St Mirren 1-5 Celtic: Ruthless Scottish Premiership leaders restore nine-point lead – NewsEverything Football

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St Mirren 1-5 Celtic: Ruthless Scottish Premiership leaders restore nine-point lead – NewsEverything Football
St Mirren 1-5 Celtic: Ruthless Scottish Premiership leaders restore nine-point lead – NewsEverything Football

Jota scores for Celtic against St Mirren
Jota’s goal pulled Celtic level before they went on to record a comfortable win

Celtic restored their nine-point Scottish Premiership lead with a ruthless second-half showing against 10-man St Mirren.

Mark O’Hara converted an early penalty for the hosts after VAR ruled Greg Taylor had handled, but the hosts had Charles Dunne sent off for pulling back Kyogo Furuhashi when he was in on goal.

Jota levelled and Alistair Johnston forced the ball in off O’Hara for Celtic’s second, with Liel Abada and Matt O’Riley’s strikes and Oh Hyeon-Gyu’s penalty completing the rout.

With a vastly superior goal difference to nearest challengers Rangers, Celtic effectively need eight more wins from their remaining 11 games to retain their title.

St Mirren remain sixth, having been overtaken by Aberdeen on Saturday.

Stephen Robinson’s side are the only domestic opponent to have beaten Celtic this season and home fans sensed the possibility of another landmark win when Alex Greive flicked the ball up and Taylor’s arm connected. The crowd had an extended wait until the next break in play for a VAR review but referee David Dickinson made his mind up quickly and pointed to the spot.

O’Hara struck powerfully to Joe Hart’s right, a third goal in three games against Celtic for the midfielder.

It took Celtic until midway through the first half to get a meaningful attempt, in-form Reo Hatate unable to keep his effort down on this occasion. Jota was next, the winger racing off a Hatate backheel and forcing an excellent save from Trevor Carson at the goalkeeper’s left-hand post.

The pair combined again with Jota’s shot turned wide by the boot of Dunne but the defender’s day was about to take a turn for the worse. His short pass back allowed Kyogo to chase and Dunne pulled back the forward, leaving referee Dickinson with no other option but to produce a red card.

VAR then had to assess whether the foul took place inside our outside the box. Outside was the call, meaning the hosts faced and dealt with a free-kick.

Half-time substitute Abada got more joy on the right side than either Daizen Maeda or Jota had and combined with Aaron Mooy in the run-up to Jota’s goal, the Portuguese winger squeezing the ball over the line despite Ryan Strain’s attempt to clear.

And it was quickly two for the visitors after Jota won a free-kick on the left. Mooy’s delivery to the back post was attacked by Johnston and O’Hara could only carry the ball past Carson.

Celtic could have put the game to bed with their next break as Jota, Kyogo and Abada all had attempts with Carson, Marcus Fraser and Taylor all getting in the way.

But the third duly arrived from Abada, a sumptuous finish from the right-hand side of the box taking his season’s tally to 12.

The winger then turned provider for fellow substitute O’Riley, who turned the deflected cross beyond Carson.

VAR got involved again after Alex Gogic pulled back Oh and the striker took the responsibility himself to net his first league goal for Celtic and second against St Mirren. It was the 250th competitive goal of the Ange Postecoglou reign.

Player of the match – Liel Abada

Liel Abada scores for Celtic against St Mirren
The Celtic winger scored one and set up another in a stunning 45-minute performance, once again proving himself to be one of Postecoglou’s shrewdest signings

Red card makes it a long day for St Mirren – analysis

Of the first-half’s two big turning points, the Dunne red card by far had the biggest impact. Until that point, St Mirren had restricted Celtic. Dunne in particular made a number of interceptions as the hosts left men spare in the box in anticipation of Celtic deliveries from wide areas.

St Mirren did well to make it to half-time ahead, but the sheer amount of possession Celtic had after the break and the impact of Abada turned the match into a routine Celtic win.

Viaplay Cup winners Celtic have won 11 of their 12 matches so far in 2023 and an early title win seems more and more likely.

