bhoy_ 🇮🇪 (@Cork_Bhoy_) February 3, 2019
brilliant result with everything going against us today👏👏
— the lunatic fringe (@JustMatthew7) February 3, 2019
Wonderful Weah to win a game!
— Kevin (@celtickev) February 3, 2019
Well done bhoys 👏☘
— Annmarie (@annmarie_h16) February 3, 2019
Announce Weah Statue
— FPLCelt 🍀🦁 (@FPLCelt) February 3, 2019
C’mon guys 🍀
— Stefanino 🚀⚽️ (@stesciolti) February 3, 2019