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  • Celts make history with dominant win in Perth

    Celts make history with dominant win in Perth

    By: Mark Henderson on 04 Nov, 2017 14:28

  • Scottish Premiership
    McDiarmid Park, Perth
    Saturday, November 4, 2017

    ST JOHNSTONE...0

    CELTIC...4
    (Sinclair 28, Dembele 72, Anderson o.g 75, Ntcham 89)

    CELTIC broke their own 100-year-old British domestic unbeaten record as they made it an incredible 63 games without defeat with a dominant 4-0 away victory over St Johnstone.

    Scott Sinclair opened the scoring for the history Bhoys from a training ground set-piece move and they finally made their superiority count when Moussa Dembele converted Stuart Armstrong’s cross in the 72nd minute.

    Steven Anderson’s own goal quickly put the result beyond any doubt, before Oliver Ntcham finished off a wonderful passing sequence as the clock ticked down to put the gloss on yet another polished performance from Brendan Rodgers’ side.

    And the final whistle saw the manager and his player take the salute of the travelling support as they celebrated surpassing the milestone achieved by Willie Maley’s legendary side back in 1917.

    The Hoops boss had kept faith with the team that performed so impressively against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.

    And it was James Forrest, one of the stars of that showing against the German giants, who registered the first effort on target for the Hoops in the fifth minute, after he had been teed-up by Kieran Tierney in the box, but goalkeeper Zander Clark was equal to it.

    Dembele was next to try his luck after cutting inside his marker, but again, it was straight down the throat of Clark.

    The match had quickly settled down into a predictable pattern with the visitors bossing possession and Tommy Wright’s team throwing numbers behind the ball and attempting to strike on the counter and from set-pieces.

    A swift interchange of passing between Dembele and Sinclair did see the Bhoys cut a path through the hosts, but Clark was quickly off his line to avert the danger.  

    Sinclair did manage to pull the trigger in the 20th minute after Forrest had worked the ball inside, though the increasingly busy Clark was down quickly to smother his shot.  

    The Saints shot-stopper, however, was helpless to prevent the Bhoys breaking the deadlock just before the half-hour mark in a training ground move. Armstrong swung in a low corner in the direction of the onrushing Sinclair and the winger found the net with a first-time finish for his 11th goal of the season.

    Celtic quickly went in search of further reward and Clark had to make an excellent save to tip Armstrong’s curling effort wide of the post, before Callum McGregor came close from 18-yards.

    Such was the Scottish treble-winners’ control of the contest, it took until seven minutes before the break for Craig Gordon to be called into action when, from a controversially-awarded free-kick, he made a comfortable stop from Blair Alston’s shot.

    If anything, the champions were more dominant as the second half got underway, upping the tempo as they redoubled their efforts for a second goal.  

    Tierney, enterprising as ever down the left, saw a shot saved by Clark at his near post and on the opposite flank Forrest had a shot deflected behind. From the resultant corner, Dedryck Boyata’s header was destined for the net until Aaron Comrie cleared off the line.

    It was one-way traffic as McGregor, Armstrong, Bitton and Dembele all tried their luck. Finally the pressure paid off with 18 minutes left on the clock. Tierney burst forward and supplied the over-lapping Armstrong. His cutback was met by Dembele, who showed terrific technique to find the far corner.  

    Within three minutes, it was 3-0. Dembele did the damage, skipping past one challenge in the box and when he flashed the ball across goal, Steven Anderson could only divert the ball into his own net.

    Dembele fired wide after a mazy run as the Celts continued to pour forward and there was still time for substitute Ntcham to rifle home after a sweeping attacking move as the Bhoys finished with a flourish on a day they created history.

    CELTIC (3-4-2-1) Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, Bitton; Forrest (Hayes 77), Brown, Armstrong (Ntcham 76), Tierney; McGregor (Rogic 60), Sinclair; Dembele
    Not Used: De Vries, Gamboa, Edouard, Ajer

    ST JOHNSTONE (4-1-4-1) Clark; Comrie, Anderson, Shaughnessy, Tanser; Paton; MacLean; Foster, (McClean 76), Alston, Wotherspoon (Craig 68), Scougall (O’Halloran 58); MacLean
    Not Used: Mannus, Johnston, Gordon, Cummins

    Website Man of the Match: Scott Brown

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