Last week against Rangers in the cup final, Celtic’s starters had the biggest impact. This week, it was the substitutes. Finding ways to win comes in many forms.

What the managers said

St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson: “The game’s set up perfect for us. You go 1-0 up, Celtic have a lot of possession and we try and hit them on the break. It was a perfect game plan and it was working. A moment of madness, decision-making has obviously changed the game.

“Celtic are a huge proposition with 11 men, with 10 it becomes virtually impossible. It ends up being damage limitation. It’s something we can’t let define our season.”

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: “VAR doesn’t miss anything by the looks of it, especially with us. We had to keep our composure. We always know in these kind of games, whether it’s 10 or 11 men, we’ll overrun the opposition. Again, a really good impact from the guys coming on, I thought they were outstanding.

“It would’ve been very easy say at 3-1, for us to just cruise through the rest of the game but it’s not who we are. We’re going right to the final whistle. It doesn’t matter what the opposition are doing and what the context of the game is.”

What’s next?

Celtic host Hearts in the Premiership on Wednesday (19:45). St Mirren have a 13-day wait until their next game, away to the league’s bottom side Dundee United.


St Mirren

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Carson
  • 22Fraser
  • 13Gogic
  • 18DunneBooked at 38mins
  • 23StrainBooked at 37minsSubstituted forWattat 62′minutes
  • 11KiltieSubstituted forTaylorat 74′minutes
  • 17Baccus
  • 6O’Hara
  • 16SmallSubstituted forShaughnessyat 62′minutes
  • 10MainSubstituted forTanserat 75′minutes
  • 21GreiveSubstituted forTaylorat 45′minutes


  • 3Tanser
  • 4Shaughnessy
  • 5Taylor
  • 8Flynn
  • 9Watt
  • 24Jamieson
  • 25Offord
  • 27Urminsky
  • 30Taylor


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Hart
  • 2Johnston
  • 20Carter-Vickers
  • 4Starfelt
  • 3Taylor
  • 13MooySubstituted forIwataat 74′minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 41HatateSubstituted forO’Rileyat 66′minutes
  • 17Neves FilipeSubstituted forHaksabanovicat 71′minutes
  • 8FuruhashiSubstituted forOhat 66′minutes
  • 38MaedaSubstituted forAbadaat 45′minutes


  • 9Haksabanovic
  • 11Abada
  • 14Turnbull
  • 18Kobayashi
  • 19Oh
  • 24Iwata
  • 29Bain
  • 33O’Riley
  • 56Ralston

David Dickinson


Live Text

Player of the match


St Mirren

  1. Squad number13Player nameGogic

  2. Squad number6Player nameO’Hara

  3. Squad number22Player nameFraser

  4. Squad number11Player nameKiltie

  5. Squad number23Player nameStrain

  6. Squad number1Player nameCarson

  7. Squad number16Player nameSmall

  8. Squad number18Player nameDunne

  9. Squad number17Player nameBaccus

  10. Squad number10Player nameMain

  11. Squad number21Player nameGreive

  12. Squad number5Player nameTaylor

  13. Squad number3Player nameTanser

  14. Squad number9Player nameWatt

  15. Squad number4Player nameShaughnessy

  16. Squad number30Player nameTaylor


  1. Squad number17Player nameJota

  2. Squad number11Player nameAbada

  3. Squad number2Player nameJohnston

  4. Squad number33Player nameO’Riley

  5. Squad number41Player nameHatate

  6. Squad number20Player nameCarter-Vickers

  7. Squad number19Player nameOh Hyeon-Gyu

  8. Squad number4Player nameStarfelt

  9. Squad number9Player nameHaksabanovic

  10. Squad number8Player nameFuruhashi

  11. Squad number3Player nameTaylor

  12. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor

  13. Squad number24Player nameIwata

  14. Squad number13Player nameMooy

  15. Squad number38Player nameMaeda

  16. Squad number1Player nameHart


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