St Johnstone 0 - 3 Celtic
By Martin Conaghan
Celtic kept their first clean sheet in six matches with a comfortable win against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.
Niall McGinn fired in with just 69 seconds played after Saints keeper Graeme Smith parried a long-range shot.
Emilio Izaguirre slotted home his first Celtic goal before the break, then Saints' Danny Grainger was sent off in the 87th minute for a second booking.
McGinn sealed the points in the final minute with a mis-hit shot that bobbled past Smith in the Saints goal.
The win puts Celtic back on level points with Rangers at the top of the table, although the Ibrox side have a superior goal difference and play their fixture later in the day.
Glenn Loovens and Cha Du-Ri were dropped from Celtic's starting line-up, with Thomas Rogne and Mark Wilson stepping in.
Shaun Maloney was expected to return to the Celtic midfield, but was replaced at the last minute after complaining of feeling unwell.
Jennison Myrie-Williams earned a start for St Johnstone in place of the injured Murray Davidson, while Marcus Haber, Peter MacDonald and Steven Milne came in for Collin Samuel, Sam Parkin and Andy Jackson.
With just over one minute on the clock, Celtic opened the scoring when Ki Sung-Yong delivered a low free kick back into the St Johnstone penalty area from wide on the right and Stokes fired in from 18 yards. However, keeper Smith parried and McGinn pounced on the rebound to blast the ball into the back of the net.
Five minutes later, Stokes back-heeled a neat ball into the penalty area and Ki struck the woodwork with a blistering shot as Celtic took the match by the scruff of the neck.
A shell-shocked St Johnstone struggled to gain a foothold on the match in the early stages, although Grainger blasted in a bold 25-yard effort in the 16th minute that drifted wide of the target.
Stokes replied with a right-footed effort from the edge of the St Johnstone penalty area that Smith held well, then the Republic of Ireland international missed with a close-range header from a Mark Wilson long-ball.
Saints midfielder Liam Craig struggled to control a loose ball just shortly after the half-hour mark, and sent a wild shot out for a goal-kick, then Georgios Samaras nodded a header towards the hosts' goal that Smith effortlessly collected.
As half-time approached, Peter McDonald looped a header towards Celtic keeper Fraser Forster that cleared the bar, then a Grainger corner failed to test the visitors' defence.
Izaguirre capitalised on a slack defensive pass-back by Milne four minutes from the break and glided into the St Johnstone penalty area before calmly slotting past Smith to give the hosts a two-goal lead at the interval.
Four minutes after the restart, Cha warmed Smith's hands with a blistering shot from wide on the right after Stokes unselfishly played the South Korea defender through.
Moments later, Myrie-Williams forced a save from Forster, then Haber slipped in from an offside position but was unable to capitalise on the rebound.
Some good build-up play from Haber near the hour mark fizzled out in the Celtic penalty area with Parkin waiting on the final ball.
Samuel flighted in a 68th minute cross that Myrie-Williams awkwardly sent towards the Celtic goal, but Forster was up to the challenge and cleared the danger.
St Johnstone continued to search for an opening, although Parkin was caught in an offside position with a close-range header in the 78th minute.
Samaras almost made it three for Celtic with less than 10 minutes to play, but lost his footing and sent a close-range shot wide of Smith's right-hand post.
Grainger was sent in for an early bath for a second bookable offence following a tackle on Stokes, then Smith was at full-stretch as Ki curved in a long-range free-kick that inched wide.
The match was over as a contest when McGinn swung a leg at a loose ball in the dying minutes of the game and the ball drifted past Smith and into the back of the St Johnstone net.
Live text and stats
Saturday, 30 October 2010
|Home Team||Score||Away Team||Time|
- 15 Smith
- 02 MacKay
- 03 Grainger two yellow cards, red card
- 06 Duberry
- 19 Maybury
- 07 Millar
- 10 Craig
- 16 MacDonald yellow card (Samuel 57)
- 22 Milne (Parkin 56)
- 25 Myrie-Williams (Rutkiewicz 74)
- 27 Haber
- 01 Enckelman,
- 05 Rutkiewicz,
- 37 Caddis,
- 32 May,
- 09 Parkin,
- 21 Samuel,
- 23 Jackson
- 26 Forster
- 03 Izaguirre
- 05 Majstorovic
- 11 Cha Du-Ri
- 12 Wilson
- 25 Rogne
- 14 McGinn yellow card
- 16 Ledley
- 18 Ki Sung-Yeung
- 09 Samaras
- 10 Stokes
- 24 Zaluska,
- 04 Juarez,
- 06 Hooiveld,
- 21 Mulgrew,
- 31 Towell,
- 17 Crosas,
- 20 McCourt
- St Johnstone 42%
- Celtic 58%
Attempts on target
- St Johnstone 2
- Celtic 8
Attempts off target
- St Johnstone 4
- Celtic 11
- St Johnstone 1
- Celtic 6
- St Johnstone 14
- Celtic 10
- Final Result
- Full Time
- 90:00+2:15 The match has reached full-time.
