Soccer  

Celtic 4-0 St Mirren: Leaders maintain 100% home record

Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi scores to make it 2-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Celtic and St Mirren at Celtic Park,
Kyogo Furuhashi’s lovely lob put Celtic 2-0 in front

Celtic continued their formidable domestic home form with an emphatic Scottish Premiership win against St Mirren.

Liel Abada crashed in the opener after 15 minutes as St Mirren’s positive start was quickly extinguished.

Kyogo Furuhashi added a delicate lob before the break, and then finished off a sweeping move to ensure Celtic won an 11th consecutive home league game.

David Turnbull rifled in the fourth from 25 yards to seal the points.

Ange Postecoglou’s side remain nine points clear of rivals Rangers after convincingly seeing off the only Scottish side to beat them this season.

St Mirren, who drop to seventh, are also the last to win at Celtic Park domestically almost two years ago, and they threatened to cause the champions more problems after a bright start.

But two minutes after Curtis Main’s goal was ruled out for a tight offside, Abada smashed home from inside the box after Trevor Carson denied Carl Starfelt and debutant Yuki Kobayashi struck a post.

From that point, Celtic were in control. Reo Hatate’s wonderful pass in behind found Kyogo, who managed to acrobatically scoop the ball over the advancing Carson and into the net.

And the Japanese forward added his 18th goal of the season eight minutes into the second half as Celtic struck quickly when winning possession in their own half.

Jota was set free down the left and crossed for Kyogo side-foot home, and the original decision to disallow the strike for offside was overturned after a VAR check.

Kyogo was then confirmed as offside by VAR after setting up James Forrest for what Celtic thought was their fourth goal, which did arrive in spectacular fashion from Turnbull.

The substitute clinically drove a long-range shot past Carson after a short corner from Celtic, who extended their unbeaten domestic home record to 40 matches.

St Mirren have still only won once on the road but kept plugging away, and came close to a consolation goal when Declan Gallagher headed Ryan Strain’s cross on to the bar.

Player of the match – Kyogo Furuhashi

Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates after making it 3-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Celtic and St Mirren at Celtic Park
The Celtic forward’s movement was electric on the shoulder of St Mirren’s defence, and he got his reward with two goals.

Tactical tweak helps Celtic settle – analysis

Celtic were sloppy before, and briefly after, Abada’s goal as St Mirren took the game to them. Full-backs Josip Juranovic – who was playing out of position on the left – and Alistair Johnston were crowded out by St Mirren whenever they came infield, as is regularly the case with Celtic.

Postecoglou presumably told them to keep their width, because they started hugging the touchlines more and gave St Mirren’s wing-backs and midfielders more to think about.

It stretched the visitors, and from there Celtic’s movement and skill out wide took hold and there only looked like one outcome. Kyogo was a joy to watch as his rapid changes of direction and clever movement proved a constant menace.

St Mirren, meanwhile, can be relatively pleased with their efforts. That seems strange given the scoreline, but they started strongly and kept going in attack throughout. Stephen Robinson’s side have only won one of their past 10 league games, but there is no immediate concern.

This is only the second time in that run they have lost by more than a goal, and they are far from the only Premiership team to go on a poor run. They need to respond quickly, but the evidence of this season so far is they will be pushing for a top-half finish.

What they said

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: “I thought it was a really strong all-round performance. We did all the aspects of our game pretty well tonight. We started the game well.

“They have some threats, particularly from long throws, that you have to defend in the box and I thought we handled that well. It was four excellent goals and we had some great moves that didn’t end in goals.”

St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson: “Celtic were excellent. I think the disappointing thing for me is we conceded two set plays – our first all year. They didn’t have to work for those two goals.

“We’ve done it fairly well up to now and shown that we do have the quality to break and pick passes, but we didn’t tonight and we had too many people not at the top of their game and you can’t come here and have that.”

What’s next?

It is Scottish Cup weekend as Celtic host Morton in their fourth-round tie on Saturday (12:15 GMT), while St Mirren also host a side from the Championship in Dundee, who visit Paisley (15:00).

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Hart
  • 2Johnston
  • 4Starfelt
  • 18Kobayashi
  • 88Juranovic
  • 33O’RileySubstituted forTurnbullat 70′minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 41HatateSubstituted forMooyat 70′minutes
  • 11AbadaSubstituted forForrestat 69′minutes
  • 8FuruhashiSubstituted forMaedaat 79′minutes
  • 17Neves FilipeSubstituted forHaksabanovicat 80′minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Haksabanovic
  • 13Mooy
  • 14Turnbull
  • 24Iwata
  • 29Bain
  • 38Maeda
  • 49Forrest
  • 56Ralston
  • 57Welsh

St Mirren

Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Carson
  • 23StrainSubstituted forFlynnat 84′minutes
  • 4Shaughnessy
  • 31Gallagher
  • 18DunneSubstituted forTaylorat 61′minutes
  • 3Tanser
  • 17BaccusSubstituted forKiltieat 61′minutes
  • 16Erhahon
  • 13Gogic
  • 10Main
  • 7AyungaSubstituted forGreiveat 61′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Taylor
  • 8Flynn
  • 9Brophy
  • 11Kiltie
  • 20Olusanya
  • 21Greive
  • 27Urminsky
  • 30Taylor
  • 32Kenny

Referee:
Steven McLean

Attendance:
58,493

Live Text

Player of the match

FuruhashiKyogo Furuhashi

Celtic

  1. Squad number8Player nameFuruhashi

  2. Squad number41Player nameHatate

  3. Squad number11Player nameAbada

  4. Squad number18Player nameKobayashi

  5. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor

  6. Squad number17Player nameJota

  7. Squad number1Player nameHart

  8. Squad number2Player nameJohnston

  9. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull

  10. Squad number4Player nameStarfelt

  11. Squad number88Player nameJuranovic

  12. Squad number33Player nameO’Riley

  13. Squad number49Player nameForrest

  14. Squad number13Player nameMooy

  15. Squad number38Player nameMaeda

  16. Squad number9Player nameHaksabanovic

St Mirren

  1. Squad number1Player nameCarson

  2. Squad number13Player nameGogic

  3. Squad number17Player nameBaccus

  4. Squad number16Player nameErhahon

  5. Squad number10Player nameMain

  6. Squad number4Player nameShaughnessy

  7. Squad number31Player nameGallagher

  8. Squad number7Player nameAyunga

  9. Squad number3Player nameTanser

  10. Squad number23Player nameStrain

  11. Squad number18Player nameDunne

  12. Squad number21Player nameGreive

  13. Squad number8Player nameFlynn

  14. Squad number5Player nameTaylor

  15. Squad number11Player nameKiltie