Celtic were always in control against St Johnstone in Perth this afternoon and deservedly picked up the three points although it took them almost an hour to open the scoring. Gary Hooper knocked in a loose ball on 59 minutes before Ki Sung-Yeung finished off a sweeping Celtic brea five minutes later.
St Johnstone kept things tight early on and kept Celtic from creating a chance before Georgios Samaras created space for a shot which was saved well by Enckelman. Celtic’s best move of the first half came after 31 minutes when Ki, Forrest and Brown combined to release Hooper. The striker shot low and on target but Enckelman pulled off a remarkable save.
Both teams picked up the pace after half time but it was Mackay who created the first chance of the second period, forcing a save from Fraser Forster. Cha DuRi twice crossed dangerously. Firstly for Hooper, whose hooked effort from 4 yards was turned over by the impressive Enckelman. James Forrest then turned a snatched chance over from Cha’s next effort.
Just before the hour Charlie Mulgrew dropped a corner into the six yard box which Victor Wanyama contested. The ball dropped between a sea of St Johnstone legs but Hooper was onto it in a flash and prodded over.
The game was put beyond the home team five minutes later. St Johnstone were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Celtic penalty area after Mulgrew was penalised for climbing. The Celtic was stood strong and from the subsequence block James Forrest drove forward at pace. Samaras returned a 1-2 to Forrest to drew Enckelman before squaring for the unmarked Ki. The Saints’ keeper did well but could not prevent Ki’s shot from crossing the line.
Samaras mishit a shot after the impressive Cha again crossed to effect before the Greek striker ran 40 yards and had his shot blocked.
St Johnstone’s only real chance fo the game came when Wanyama slipped to let Haber close in on Forster but the keeper was equal to the shot.