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  • Guidetti double seals points for Celts

    Guidetti double seals points for Celts

    By: Martin Dalziel on 27 Sep, 2014 14:48

  • SPFL

    St Mirren Park, Paisley

    Saturday, September 27, 2014

     

    Celtic...2

    (Guidetti 42, 62)

    St Mirren...1

    (McLean 47)

    A JOHN Guidetti double sealed the points for Celtic in today’s lunch-time battle with St Mirren. The Swedish striker netted shortly before half-time and on the hour mark, either side of a Kenny McLean goal, to give the Bhoys the win in what was an end-to-end encounter.

    The match opened brightly with Celtic using good link-up play on the right wing to create several early chances.

    Callum McGregor turned well on the edge of the box to set up Stefan Johansen but his left-footed shot was deflected out from the Saints box.

    A clever ball over the top of the Buddies backline then found John Guidetti in space but Marian Kello rushed off his line to clear the danger for the home side in a crunching collision with the Swedish striker.

    The pattern of the match became clear in the opening minutes with Celtic on the front foot and St Mirren happy to hit the Hoops on the break.

    They did that to great effect through Thomas Reilly who collected the ball in midfield, broke forward and unleashed a superb strike from 30 yards which crashed off Craig Gordon’s crossbar before being shepherded out of play by the Hoops defence.

    It was an early warning sign from the hosts, which Celtic took on board as they focused on closing down the space on the edge of the box quicker.

    Van Dijk was next to test the Saints’ resolve but his shot on the stretch from an Anthony Stokes free-kick came off the defender’s heel and launched high over the south stand.

    Celtic then had a claim for a penalty waved away when Guidetti was challenged strongly in the box but the referee waved play on.

    St Mirren continued to sit deep which forced the Hoops to play patiently and wait for an opening.

    An early pass from Guidetti then created that opening and set Mubarak Wakaso sprinting down the left touchline after he broke up a rare St Mirren foray forward.

    The Ghanaian winger had Reilly beaten for pace but was brought down as he went past the St Mirren midfielder, which saw referee Craig Thomson bring out the first yellow card of the match.

    The Hoops continued to press St Mirren and got their reward moments later through the endeavour of Scott Brown.

    The Celtic captain burst through the Saints defence on the left of the box and played a low ball into the six-yard box where Guidetti stole half a yard of space from his marker and poked the ball past Kello. It was just reward for the striker’s efforts and put the Bhoys 1-0 up heading into the break.

    St Mirren replaced Jeroen Tesselaar with Gregg Wylde for the start of the second half but Celtic remained unchanged.

    The switch for the home side injected new life into their play as they focused attacks down the Celtic right and won an early corner.

    Craig Gordon collected the ball easily from the set-piece but his quick throw-out was intercepted and played back into the Celtic box where Kenny McLean finished from close-range to draw his side level.

    Wakaso was then booked as he slid in on Kello as the Hoops sought an instant reply.

    Wylde’s pace tested Celtic again down the St Mirren left flank and the winger left Ambrose in his wake before playing a ball across the box. Callum Ball got a flick to it but Gordon had his near post covered and gathered easily.

    The Hoops then switched to a 4-4-2 after Stokes joined Guidetti up front and it was the Swede who scored shortly after to restore the Bhoys’ advantage.

    The striker won a free-kick on the edge of the St Mirren box after being brought down by Jim Goodwin, who was booked for persistent fouling.

    Celtic stayed up the pitch after the set-piece was taken and Stokes played a through ball into the box for his strike partner, which Guidetti collected before firing past Kello with his left.

    The Swede was then replaced by Stefan Scepovic after signalling a problem with his thigh to the Celtic bench as the Bhoys pushed for another.

    That left space for St Mirren, however, and Gregg Wylde made a darting run down the Celtic right but his ball into the box was cleared by van Dijk.

    James Marwood then made way for Ross Caldwell and Ronny Deila replaced Stokes with Jo Inge Berget shortly after a van Dijk free-kick had skimmed the side netting of St Mirren’s goal.

    Celtic retained their dominance over proceedings after the switch and went close to getting a third 10 minutes from time but Scott Brown’s shot from outside the box went over the bar, as did an effort from Callum McGregor from the same position.

    St Mirren still had confidence they could draw level, however, and committed men forward in search of an equaliser in the closing stages.

    Wylde, again, was the main architect of their chances and his crosses from the left proved testing for the Celtic defence but van Dijk was on hand on each occasion to clear the danger.

    Nir Bitton replaced Wakaso as the Hoops looked to maintain control of the proceedings but the Buddies won a late corner as they pressed for a late goal.

    Van Dijk was once again dominant in the box and his towering header cleared the danger and helped seal the win for the Bhoys.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Ambrose, van Dijk, O’Connell, Izaguirre; Brown, Johansen; Wakaso (Bitton 89), McGregor, Stokes (Berget 76); Guidetti (Scepovic 66)

    Subs not used: Zaluska, Fisher, Kayal, Tonev.

    ST MIRREN (4-5-1) Kello; Naismith, Kelly, McGinn, McLean, Goodwin, Marwood (Caldwell 74), McAusland, Reilly (Morgan 85), Ball, Tesselaar (Wylde 46)

    Subs not used: Ridgers, Baird, Brown, Yaqub

    Website man of the match: John Guidetti

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