Celtic move four points clear in title race with win over St Mirren

The champions now have a four point lead over Rangers who have two games in hand.

Celtic move four points clear in title race with victory over St Mirren SNS Group

Celtic have moved four points clear at the top of the Premiership with victory over St Mirren in their final game before the split.

The champions won 3-0 in Glasgow to open up the gap to Rangers who now have two games in hand starting with Sunday’s trip to Ross County.

Philippe Clement’s side will then play Dundee in their rescheduled fixture on Wednesday as the title race heats up going into the last five games, that will include the final Old Firm game of the season at Celtic Park.

If the Ibrox side win their next two games they will go into the split two points ahead, but with Celtic’s recent derby record at home they’d have to be favourites for that fixture so the destination of the Premiership trophy remains on a knife-edge.

After a cagey first-half on Saturday, with no real chances at either end, the home side took the lead through Reo Hatate early in the second.

Fellow Japan international Kyogo Furuhashi then doubled the score with a header after a pinpoint cross into the box by Alistair Johnston who also got the assist for the opener.

Adam Idah then added a third with a close range header late on for his seventh goal for the club since joining on loan in January.

St Mirren were forced in to an early change when Ryan Strain replaced Elvis Bwomono after the Ugandan suffered a head knock in a clash with Yang.

Strain had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes when was booked for a tackle on the South Korean winger.

Celtic had most of the possession in the early stages without testing Zach Hemming but the visitors looked dangerous on the counter on a couple of occasions and Greg Kiltie will feel he should have done better from a Toyosi Olusanya cut-back but he failed to get his shot on target.

Matt O’Riley and Hatate both had speculative efforts but couldn’t get past a crowded St Mirren area and the ball was well cleared.

Stephen Robinson’s side had a good spell of pressure on the half-hour mark and Joe Hart was forced into action to punch the ball away from Keanu Baccus after a deep cross into the box.

Nawrocki then cleared an effort for Strain after another Saints attack.

Olusanya was up next after another slick counter from St Mirren in first-half injury-time but he fired his effort over the ball from an awkward angle.

The first 45 came to an end with both sides failing to register a single shot on target between them and, despite the home side having the lions’ share of possession, the best of the few chances created fell to the visitors.

Kyogo had the first real chance after the restart but he glanced his header wide of the post and in turn took it away from Carter-Vickers who was arriving at the back post.

But the deadlock was broken soon after when Hatate collected a ball from Alistair Johnston just outside the box before taking a touch and stabbing it into the top corner giving Hemmings no chance to make it 1-0.

The lead should have been doubled soon after but Yang had a fresh air swipe when he failed to connect with the ball just yards from goal after another Johnston cut-back.

Canada right-back Johnston was the provider again when he put in a fantastic cross for Kyogo who headered past Hemming to make it 2-0 right on the hour mark.

Celtic now had the bit between their teeth and were looking to put the game to bed but Hemming made three good saves in close succession, the best from a Hatate effort with Taylor and Welsh also coming close.

Idah secured the three points after coming off the bench when he finished off a move that involved fellow subs James Forrest and Luis Palma.

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