Sunday December 18, 2011 Day 19 Finished McDiarmid Park

St. Johnstone 0 - 2 Celtic

  • Hooper 60’
  • Ki 64’

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  1. Celtic close gap on Rangers with away win

    Celtic close gap on Rangers with away win

    Gary Hooper scored his 15th goal of the season as Celtic moved four points behind SPL leaders Rangers with a 2-0 win at St Johnstone. More

  • Live Commentary

    • St. Johnstone
    • Celtic
    • 90+3' There goes the final whistle! A 2-0 victory for Celtic. A pretty convincing win for the Glasgow side, who really upped the pace after half-time. They are back to within four points of leaders Rangers.
    • 89' Three minutes to be added to the match.
    • 88' McGeough helping out Cha at right-back before Brown races back to help out. Another poor finish by Gibson, whose shot is straight at Forster.
    • 87' Cha knocks the ball in early, but Enckelman is there to take the cross ahead of Bangura.
    • 86' Gibson slams the shot over the bar as another home move bites the dust.
    • 85' So Celtic back to within four points of Rangers with this victory. Celtic host Kilmarnock on Christmas Eve with Rangers at St Mirren before the Glasgow rivals meet on December 28 at Celtic Park.
    • 84' Celtic's back four looking very comfortable with Rogne and Wanyama presenting a pretty formidable pairing at the heart of the visiting defence. Millar caught offside.
    • 83' Finnigan drives in the cross, but Wanyama is well positioned to deal with the danger. Bangura tries to earn space before McCracken tidies up.
    • 82' Celtic again setting up in camp in the Saints' half with the visiting fans in party mood at both ends of the stadium.
    • 81' Celtic content to run down the clock. Who can blame them. Has been a fine team performance in this second period.
    • 80' Celtic make their third change of the day with Mo Bangura brought on to replace Hooper.
    • 79' Wanyama gives the ball away to Moon before Finnigan is penalised for wandering offside.
    • 78' Saints looking a weary side at the moment, but they have not given up the ghost. Millar tries to attack Mulgrew, who is fouled by Mackay. Free-kick to the visiting side.
    • 77' A change coming for Saints with Willie Gibson on to replace Craig.
    • 76' Kayal departs to be replaced by Dylan McGeouch, the 18-year-old forward who scored on his debut against St Mirren a couple of weeks ago.
    • 75' Change coming for Celtic. Mackay takes out Forrest with a late tackle, and he is booked for that effort. Saints tiring in the final few moments of this match.
    • 74' Samaras bounds at McCracken. Excellent play by Samaras. He is suddenly looking the business, but McCracken just does enough to put him off. The Greek player is a constant menace today.
    • 73' Maybury hammers it long and high up the park. The target is Samaras before Forrest races onto the ball, but just fails to pick out Brown. Celtic working so hard all over the park.
    • 72' Kayal showing real desire but McCracken is back to help out this time before Enckelman takes the ball. Hooper, Forrest and Samaras causing all sorts of problems for Saints.
    • 71' Celtic players all looking to get on the ball. Fans in full voice as Kayal rolls it back to Mulgrew. Cha then collects it, but Maybury goes across to make the clearance.
    • 70' The 4,000 or so travelling fans revelling in their trip to Perth. Samaras then taken out by Moon, who is yellow carded for that effort.
    • 69' Great play by Cha to play in Samaras, but he miscues. An awful mistake then by Wanyama who falls to the ground, but Forster saves from Haber. Play racing from end to end. Saints could have been back in it. Breathless stuff in this match.
    • 68' Celtic showing no signs of a European hangover. They are working the ball from side to side. Some eye-catching passing movements. More goals in this for Celtic surely.
    • 67' A 2-0 lead now for the visitors. That was some move. Celtic threatening to run riot in this second half. They have the wind in their sails now. Terrific stuff from the visitors. Saints can't get out of their own half.
    • 66' SUPERB GOAL FOR CELTIC! The Glasgow side break up the park. Ki finishes with some ease. What a move that was involving Forrest and Samaras.
    • 65' Kayal this time blocks the shot by Craig as Celtic look to break up the park.....
    • 64' Kayal is booked for racing out of the wall to block the free-kick.
    • 63' Brown knocks the ball clear for Celtic. Mulgrew then penalised for a foul on Davidson. Saints have a free-kick on the edge of the Celtic box.
    • 62' 15 goals for Hooper this season. Celtic get the goal they deserve. That goal had been coming. Celtic piling bodies forward and finally get their rewards.
    • 61' GOAL! Hooper scores for Celtic. Fine finish from the striker. Ball bobbled around from Mulgrew's corner and Hooper is on hand to finish. Celtic lead 1-0.
    • 60' Ki drives the shot in with the right foot. Hits off Moon before spinning wide for another corner to the visiting side.
    • 59' Mackay takes out Forrest, and Celtic have a free-kick. Celtic making a blistering attempt at this home goal.