- 90:00+0:26 Unfair challenge on Anthony Stokes by Kevin Rutkiewicz results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Sung-Yong Ki.
- 88:45 Assist on the goal came from Du-Ri Cha.
- 88:45 GOAL - Niall McGinn:St Johnstone 0 - 3 Celtic Niall McGinn fires in a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. St Johnstone 0-3 Celtic.
- 86:07 Unfair challenge on Anthony Stokes by Daniel Grainger results in a free kick. Sung-Yong Ki fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
- 86:07 Sent off Daniel Grainger is sent off by the referee.
- 84:04 Foul by Georgios Samaras on Michael Duberry, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Michael Duberry.
- 82:31 The offside flag is raised against Sam Parkin. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.
- 81:32 Effort from deep inside the area by Georgios Samaras misses to the left of the goal.
- 80:34 Daniel Grainger gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Du-Ri Cha. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sung-Yong Ki, Liam Craig makes a clearance.
- 79:14 Daniel Majstorovic challenges Sam Parkin unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Kevin Rutkiewicz.
- 78:27 The referee blows for offside against Sam Parkin. Fraser Forster takes the indirect free kick.
- 77:32 Collin Samuel produces a cross.
- 76:25 Daniel Grainger delivers the ball.
- 75:07 The ball is crossed by Michael Duberry.
- 73:18 Substitution Jennison Myrie-Williams goes off and Kevin Rutkiewicz comes on.
- 72:36 Centre by Emilio Izaguirre.
- 71:00 Marcus Haber challenges Mark Wilson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Wilson.
- 70:18 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Emilio Izaguirre, Effort from deep inside the area by Sung-Yong Ki misses to the right of the target.
- 70:01 Centre by Du-Ri Cha, clearance made by Liam Craig.
- 69:53 The ball is swung over by Georgios Samaras.
- 67:49 Shot from just outside the penalty box by Georgios Samaras misses to the left of the target.
- 66:50 The ball is delivered by Collin Samuel.
- 66:18 Alan Maybury fouled by Anthony Stokes, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Graeme Smith.
- 64:36 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Sung-Yong Ki, Header from deep inside the penalty area by Daniel Majstorovic goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
- 64:26 The ball is crossed by Du-Ri Cha, David MacKay gets a block in.
- 64:00 David MacKay challenges Georgios Samaras unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sung-Yong Ki takes the direct free kick.
- 63:21 Niall McGinn takes a shot. Comfortable save by Graeme Smith.
- 60:34 Corner taken left-footed by Emilio Izaguirre, clearance made by Collin Samuel.
- 58:48 Mark Wilson fouled by Jennison Myrie-Williams, the ref awards a free kick. Mark Wilson restarts play with the free kick.
- 58:10 Centre by Marcus Haber, Mark Wilson gets a block in.
- 57:00 Daniel Grainger produces a cross, Daniel Majstorovic manages to make a clearance.
- 55:40 Substitution Collin Samuel comes on in place of Peter MacDonald.
- 55:40 Substitution Sam Parkin on for Steven Milne.
- 54:39 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marcus Haber by Thomas Rogne. Daniel Grainger crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Fraser Forster.
- 53:37 Unfair challenge on Thomas Rogne by Marcus Haber results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Thomas Rogne.
- 53:07 Niall McGinn produces a cross.
- 50:08 The referee blows for offside against Marcus Haber. Free kick taken by Fraser Forster.
- 49:47 Jennison Myrie-Williams produces a drilled left-footed shot from 18 yards. Fraser Forster makes a brilliant save.
- 49:12 Emilio Izaguirre crosses the ball, clearance made by Daniel Grainger.
- 48:58 Corner taken by Emilio Izaguirre from the left by-line.
