ST JOHNSTONE 1 CELTIC 3: Boxing Day 2021

LIEL ABADA struck twice within 22 first-half minutes to guide the visitors to victory over St Johnstone in Perth as Ange Postecoglou celebrated his first six months as Celtic manager.

The Israeli international winger looked to have had the much-changed Hoops coasting to three crucial points, but the home side were invited back into the contest in the second period following some sloppy play from the Parkhead men.

Chris Kane took full advantage of a slack pass from Carl Starfelt to pull one back in the 69th minute, but, thankfully, Ange’s Bhoys managed to regain momentum and captain-for-the-day Nir Bitton rifled in the all-important third eight minutes from time.

HE FLIES THROGH THE AIR…Liel Abada attempts an acrobatic shot at goal against St Johnstone.

The inch-perfect strike from just inside the box knocked the stuffing out of the hosts who were searching for a leveller.

The opening goal arrived in the ninth minute following a smart interception from James McCarthy to get the ball rolling. The move saw Josip Juranovic galloping free on the right and the Croatian international’s cross into the box was excellently delivered.

Abada raced in to thump the ball goalwards, but keeper Elliot Parish made a brilliant stop as he parried the ball into the air.

The lively Celt was not to be denied, though, and, as two Saints defenders dithered on the line, he threw himself at the ball as it came down to force an effort over the line from almost under the crossbar.

CAPTAIN’S ROLE…Nir Bitton celebrates netting the third goal.

In the 22nd minute, he doubled the Parkhead men’s advantage when Bitton and Tom Rogic combined to send him running clear into the box and his low angled drive swept past Parish at his right.

Abada was denied a hat-trick by Parish who made a superb diving save from a rasping drive following a neat pass from Bitton as he diverted the effort off target.

But it was still a day of celebration for Abada and Co when the final whistle sounded at McDiarmid Park to signal a fifth successive Boxing Day triumph.

TEAM: Barkas; Welsh, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Scales (sub: Montgomery 87), Juranovic, Bitton, McCarthy, Rogic; Abada, Kyogo (sub: Dawson 15).

*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.





Click Here for Comments >

About Author