    • 58' Craig tries to apply the pressure to Wanyama, but he stands tall before feeding Ki. Another chance for Hooper after a great Brown run, but Enckelman makes the stop. Fine save from Hooper.
    • 57' Forrest goes short to Kayal before Saints clear the danger. Incessant Celtic pressure suddenly. Going from side to side. Saints defending on their 18-yard box.
    • 56' Samaras on the ball for Celtic. Picks out Cha. His cross is walloped clear by McCracken. Kayal then picks up. Muglrew with it for Celtic. Short pass to Kayal. Saints with nine men behind the ball.
    • 55' This match beginning to open up. Saints fancy attacking, and Celtic are looking to get forward as much as possible. Forrest looking ever so threatening.
    • 54' Finnigan falls on top of the ball, and Celtic get the benefit of the doubt. Free-kick to the visitors.
    • 53' Cha on the run for Celtic. Picks out Brown. He attacks Craig before playing in Cha. Cross into the middle, but Forrest lifts the shot over the bar. Golden chance.
    • 52' Finnigan caught offside. Both teams really going for this at the outset of the second period.
    • 51' Forrest drills the ball across the face of goal, but it hits off Anderson and falls into the arms of Enckelman.
    • 50' Cha picks out Samaras, but he can't get the shot in as Mackay hammers the ball away. Saints certainly going forward at the outset of this half.
    • 49' Saints continue to have nine men behind the ball when Celtic attack. The home side putting up a real battle out there.
    • 48' Mackay hammers in the shot with the left foot from distance, but a fine diving stop by Forster. Bright start to the half by the home team.
    • 47' Good covering work by Forrest to cut off the supply to Millar. Craig with the corner. Again Forster was not overly convincing. Celtic survive that moment.
    • 46' The second half is off and running.
    • 45+3' Whistle goes for the break. It remains 0-0. Enckelman has played his part so far. All to play for in the second period.
    • 45+1' Mulgrew finds Wanyama, but the header floats harmlessly into the arms of Enckelman.
    • 44' Three minutes to be added.
    • 43' Celtic push again for this opening goal as Forrest pops up on the left hand side before he is fouled by Mackay. Another free-kick for the visitors.
    • 42' Craig is going to be booked for failing to retreat far enough before Mulgrew thumps the free-kick into the arms of Enckelman.
    • 41' Millar brings down Brown, and Celtic have another free-kick. Saints beginning to look a bit tired late in this first half.
    • 40' Mulgrew manages to get it over the wall, but Enckelman is well positioned. Makes the save and Saints see off another visiting attack.
    • 39' Kayal brought down by Finnigan, and Celtic have a free-kick 25 yards or so out.
    • 38' Rogne hammers the free-kick up the park, but Finnigan is on hand to boot it back down the park. Kayal twisting and turning, but not easy to find space.
    • 37' Brown forced to show his defensive qualities to nick the ball from Moon before Haber is guilty of fouling.
    • 36' Finnigan replaces Robertson for Saints. Obviously not got over that challenge.
    • 35' Looks like Robertson is going to depart for Saints after that earlier collision with Majstorovic.
    • 34' Craig back to win the ball from Cha Du Ri with Hooper trying to pick out the South Korean. Saints with the goalkick.
    • 33' Ki and Mackay in a chase for a loose ball. Some terrific pace by Ki, but Celtic can't pick out the final ball. Saints survive again.
    • 32' A very tough match so far with both teams not lacking any energy. McCracken continues to impress at the heart of the home defence.
    • 31' Ball comes off the shoulder of Wanyama from Ki's corner. Was a chance. Celtic going closer to netting this opening goal.
    • 30' Celtic throwing plenty of bodies forward, but St Johnstone working hard to repel the Celtic pressure. Ki on a run, but McCracken sweeps the ball behind for a corner.
    • 29' Rogne replaces the injured Majstorovic for Celtic as Robertson returns to the action.
    • 28' Brown to Ki 35 yards out. Chance for Hooper, but Enckelman makes a fine stop to nudge the ball wide. Looked like a 1-0 lead for Celtic, but St Johnstone survive.
    • 27' Robertson gets back to his feet while Majstorovic disappears up the tunnel. Needs a spot of treatment. Think he may have run his race for the day.
    • 26' Majstorovic comes through Robertson with a crunching tackle. Both men needing a spot of treatment after that. A thumping, thumping tackle by the Swede.
    • 25' Saints looking to go route one as much as possible and win the second ball. Working well for them so far this afternoon.
    • 24' Samaras rises well to win a header, but can't direct it into the path of Kayal. Enckelman comes to collect.
    • 23' Ki with Celtic's third corner of the day. Ball comes in with some pace, but nobody on hand to convert. Celtic remain perched on the Saints box.
    • 22' Samaras and Ki surging forward. Mackay tracks the run of Samaras as he was set to pull the trigger. Corner then to Celtic.
    • 21' Majstorovic forced to concede a corner. Saints try to get their big men up. Millar with the right foot. Ball bends in before Celtic clear the danger. Forster not looking overly sure about that corner.
