LAST-GASP goal hero Giorgos Giakoumakis admitted the nervy 2-1 win over St Johnstone had been “a crazy game” for the champions.

The Hoops defence had lapsed lamentably to allow the Perth side a stoppage-time leveller at McDiarmid Park, a situation the Greek striker insisted was “unacceptable”.

Seventy seconds after Alex Mitchell had been allowed alarming time and space smack in front of the unprotected Joe Hart to prod in the equaliser, Giakoumakis claimed the goal that sealed what could be a precious win when the prizes are being handed out at the climax of the crusade.

STOPPAGE-TIME STRIKE…Giorgos Giakoumakis, watched by Daizen Maeda and Liam Gordon, turns the ball past St Johnstone keeper Remy Matthews for the dramatic winner.

Credit must go to James McCarthy for perseverance and quick-thinking on the left wing in the build-up to the goal.

The Republic of Ireland international midfielder prodded a pass in front of Alexandro Bernabei, impressive throughout, and the first Argentinian player to perform for the Hoops, swept over an inviting cross to the near post and Giakoumakis powered in to force the matchwinner.

It was also the Greek hitman’s 21st goal for the club since his bargain £2.5million arrival from Dutch minnows VVV-Venlo in August last year.

Giakoumakis reflected: “It was the best end that I could imagine in this game. It was a crazy game for us, but we could have ended up winning a bit easier.

IN THE NET…Giorgos Giakoumakis and the ball are over the line as the Greek striker celebrates the Hoops’ grand finale in Perth.

“We had some mistakes and we conceded a goal in the 90th minute and, for me that’s unacceptable, we shouldn’t do that, we shouldn’t concede a goal from a set-piece in the 90th minute.

“But after that we showed some character, we showed our mentality.

“We showed that we know we are playing for a big team and a huge club, and we believed that we could score, even in the last moment.”

The mighty marksman, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “I don’t want to play the big man now, but the moment we conceded the goal, we put the ball in the midfield and I made a good line.

ROARING SUCCESS…Giorgos Giakmouakis can’t disguise his feelings of sheer delight as Aaron Mooy and James McCarthy head back for the restart.

“I was looking at the goalpost and I was imagining how we were going to score the last-minute goal. “I dreamed it and I believe in that and thank God, Bernabei made that amazing assist, and that’s how we won the game.

“But again, I think we should have won the game a bit easier, it wasn’t the best game from us.

“We know that and we have to improve, to find ourselves again and we can do that.”


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