- 48:43 Du-Ri Cha takes a shot. Save made by Graeme Smith.
- 47:18 Peter MacDonald gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mark Wilson. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sung-Yong Ki, clearance made by David MacKay.
- 47:18 Booking Booking for Peter MacDonald.
- 46:40 Unfair challenge on Niall McGinn by Alan Maybury results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Daniel Majstorovic.
- 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
- Half Time
- 45:00+0:39 The match has reached half-time.
- 45:00+0:23 Marcus Haber takes a shot. Save made by Fraser Forster.
- 42:56 Marcus Haber fouled by Sung-Yong Ki, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Daniel Grainger from left wing.
- 41:31 Niall McGinn takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.
- 40:03 GOAL - Emilio Izaguirre:St Johnstone 0 - 2 Celtic Emilio Izaguirre finds the back of the net with a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. St Johnstone 0-2 Celtic.
- 38:47 The assistant referee flags for offside against Marcus Haber. Thomas Rogne takes the free kick.
- 37:14 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Daniel Grainger, Daniel Majstorovic manages to make a clearance.
- 36:40 Free kick awarded for a foul by Georgios Samaras on Michael Duberry. David MacKay takes the direct free kick.
- 36:03 Centre by Alan Maybury, Header from deep inside the penalty area by Peter MacDonald goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
- 33:53 Marcus Haber takes a shot. Save made by Fraser Forster.
- 32:29 The ball is sent over by Daniel Grainger, Georgios Samaras takes a shot. Graeme Smith makes a comfortable save.
- 32:21 Emilio Izaguirre sends in a cross, blocked by Alan Maybury.
- 31:17 Effort from the edge of the box by Liam Craig goes wide of the right-hand upright.
- 29:54 Georgios Samaras produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.
- 29:46 Centre by Emilio Izaguirre.
- 29:17 Corner taken by Sung-Yong Ki, Alan Maybury makes a clearance.
- 27:47 Michael Duberry fouled by Anthony Stokes, the ref awards a free kick. Chris Millar restarts play with the free kick.
- 27:18 Du-Ri Cha concedes a free kick for a foul on Graeme Smith. Free kick taken by Graeme Smith.
- 26:47 Peter MacDonald challenges Mark Wilson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mark Wilson.
- 25:06 Shot from just outside the box by Niall McGinn goes over the crossbar.
- 23:34 The ball is swung over by Jennison Myrie-Williams.
- 21:49 The ball is crossed by Mark Wilson, Anthony Stokes produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
- 21:12 Foul by Chris Millar on Mark Wilson, free kick awarded. Sung-Yong Ki restarts play with the free kick.
- 20:53 The ball is sent over by Daniel Grainger, blocked by Mark Wilson.
- 19:48 Mark Wilson delivers the ball, Header by Anthony Stokes from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
- 18:35 Shot by Anthony Stokes. Comfortable save by Graeme Smith.
- 16:57 Emilio Izaguirre is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Graeme Smith.
- 15:19 Daniel Grainger has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.
- 14:49 Unfair challenge on Jennison Myrie-Williams by Emilio Izaguirre results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Liam Craig, Daniel Majstorovic makes a clearance.
- 12:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by Marcus Haber on Thomas Rogne. Fraser Forster takes the free kick.
- 11:20 Thomas Rogne concedes a free kick for a foul on Marcus Haber. Michael Duberry restarts play with the free kick.
- 11:07 Sung-Yong Ki delivers the ball, clearance by David MacKay.
- 10:40 Unfair challenge on Mark Wilson by Peter MacDonald results in a free kick. Sung-Yong Ki takes the free kick.
- 7:16 Effort on goal by Du-Ri Cha from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
- 6:58 A cross is delivered by Emilio Izaguirre.
- 6:32 Outswinging corner taken by Emilio Izaguirre, Michael Duberry manages to make a clearance.
- 3:05 Booking Daniel Grainger receives a yellow card.
- 2:24 Booking Niall McGinn goes into the referee's book.
- 1:27 Georgios Samaras fouled by Michael Duberry, the ref awards a free kick. The ball is crossed by Sung-Yong Ki, Anthony Stokes takes a shot. Save made by Graeme Smith.
- 1:27 GOAL - Niall McGinn:St Johnstone 0 - 1 Celtic Niall McGinn fires in a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. St Johnstone 0-1 Celtic.
- 0:00 The match begins.
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