    • 20' Hooper deemed to be offside after Moon fails to pick up the ball. The fans unhappy with that decision.
    • 19' Wanyama gathers the ball at the other side from Ki's corner. Kayal decides to try his luck, but didn't really have the pace to beat Enckelman. It remains 0-0.
    • 18' Good run by Cha. Fine run and cross. Hooper almost in there, but McCracken does enough to clear the danger. Another corner to Celtic.
    • 17' Ki fires in the free-kick. McCracken wins the header before Enckelman scurries across his line to collect. Saints working so hard to close space.
    • 16' Samaras picks up. He darts at McCracken, but the Saints player stayed with him to make the tackle. The home side have their hands full with Samaras in this mood.
    • 15' Millar looking to close down Ki from Majstorovic's long ball down the middle. Saints then go on the attack with Moon and Millar pushing forward.
    • 14' Celtic already with three shots on and enjoying 60% of possession. Celtic fans shoehorned in behind the goal at McDiarmid Park. Saints defending well, but yet to test the visiting rearguard.
    • 13' Samaras looking up for this match today. Mackay moving backwards, but does enough to ensure he can't get a shot in. The Greek player certainly moving around well.
    • 12' Decent shot by Samaras. Really got hold of that effort, but Enckelman was always well positioned to deal with the threat. Fine save.
    • 11' Millar doing a decent marking job on Ki as he threatened to cut loose. Wanyama then lets the ball run out of play as Celtic earn the goalkick.
    • 10' Superb surging run by Craig. Haber up to support him, but Kayal tracks the run as Celtic break up the attack. A real warning for Celtic early on.
    • 9' Ki swings in the corner, but good defending by McCracken to clear the danger. Craig picks up and St Johnstone can break here.
    • 8' Samaras collects a pass before picking out Ki, who slams a deflected drive wide of the goal. Corner to Celtic.
    • 7' St Johnstone content to go long, but Wanyama is on hand to win the header ahead of Haber before Forster picks the ball up in his goal.
    • 6' Hooper up to pressurise Enckelman, but the keeper slams the ball long down the pitch. Kayal flying into some biting tackles.
    • 5' Lovely cross by Mulgrew into the home box. Great movement by Hooper but he heads wide of the target. First chance of the match for Celtic.
    • 4' Majstorovic flies into a strong challenge on Davidson. Both teams battling hard for possession. Saints with five men across the middle to nullify the threat of Celtic.
    • 3' Mulgrew with a throw-in for Celtic, but Mackay is there to knock the ball down the park. St Johnstone with plenty of bodies behind the ball.
    • 2' Celtic trying to get the passing moves going that helped them get that draw in Udinese the other night.
    • 1' We are off and running at McDiarmid Park.
    • 14.55 St Johnstone make two changes with David Robertson and Kevin Moon in for the flu-stricken Callum Davidson and Sam Parkin.
    • 14.50 Celtic and St Johnstone have met 23 times in the SPL. Celtic have 23 wins, St Johnstone four and one draw. St Johnstone won 1-0 at Celtic Park earlier this season.
    • 14.45 Celtic are warm favourites for this match as you expect: St Johnstone (7/1), Celtic (1/2), Draw (10/3)
    • 14.40 Steve Lomas (St Johnstone boss): "I have known Neil Lennon for many a year, from our days as kids over from Northern Ireland in Manchester. He has always been a winner and a good lad. That has never changed. It will be an interesting game for both of us. Neil was always going to turn it around at Celtic. He has good players at his disposal in that squad. It's as simple as that. We haven't really had the chance for a good chat since I came in."
    • 14.35 "We've had a couple of days' rest, but are now very focused on this game. Sometimes we have had a little bit of a hangover after the European games, but I'm looking for a positive reaction," says Celtic manager Neil Lennon. "We've been playing well culiminating in a great performance on Thursday. St Johnstone don't come here to make up the numbers. We know teams treat this game against us as a cup final."
    • 14.30 Teams: St Johnstone: Enckelman, MacKay, Anderson, McCracken, Maybury, Millar, Murray Davidson, Moon, Robertson, Craig, Haber..subs: Mannus, Parkin, Finnigan, Gibson, Durnan, McIntosh, Gray////Celtic: Forster, Cha, Majstorovic, Mulgrew, Wanyama, Ki, Brown, Forrest, Kayal, Hooper, Samaras..subs: Zaluska, Kelvin Wilson, Bangura, Blackman, McGeough, Twardzik, Rogne//// Euan Norris
    • 14.25 Celtic are unchanged from the 1-1 draw at Udinese in the Europa League on Thursday. Celtic: Forster; Cha, Wanyama, Majstorovic, Mulgrew; Forrest, Brown, Kayal, Ki, Samaras; Hooper..subs: Zaluska, K Wilson, Rogne, F Twardzik, Blackman, Bangura, McGeouch
    • 14.20 Good afternoon and welcome to LIVE coverage of St Johnstone against Celtic at McDiarmid Park.
  • Summary

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Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Line-up

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