10-men Saints fall to defeat against Celtic

10-men Saints fall to defeat against Celtic

St Mirren fell to defeat against Celtic at the SMiSA Stadium with a first-half red card for Charles Dunne leaving Saints too much to do in the second-half.

The Buddies took an early lead when Mark O'Hara put us in front from the penalty spot. But defender Dunne was shown red on 38 minutes for denying Kyogo Furuhashi a goalscoring opportunity. And Celtic made the most of their man advantage in the second-half; scoring five goals to take the points. 

Stephen Robinson was able to welcome Keanu Baccus and Alex Greive back into the starting 11 after injury. They were the only two changes from the side that drew 1-1 with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park last weekend as they came in for Ryan Flynn and Tony Watt. 

St Mirren got off to the perfect start after being awarded a penalty following a VAR check. Referee David Dickinson was advised to check the pitchside monitor after a handball from Greg Taylor and Saints captain O'Hara scored his third goal against Celtic this season from 12 yards to put us ahead. 

Mark O'Hara put us ahead from the penalty spot (Image: Allan Picken)

While Celtic were seeing most of the possession, Saints were resolute with the away side's first real chance not coming until 23 minutes when Marcus Fraser's loose clearance fell to Reo Hatate on the edge of the box and his ferocious effort flew just over the bar. Five minutes later, Trevor Carson made his first save of the match as he made a super one-handed stop push Jota's effort over after the Celtic man had weaved his way into the Saints box.

As the first-half approached its final few minutes St Mirren were reduced to 10 men when Dunne was shown a straight red card for denying Kyogo a goalscoring opportunity. Initially Celtic were awarded a penalty, but a VAR check ruled the foul took place outside the box and a free-kick was given instead. The ball was laid off to Celtic's captain Callum McGregor and his powerful strike was brilliantly blocked by Fraser as Saints went into the break in-front. 

Celtic levelled 11 minutes into the second 45 though when Jota squeezed home from close range to make it 1-1. The winger was sliding in alongside Kyogo to try and meet an Aaron Mooy low ball into the area. The first was blocked by Carson but Jota got a touch when the ball came back out to equalise despite Strain's efforts to clear before it crossed the line. The visitors then took the lead just after the hour mark when Alastair Johnston met Mooy's free-kick at the far post to bundle home.

Joe Shaughnessy and Tony Watt were introduced for Saints not long after Johnston's goal, but Celtic would score twice in two minutes to put the game beyond doubt. Liel Abada added the third on 70 minutes before the Israeli turned provider for Matt O'Riley who netted on 72 minutes. 

VAR awarded Celtic a penalty on 81 minutes when substitute Heyongyu Oh went down under the challenge of Alex Gogic. It was Oh who stepped up to take and he made it 5-1 to the visitors. 

Full-Time: St Mirren 1-5 Celtic

St Mirren: Carson, Fraser, Gogic, Dunne, Strain (Watt 62), Baccus, O'Hara (c), Kiltie (F.Taylor 75), Small (Shaughnessy 62), Greive (R.Taylor 45), Main (Tanser 75)
Subs Not Used: Urminsky, Flynn, Offord, Jamieson

Celtic: Hart, Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor, Hatate (O'Riley 66), McGregor (c), Mooy (Iwata 74), Jota (Haksabanovic 71), Kyogo (Oh 66), Maeda (Abada 46)
Subs Not Used: Bain, Ralston, Kobayashi, Turnbull

Referee: David Dickinson
Assistant Referee: Ross Macleod 
Assistant Referee: David Dunne
Fourth Official: Euan Anderson
VAR: Andrew Dallas
Assistant VAR: Jonathan Bell

Attendance: 6,939

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