Celtic 2 St Johnstone 1 match report: Teemu Pukki strikes it lucky for Neil Lennon
Sunday 22 September 2013
Celtic recovered from their European setback with a Scottish Premiership victory over St Johnstone here that should have been more comprehensive.
Neil Lennon's side played well only to lose 2-0 to Milan in their Champions' League Group H opener in the San Siro on Wednesday and they responded yesterday with a first-half onslaught against their visitors.
Teemu Pukki, the Finnish striker who was making his first start for his new club, opened the scoring with a drive in the 10th minute.
Charlie Mulgrew added a second with a fine left-footed shot 16 minutes later and Celtic looked on track to rack up a high score.
But the second half turned into something of a non-event for the Scottish champions, who were given a scare when Liam Caddis, a St Johnstone substitute in place of David Wotherspoon, bundled in from Dave MacKay's cross with nine minutes remaining.
Another St Johnstone replacement, Stevie May, almost made Celtic pay for their failure to make the game safe in the first half, but his instinctive effort struck the post in added time.
Fraser Forster, Celtic's goalkeeper, was also required to make a superb late save to deny McKay.
The result moves Celtic level on points with Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the top of the SPL table after the in-form Highlands side suffered their first defeat of the season at Aberdeen.
Scott Vernon's 81st-minute strike proved decisive in a 1-0 win for Derek McInnes' side, who are now only three points behind the leaders in third place.
Celtic (4-4-2): Forster; Matthews (Biton, 46), Ambrose, Van Dijk, Izaguirre; Commons (Samaras, 59), Brown, Mulgrew, Boerrigter; Stokes, Pukki (Balde, 87).
St Johnstone (4-1-4-1): Mannus; Mackay, Wright, Anderson, B Easton; Cregg (Hasselbaink, 87); Millar, Davidson (May, 61), McDonald, Wotherspoon (Caddis, 68), MacLean.
Referee Alan Muir.
Latest in Sport
Moments of truth: Matches against Liverpool, Olympiakos and Manchester City will go a long way to defining David Moyes' long-term future at Manchester United
And finally... Arsenal can call on Kim Kallstrom
Nemanja Matic interview: My family were in tears when we left Lisbon
Michael Schumacher ski accident: Sebastian Vettel pays tribute to F1 legend with special helmet for Australian Grand Prix
Aston Villa 1 Chelsea 0: Red-carded Jose Mourinho slams referee after defeat
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
- 3 Nemanja Matic interview: My family were in tears when we left Lisbon
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Jet ‘hijacking’ began soon after take-off
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia