Saints bring Celtic back down to earth
Celtic 1 St Johnstone 1
Monday 12 November 2012
Celtic have taken just two points from the last nine available in the Scottish Premier League and now lie two behind leaders Hibernian after being held at home by St Johnstone – who had been recently walloped 5-0 in the same venue in the Scottish Communities League Cup quarter-finals.
If there was a sense of anti-climax inside Celtic Park after the historic 2-1 win over Barcelona on Wednesday night it was not laid aside even when the Champions League matchwinner Tony Watt, on at the break for Miku, put the home side ahead. Celtic remained unconvincing and Nigel Hasselbaink levelled for the Saints in the 77th minute.
The St Johnstone manager, Steve Lomas, saw the goal from the stand after being dismissed from the dugout for remonstrating with referee Iain Brine over his decision to allow Watt back on to the field after treatment.
The Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, who had warned against just such a lacklustre display as his side produced, could not begrudge the Perth side their point.
There was a perfectly observed minute's silence for Remembrance Day before the match and the near silence continued as the opening exchanges took place in front of a vastly reduced attendance. Yet, Lomas's side, with Steven MacLean leading the line well, appeared in positive mood.
Watt, who had come on as a substitute to score against Barça, did so again when he put Celtic ahead six minutes after the break. Charlie Mulgrew's searching pass reached the striker, who prodded the ball over the line from a couple of yards out.
Just before the hour, a speculative shot from Dave Mackay dipped a yard wide of Fraser Forster's left-hand post and in the 75th minute the Saints appealed for a penalty when Celtic's Efe Ambrose clashed with Gregory Tade.
With 13 minutes to go the Celtic defence looked uneasy when Mackay's ball came into the box and when it eventually fell to Hasselbaink he turned and drove it past Forster. St Johnstone, unsurprisingly, were forced to defend in the closing stages but they deservedly held out for a point.
Celtic: Forster; Matthews, Ambrose (McGeouch, 84), Wilson, Mulgrew, Brown, Wanyama, Ledley (Kayal, 70), Commons, Miku (Watt, h-t), Samaras.
St Johnstone: Mannus; MacKay, McCracken (Miller, 6), Wright, C Davidson, Millar, M Davidson, Robertson (Tade, 71), Craig, Hasselbaink (Vine, 84), MacLean.
Referee: I Brines (Scotland).
Latest in Sport
Liverpool fans applaud Cristiano Ronaldo after master-class for Real Madrid, despite his Manchester United ties
Liverpool vs Real Madrid player ratings: Was Cristiano Ronaldo the star man? And how did Mario Balotelli fare?
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker forced into hospital ahead of Manchester United clash - reports
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was shirt swapping the real reason?
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters