Scottish Premiership
Celtic1St Mirren0

Celtic 1-0 St Mirren

Kris Commons' goal against St Mirren gave Celtic their 14th consecutive win, extending their Premiership lead to 21 points.

Commons netted his 22nd goal of the campaign, beating goalkeeper Marian Kello from distance in the first half.

The Hoops dominated and could have made the score-line far more convincing as they passed up several opportunities.

Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster was rarely troubled and made a club-record 11th consecutive shut-out.

The Saints stay in ninth position and are increasingly becoming embroiled in a relegation play-off battle.

Having met earlier in January and the Hoops running out emphatic 4-0 victors, it was more of the same at Celtic Park as Commons once again proved irrepressible.

Interview - Celtic boss Neil Lennon

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Interview - Celtic boss Neil Lennon

The attacker's influence was felt as early as the sixth minute as he received a pass from Emilio Izaguirre, glided away from Jim Goodwin before powering an effort from distance that Kello was unable to keep out.

That set the tone for a one-sided encounter and, while Neil Lennon had said before the match that it was a "free game" for the visitors, it was the hosts who were playing free-flowing, slick and entertaining football; the type you would expect from a side with an 18-point lead at the top pre-match.

It was the 18th-minute that home supporters demonstrated their solidarity for Lennon, who was targeted by fans at the League Cup semi-final yesterday.

However, before that, the impressive Virgil van Dijk showed his strength and balance, holding off a couple of Saints players before releasing Anthony Stokes, whose dinked effort went narrowly wide.

The Irishman was clearly determined to make his 100th appearance for the club memorable and fashioned an opportunity for himself, pirouetting before sending an effort clear of the target as Celtic looked to turn their domination into a sizeable lead.

Lennon's men were unrelenting and Scott Brown could have doubled the hosts' advantage, but fired over the bar after tidy work by Commons.

Interview - St Mirren boss Danny Lennon

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Interview - St Mirren boss Danny Lennon

A brief reprieve for the Saints saw former Rangers man Gregg Wylde latch onto a long ball and test Forster, but the shot-stopper was untroubled, before more Celtic pressure resumed.

Stefan Johansen, making his first start for the club, created an opening but could not execute the shot properly, before James Forrest cut inside and fizzed a low shot that Kello had to get low down to save.

The one-way traffic continued after the break as Buddies defender Marc McAusland almost put into his own net following Charlie Mulgrew's centre.

St Mirren's forays into champions' territory were few and far between.

Steven Thompson did attempt to be a nuisance, forcing Efe Ambrose to clear hastily; while debutant Josh Magennis warmed the palms of Forster with a stinging shot.

However, the Saints had to be aware of the threat at the other end, with Forrest unable to convert the couple of chances that came his way.

Adam Campbell was flung on in place of Goodwin as St Mirren searched for an equaliser, but it was the hosts who looked more likely to add to their lead, with substitute Amido Balde coming close, before Stokes rounded Kello and missed.

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Forster
  • 41Fisher
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 25Johansen
  • 4Ambrose
  • 5van Dijk
  • 8Brown
  • 21Mulgrew
  • 10Stokes
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forBoerrigterat 70'minutes
  • 15CommonsSubstituted forBaldeat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Biton
  • 9Samaras
  • 11Boerrigter
  • 17Balde
  • 20Pukki
  • 24Zaluska
  • 34O'Connell

St Mirren

  • 28Kello
  • 22Naismith
  • 18Kelly
  • 6GoodwinSubstituted forCampbellat 83'minutes
  • 14McAusland
  • 4McGregor
  • 24Newton
  • 7McGinn
  • 9ThompsonSubstituted forMcLeanat 70'minutes
  • 16Magennis
  • 39Wylde

Substitutes

  • 2van Zanten
  • 11McLean
  • 12Campbell
  • 17Reilly
  • 26Brady
  • 30Dilo
  • 49Morgan
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
45,014

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home19
Away3
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home10
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 1, St Mirren 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 1, St Mirren 0.
Foul by Efe Ambrose (Celtic).
Adam Campbell (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is too high.
Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Efe Ambrose.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Conor Newton.
Attempt blocked. Efe Ambrose (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Sean Kelly.
Attempt missed. Amido Baldé (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt missed. Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, St Mirren. Adam Campbell replaces James Goodwin.
Darnell Fisher (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by John McGinn (St Mirren).
Foul by Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic).
John McGinn (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Amido Baldé replaces Kris Commons.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by James Goodwin.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Sean Kelly.
Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Celtic2421304566
2Aberdeen2414371345
3Motherwell231427444
4Inverness CT221147837
5Dundee Utd249871235
6St Johnstone23959532
7Hibernian247710-628
8Kilmarnock257513-1126
9St Mirren256613-1724
10Ross County246414-1422
11Partick Thistle2541011-1722
12Hearts255515-225
View full Scottish Premiership table

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