A late flurry of goals handed Celtic revenge over St Mirren as the away side emerged 4-0 winners in Paisley.
It was Jim Goodwin’s side who had the best chance of the opening minutes. On the front foot, the Buddies rushed towards the Celtic goal. A deflection brought the ball to free-scoring midfielder Jamie McGrath, who smashed a volley high and wide of Scott Bain’s goal.
Despite their early pressure, the Buddies would have to make an early change. McGrath fell to the turf after tripping Stephen Welsh while challenging for the ball and immediately signalled that he had an issue. The Irishman has been in fine form this season and his absence for the rest of the match would hurt the Saints.
Things would go from bad to worse for the Buddies in the space of a few minutes. Tom Rogic created some space for himself after receiving a throw in a touch into the box to tee himself up for a shot, slamming his effort past Jak Alnwick and into the St Mirren goal after 15 minutes of play.
Goodwin’s side would have their best chance of the half before half-time with Dylan Connolly played through. All he had to do was slot the ball either side of Bain and the Buddies would have their equaliser, however, the Irishman could only put his effort wide.
Odsonne Edouard would go close for Celtic ten minutes after the restart, steering a shot wide which referee Don Robertson deemed to have taken a deflection on its way past the post.
Jon Obika was first into the referee’s book as the clock ticked past the hour mark. The Saints striker appeared to step on the back of Celtic defender Welsh’s ankle. The youngster had only recently found a space in the Hoops starting XI, but his night was cut short, with the defender being carried off on a stretcher
Celtic would put the game to bed 10 minutes before time after a penalty award, Greg Taylor judged to have been fouled inside the area. Edouard would step up to take the penalty and slammed it high and right of Alnwick’s outstretched arm to put the Hoops 2-0 up.
They did not take long to strike again with substitute Ryan Christie curling an effort from inside the area to put Neil Lennon’s side 3-0 up with seven minutes left to play. David Turnbull would then get in on the action to round off a stunning five minutes for Celtic and wrap up the three points for the Hoops. Here are three things we learned.
Top six tilt
Despite this result, St Mirren’s top six push hasn’t been badly affected. Many have sneered and giggled at chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick’s ambitious predictions for the Paisley side in recent seasons.
The signings Goodwin has made have propelled St Mirren up the table and into the top six and with two games in hand over seventh placed Dundee United. There’s no reason that the Buddies won’t stay there, although this result must be forgotten about.
McGrath will be a miss
If McGrath is going to be missing from the St Mirren side for a while, then that could cause Goodwin a few problems. The 24-year-old who was signed from Dundalk last season and has been one of the standout performers for the Buddies this term.
The midfielder is the joint-top scorer for the Paisley side. The Buddies will miss those goals and Goodwin will be hoping he’s back sooner rather than later.
Putting this in the past
The scoreline in this one probably wasn’t a fair reflection of how the match actually panned out. Goodwin’s plan that worked against Celtic at Parkhead was out the window once McGrath left the pitch after 15 minutes.
A flurry of goals make this look worse than it was on the night for St Mirren. Goodwin needs to make sure it doesn’t affect confidence too much.
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