Scottish Premiership
CelticCeltic3St MirrenSt Mirren0
By John BarnesBBC Scotland at Celtic Park

Stefan Johansen scored his first goal for Celtic as Neil Lennon's men took another step towards the Scottish Premiership title by beating St Mirren.

A bullet header topped off another fine performance from the Norway midfielder.

Leigh Griffiths and Anthony Stokes netted after the break as St Mirren again failed to score at Celtic Park.

The victory maintains Celtic's unbeaten home league record and leaves Saints still looking for their first win at Parkhead since 1990.

Neil Lennon's side remain 24 points clear at the top of the table and, while four more points will secure the championship, they may get the opportunity to secure the title in midweek if Aberdeen lose on Tuesday ahead of Celtic's visit to Partick Thistle on Wednesday.

St Mirren's trip to Celtic Park kicked off with half the pitch bathed in sunshine - signs that spring is in the air and the time of year when championships are decided has begun.

Although the league title has been destined for Celtic Park for some considerable time, only the mathematical solution is awaited to ensure the trophy can be housed in the Parkhead boardroom for the third successive season.

Leigh Griffiths scores for Celtic against St Mirren
Griffiths netted his fifth goal in seven appearances

St Mirren, though, had an excellent chance to take the lead in the sixth minute. Good play on the left led to the ball reaching Paul McGowan and his shot was turned away by Fraser Forster.

A corner from Liam Henderson from the left bounced off Virgil van Dijk and flew wide when it looked easier for the Celtic defender to hit the target.

The Buddies had a good spell and Jason Naismith was next to see his shot parried by Forster before Steven Thompson missed his kick six yards out and Josh Magennis had an effort blocked.

But Celtic always looked dangerous and they squandered a couple of chances before eventually getting themselves in front.

Stokes curled a 20-yard effort wide, a Kris Commons shot went beyond the right-hand post and then Griffiths had the ball in the net only to see the goal disallowed for offside.

Moments later, a combination of Commons' mis-hit shot and Stokes' blocked effort created a chance for teenager Henderson, and his shot was cleared away by Sean Kelly.

Griffiths then rounded goalkeeper Marian Kello and fired goalwards but Darren McGregor managed to get back to head off the line.

But a minute before the interval, Johansen got the breakthrough. Griffiths picked him out with a cross from the right and the Norway international headed strongly past Kello from 10 yards.

Only a win for the Paisley side would have moved them out of 11th place and the play-off spot. But having scored only three goals on their last 20 visits to Celtic Park the statistics were not encouraging.

Celtic opened the second half positively. A good run by Adam Matthews saw the Welshman pick out Henderson, who drilled a low shot which Kello managed to hold.

The home team increased their lead just beyond the hour mark when Griffiths latched on to a Stokes pass to slot a low, right-foot shot past Kello.

Commons came close to adding a third when he turned to watched his shot bounce back off the keeper's right-hand post. He was quick to react hitting the rebound into the side netting.

Griffiths should have scored again but contrived to send a lob over the advancing keeper wide of the post.

Van Dijk then thought he had scored but the Dutchman was judged to have been offside.

However, substitute Georgios Samaras set up Stokes to fire Celtic's third.

The hosts were well on top and Teemu Pukki, who had replaced Commons, missed three good opportunities to increase the margin of victory.

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Forster
  • 2Matthews
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 25Johansen
  • 5van DijkBooked at 48mins
  • 21MulgrewBooked at 78mins
  • 8Brown
  • 53HendersonSubstituted forAmbroseat 62'minutes
  • 28GriffithsSubstituted forSamarasat 82'minutes
  • 15CommonsSubstituted forPukkiat 78'minutes
  • 10Stokes

Substitutes

  • 4Ambrose
  • 9Samaras
  • 19Fridjonsson
  • 20Pukki
  • 24Zaluska
  • 33Kayal
  • 56Twardzik

St Mirren

  • 28Kello
  • 22Naismith
  • 18Kelly
  • 10McGowanSubstituted forWyldeat 74'minutes
  • 14McAusland
  • 4McGregor
  • 24NewtonSubstituted forGoodwinat 74'minutes
  • 7McGinn
  • 9ThompsonSubstituted forCampbellat 60'minutes
  • 16Magennis
  • 11McLean

Substitutes

  • 6Goodwin
  • 12Campbell
  • 17Reilly
  • 21Teale
  • 30Dilo
  • 39Wylde
  • 99Djemba-Djemba
Referee:
Stephen Finnie
Attendance:
46,536

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home21
Away12
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 3, St Mirren 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 3, St Mirren 0.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Celtic 3, St Mirren 0. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Georgios Samaras.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. John McGinn (St Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Efe Ambrose (Celtic).

  6. Post update

    Josh Magennis (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Georgios Samaras (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Georgios Samaras (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Teemu Pukki (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Teemu Pukki (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gregg Wylde (St Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Georgios Samaras replaces Leigh Griffiths.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Teemu Pukki replaces Kris Commons.

  17. Booking

    Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic).

  19. Post update

    Kenny McLean (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.