Two beautiful strikes helped Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic come from behind to beat gutsy St Johnstone 3-1 at McDiarmid Park.
The hosts took benefit of the Bhoys’ Champions League exit-induced malaise with a scrappy opener from Diallang Jaiyesimi 5 minutes earlier than the break.
However Brendan Rodgers’ males improved within the second half and acquired themselves out of bother when captain Callum McGregor smashed house a daisy-cutter from the sting of the field to stage.
Matt O’Riley hit the sweetest of strikes to present Celtic the lead for the primary time, with James Forrest including the gloss in stoppage-time after a fast counter-attack.
Celtic transfer 11 factors away from second-placed Rangers – who face St Mirren in a while Sunday – whereas St Johnstone keep eleventh, two factors behind Aberdeen in tenth.
How Celtic turned on the fashion to combat again
Days after Celtic’s depressing exit from the Champions League – with their destiny sealed by a 2-0 defeat to Lazio in Rome – a date with the membership second-bottom of the league, with simply two wins all season, gave the impression to be the right tonic; St Johnstone had misplaced on all the final 13 events they’d hosted the champions.
That was on paper, however the actuality was totally different. Celtic dominated the ball within the first half, however confirmed little urgency. Their greatest likelihood got here 25 minutes in when Saints goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov dived to his proper to claw David Turnbull’s curling effort away after he majestically shifted the ball from proper to left.
St Johnstone grew in confidence on account of their opponents’ lack of fluency and netted the opener their efforts deserved when O’Riley’s try and hack the ball off the road ricocheted off Jaiyesimi and over the road.
A VAR evaluate adopted, with goalkeeper Joe Hart claiming he had been fouled after the preliminary nook from the left, however appeals have been futile and the aim stood.
The stress from the guests elevated after the break, with Mitov referred to as into motion a number of occasions to protect the lead. However he may do nothing to cease McGregor thumping the equaliser house after James Brown’s headed clearance fell completely for him.
There was a collective sigh of reduction among the many visiting supporters lower than quarter-hour later, as Celtic lastly took the lead for the primary time when O’Riley – who made his Denmark debut on November 20 – fired essentially the most good of strikes previous Mitov after a mesmerising build-up.
There was drama but to return, although. Jay Turner-Cooke maybe ought to have equalised from shut vary to earn a degree for St Johnstone, however, after Hart clawed his effort away, Celtic launched into a counter-attack that was clinically completed by James Forrest.
Celtic’s subsequent Scottish Premiership match is at house to Hibernian on Wednesday evening.
St Johnstone face Motherwell at Fir Park on the identical evening. Each video games kick off at 7.45pm.