Celtic brush aside St Johnstone to restore nine-point advantage | Scottish Premiership

Celtic flexed their muscles at St Johnstone to ensure their nine-point lead over Rangers at the top of the Premiership remained intact.

The chasing Light Blues beat Ross County 2-1 at Ibrox on Saturday, but the champions handled the pressure well at McDiarmid Park, recording a convincing 4-1 win.

Saints defender Andrew Considine turned a Kyogo Furuhashi cross into his own net in the 13th minute and the Japan forward stuck his own midway through the first half before wide receiver Drey Wright pulled a goal back three minutes later.

Midfielder Aaron Mooy restored Celtic’s two-goal lead in the 38th minute with Considine – making his 600th appearance for the club – sent off by referee David Dickinson in added time for a pull on Oh Hyeon-gyu, with fellow substitute David Turnbull adds the fourth from the resulting foul.

Ange Postecoglou’s champions have lost once in 25 league games this season and have once again looked a formidable outfit.

St Johnstone’s 2-0 midweek win at Motherwell was their first win in eight games, but little was in store against the Parkhead men.

James Brown, Tony Gallacher, Graham Carey and Connor McLennan came into the home side’s line-up while Postecoglou made just one change, Mooy replacing Matt O’Riley in midfield for the lunchtime opener.

The home side fought hard to get an early foothold in the game, but the Hoops slowly gained control and took the lead when Furuhashi latched on to a pass from Mooy. From the byline, his attempted through ball to Japan team-mates Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate was turned into his own net from close range by the helpless Considine.

The early blow to the Perth side’s confidence was compounded in the 22nd minute when Furuhashi headed Remy Matthews high after a long pass from Mooy – who was playing well – and Jota’s cross.

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It looked as if it was going to be another game for the champions, but moments later they faded for a moment and Wright drove past Joe Hart from 20 yards to give the home side some hope.

However, the visitors remained calm and Jota’s clever chip over the St Johnstone defense gave Mooy time and space to calmly slot past Matthews from 16 yards and when Considine was sent to set up his free-kick Oh just wide from the box, Turnbull took a short O’Riley. pass and executed Matthews, with the goal upheld after hours of VAR review for offside.

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