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Celtic increase lead to 16 points with win over St Mirren

Celtic have increased their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to 16 points with a win over St Mirren.

Celtic increase lead to 16 points with win over St Mirren
Griffiths: Forward celebrates opening goal.

Celtic have continued their relentless race towards the Scottish Premiership title after a Leigh Griffiths hat-trick helped them to a 5-0 win over St Mirren.

Neil Lennon’s men took another step to securing their ninth league flag in a row with three goals from Leigh Griffiths, who now has scored more Premiership hat tricks than any other player, and one each from Odsonne Edouard and Callum McGregor.

Griffiths, who is hoping to make a return to international football in this month’s Euro 2020 play off games, opened the scoring after good link up work with Edouard on the 18th minute before doubling the lead with his second just before half-time.

The Frenchman then put Celtic three ahead just after the break and put the game beyond St Mirren before Griffiths sealed the match ball on the 74th minute.

McGregor made it five from the penalty spot later on.

The champions are now 16 points ahead of rivals Rangers who play Ross County away on Sunday.

Even with the challengers having two games in hand, Celtic remain big favourites to retain the title and become the first team ever to win nine league titles in a row twice.

They first completed the feat under manager Jock Stein between 1966 and 1974.

St Mirren drop into the relegation zone after the defeat as ten-man Hamilton took all three points in a 1-0 win against Kilmarnock.

Hamilton now move into tenth place and go four points ahead of fellow relegation battlers Hearts who remain rooted to the bottom of the table after a 1-1 draw at home to Motherwell.

Meanwhile Aberdeen moved to within a point of Motherwell in third place after coming back from a goal down to beat 10-man Hibernian 3-1 at Pittodrie and St Johnstone beat Livingston 1-0 in Perth.