Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone2CelticCeltic1

Scottish Premiership: St Johnstone 2-1 Celtic

By Scott DavieBBC Scotland at McDiarmid Park
Steven MacLean
Steven MacLean celebrates after tapping home St Johnstone's equaliser

St Johnstone came from behind to beat champions Celtic and secure a fourth-place Premiership finish.

Leigh Griffiths' solo effort put the visitors ahead at McDiarmid Park, taking his tally for the season to 40.

A howler from Stefan Johansen allowed Steven MacLean in to level with a neat finish.

Efe Ambrose made another costly mistake, colliding with goalkeeper Logan Bailly to allow Graham Cummins to stab in the winner.

With the title secured, Celtic boss Ronny Deila made seven changes to the side that beat Aberdeen 3-2 at Parkhead on Sunday, but paid the price with a fourth league defeat of the season.

Craig Gordon, Charlie Mulgrew and Mikael Lustig were given the night off, with Nir Biton, Stuart Armstrong, Tom Rogic and Keiran Tierney dropping to the bench.

The travelling Celtic supporters were given a rare glimpse of Scott Allan, Ryan Christie, Saidy Janko and Belgian goalkeeper Bailly among the replacements.

Leigh Griffiths
Leigh Griffiths becomes the first Celtic player since Henrik Larsson to score 40 goals in a season

Bailly was busy enough in the early exchanges as St Johnstone found a lot of joy down their right, where Emilio Izaguirre was playing what might prove to be his last game for the champions given Tierney's form.

The goalkeeper had a few testing crosses to deal with in the first few minutes but it was Saints' last line of defence that kept the scoreline level when the visitors finally clicked going forward.

Clark denied Griffiths with a fine save just when Scotland's top marksman seemed certain to convert an inviting cross following intelligent set-up play from Christie.

That was a rare moment of anxiety for Tommy Wright's side as they dominated possession for long spells of the first half as Celtic found it hard to produce any fluent attacking football.

Their increased tempo early in the second paid off with another sublime goal from Griffiths.

There seemed little danger when he picked up possession at the left edge of box but he weaved past two challenges before stabbing a left-foot shot beyond the onrushing Clark, his 31st league goal.

St Johnstone were gifted the chance of a quick equaliser in the 55th minute when Johansen was caught in possession on the edge of his own penalty area and veteran striker MacLean finished with aplomb.

The game looked to be drifting towards a draw before Ambrose tangled with Bailly and Cummins tapped home to make it four straight post-split wins for Tommy Wright's side.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-2

  • 12Clark
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 6AndersonBooked at 35mins
  • 3Scobbie
  • 24Easton
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 20Brown
  • 26Craig
  • 16SwansonBooked at 61minsSubstituted forDoyleat 90'minutes
  • 9MacLeanBooked at 57mins
  • 25KaneSubstituted forCumminsat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 5Doyle
  • 11Sutton
  • 18Cummins
  • 31Hurst
  • 44McCawl
  • 66Krachunov

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 26Bailly
  • 22JankoSubstituted forRalstonat 74'minutes
  • 4Ambrose
  • 28Sviatchenko
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 25JohansenBooked at 28minsSubstituted forBittonat 66'minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 27Roberts
  • 19AllanSubstituted forRogicat 80'minutes
  • 17Christie
  • 9Griffiths

Substitutes

  • 6Bitton
  • 14Armstrong
  • 18Rogic
  • 38Fasan
  • 49Forrest
  • 51Ralston
  • 63Tierney
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
5,959

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home8
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 2, Celtic 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 2, Celtic 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ryan Christie (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael Doyle replaces Danny Swanson.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone).

  6. Post update

    Nir Bitton (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  8. Post update

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

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Tomas Rogic replaces Scott Allan.

  10. Goal!

    Goal! St. Johnstone 2, Celtic 1. Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Anthony Ralston replaces Saidy Janko.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  13. Post update

    Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Nir Bitton replaces Stefan Johansen.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ryan Christie (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  18. Booking

    Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone).

  20. Post update

    Saidy Janko (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic37258486315583
2Aberdeen36225962431971
3Hearts361710956381861
4St Johnstone37167145653355
5Motherwell37155174756-950
6Ross County37136185161-1045
7Inverness CT371310145048249
8Dundee371115115353048
9Partick Thistle37129163948-945
10Hamilton37119174061-2142
11Kilmarnock3799193960-2136
12Dundee Utd3777234168-2725
View full Scottish Premiership table

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