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  • Celts book Scottish Cup quarter-final spot with five-star display

    Celts book Scottish Cup quarter-final spot with five-star display

    By: Tony Connelly on 10 Feb, 2019 15:33

  • Scottish Cup, Fifth Round
    Sunday, February 10, 2019
    Celtic Park, Glasgow

    CELTIC…5
    (Sinclair 3, 54, 89, Brown 9, Forrest 53)

    ST JOHNSTONE…0

    CELTIC booked their place in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup with a 5-0 win against St Johnstone at Paradise. A Scott Sinclair hat-trick helped Brendan Rodgers’ side demolish their opponents and continued Celtic’s 100 per cent domestic win record at home this season.

    Sinclair opened the scoring shortly after kick-off and Scott Brown followed up to make it 2-0 before the break. James Forrest then made it three and a second-half double from Sinclair completed his hat-trick to make it a fantastic 5-0 for Celtic.

    Celtic started the game in explosive form and wasted no time in asserting their dominance over St Johnstone. The Scottish champions rocked their opponents with some heavy blows early on and the Perth side never really found their footing in the remainder of the game.  

    St Johnstone were forced to abandon their deep defensive set-up after finding themselves trailing by two goals inside the opening 10 minutes.

    Oliver Burke was the creator of the opening goal after powering through the Saints defence and into the box. He had a clear shot on goal from around 10- ards but opted to cut the ball across the face of goal for Sinclair. His selflessness was rewarded when Sinclair side-footed the ball beyond Zander Clark and into the roof of the net.

    Brown sent Paradise into hysteria six minutes later when he added his name to the scoresheet with a sensational goal. The Celtic captain was 30 yards from goal when the ball broke to him in space. He took a touch and rifled the ball into the top corner and celebrated with his trademark outstretched arms.  

    Tommy Wright’s side pressed Celtic higher up the park after conceding the second, but the Scottish champions moved the ball well and punished their opponents with quick transitions into attack. James Forrest and Jeremy Toljan were both lively down the right wing were a key source of attack for much of the first half.

    The best chance Celtic had in the first half to increase the lead was again created by Burke. He drifted out wide and Forrest lifted a good pass over the defence which sent Burke tearing down the wing. He took the ball to the by-line and drilled it across the face of goal but there were no team-mates to steer it goalward.

    Celtic started the second half lively and, as they had done in the early stages of the first-half, punished St Johnstone with two goals in quick succession.

    Jonny Hayes created Celtic’s third goal when he linked-up well with Christie in the middle of the park and drove through the St Johnstone midfield before rolling the ball out to Forrest just inside the box.

    The Hoops winger finished well with his side-footed effort which he placed into the near corner. One minute later, Forrest knocked the ball on for Burke out on the right and the 21-year-old forward again punished St Johnstone with his pace and power. He created enough room to cut the ball back across the face of goal for Sinclair to tap in.

    There was no let-up for St Johnstone as the final whistle drew nearer and Celtic continued to heap the pressure on their opponents.

    Realising there was no hope of salvaging anything from the game, St Johnstone sat in for the final stages of the game and limited the spaces for Celtic to exploit. It didn’t pay off though and the Hoops undid the Saints’ defence for a fifth time late in the game.

    Second half substitute Odsonne Edouard was crowded out on the edge of the box as he tried to find a gap to shoot. He opted to roll the ball out to Sinclair who turned inside and coolly tucked the ball into the bottom corner to cap off the afternoon with a hat-trick.

    CELTIC: Bain; Toljan, Boyata, Simunovic (Ajer 45), Hayes; Brown, McGregor, Christie (Edouard 62); Forrest, Sinclair; Burke (Weah 67)
    Sub: Gordon, Lustig, Bitton, Johnston

    ST JOHNSTONE: Clark; Tanser, Shaughnessy, Davidson (Callachan 68), Kane, Wotherspoon, Kerr, Foster, Craig, Goss (Watt 45), Kennedy (Keown 59)
    Subs: Bell, Alston, Swanson, O’Halloran

    Website Man of the Match: Scott Sinclair.

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