Celtic 1-0 St Johnstone: Rodgers hails players after Lisbon Lions record equalled

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Scottish Premiership highlights: Celtic 1-0 St Johnstone

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has urged his players to mark their own place in the club's history by continuing their unbeaten run.

A 1-0 win over St Johnstone means Celtic have not been defeated in 26 domestic matches, equalling the record set by the Lisbon Lions.

They now lead second-placed Rangers by 22 points in the Scottish Premiership.

"We have to keep pushing and try to set the record as high as we can," Rodgers told BBC Scotland.

"To match a record of over 50 years, when you think of the players and teams who have played here, it's a massive credit to the players, how they've worked.

"If you'd asked them that six months ago when we started together, they would probably have thought 'we're way off the mark', but they've done it.

"It's through their professionalism, their work, setting the standards every day in training, and we cannot finish here."

Celtic can break the record if they avoid defeat against Hearts at Celtic Park on Sunday and Rodgers said that he challenged his squad at the start of the season to set new standards.

"You perform well, you play well, then there's a consequence to that: you make history," the Celtic manager said.

"That's what we said when we came in, break records, win trophies, be the best that we can be.

"We should tip our hat to the players, they've been brilliant and I'm very proud of them."

Scott Brown
Celtic captain Scott Brown made his 400th appearance for the club

Celtic had to remain patient against St Johnstone, as they missed a number of chances to break the resistance of their dogged opponents.

It took a header from Dedryck Boyata in the 72nd minute to secure the victory on the night Scott Brown played his 400th game for the club.

"The performance overall was very good," Rodgers said. "We had created good chances and a mixture of our final pass, the final connection and great defending by St Johnstone made it tighter than we would have hoped.

"I always believe that we can score. It came from a set-piece, I'm pleased for Dedryck Boyata, he attacks the ball really well, he's aggressive, it's a brilliant header.

"It's great credit to my coaching staff as well, Chris Davies and John Kennedy, they do a lot of work on the set-pieces, being creative, and one of them paid off tonight."

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright praised the work-rate and commitment of his players but was frustrated his side was not awarded a penalty just after the goal, when Brown appeared to push Steven Anderson inside the area.

"How [the referee, Andrew Dallas] can't see it is beyond me," Wright said. "There are difficult decisions to give and easy decisions to give, and that was an easy decision.

"It was right in front of him and, if that happens anywhere else on the pitch, it's a free-kick.

"If I go in [to see the referee], I get an answer that probably won't satisfy me, so I won't go in.

"I'm disappointed for the players, because they put a lot into the game. I thought we were excellent, caused them a few problems.

"Ultimately, we got caught on a corner, which is disappointing. It's not a wonder goal. It's decent movement, but it's free header from a corner."

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