ST MIRREN 1 CELTIC 2: Boxing Day 2019

CELTIC racked up their ELEVENTH successive Premiership triumph at Paisley, but were given a late scare on their way to the three points.

Callum McGregor and James Forrest struck in the first-half and it appeared the Hoops were in cruise control and easing towards their third successive Boxing Day victory.

However, a deflected free-kick from Cameron MacPherson wrong-footed Fraser Forster near the end to make it an anxious climax against a battling Saints outfit.

Neil Lennon witnessed his side dominate for the majority of the 90-plus minutes, but the visitors could not convert their superiority into the currency of goals. Their cause wasn’t helped by two dodgy decisions by referee Willie Collum that robbed Odsonne Edouard of strikes after the turnaround.

Two goals, though, in 10 first-half minutes did the trick on this occasion.

NUMBER ONE…Callum McGregor applies the finishing touch from close range.

NUMBER TWO…James Forrest leaves St Mirren keeper Vaclav Hldaky helpless.

The Hoops took the lead in the 22nd minute with a sweet-flowing move that involved Ryan Christie and Edouard in the build-up before McGregor clipped an effort over the advancing Saints keeper Vaclav Hldaky.

The ball struck the right-hand post, but the Scotland international was alert to follow up and thump the rebound into the net to open the scoring.

Ten minutes later, Forrest doubled the advantage and Edouard was again involved in the move as he set up the winger to take the pass in his stride, cleverly make an angle for himself and then whip the ball into the inviting net with Hladky helpless.

Celtic survived a late scare when Christopher Jullien deflected a free-kick from MacPherson beyond the stranded Forster.

TEAM: Forster; Frimpong, Jullien, Ajer, Bolingoli; Ntcham, Brown, McGregor; Christie, Edouard (sub: Griffiths 87), Forrest (sub: Johnston 69).

*FAIRYTALE OF NEWCO (with apologies to Shane MacGowan)

*DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Dundee v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.






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