St Mirren have stunned Celtic with a dramatic 2-0 win over the champions in Paisley.
Mark O’Hara opened the scoring for the home side before Jonah Ayunga opened up a two-goal cushion as Celtic fell to a defeat one day short of going a year unbeaten in the league.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou had made six changes to his team to freshen it up after their Champions League exertions against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek but St Mirren proved more than capable opposition as they took a deserved win that moved the Paisley side up to third in the Premiership table.
The visitors remain two points ahead of Rangers at the top of the league going into the international break but Postecoglou will be aware that his side failed to meet the high standards they had set in previous weeks.
Celtic had the most of the early play at the SMiSA Stadium but St Mirren defended diligently and were quick to get the ball forward when the opportunity presented itself.
David Turnbull had a chance with an early header, and Aaron Mooy tried his luck from distance but Celtic were struggling to get the final ball right as they pushed for an opener.
St Mirren took their big chance when it came, and it gave them the lead before half-time. Keanu Baccus played the ball into space in front of Ryan Strain on the right and his cross was met at the back post by O’Hara, who thumped a header past Joe Hart.
Celtic made changes at the break, bringing on Jota and Reo Hatate for Mooy and Daizen Maeda but just eight minutes after the restart they were further behind.
A long throw-in from Declan Gallagher wasn’t effectively dealt with and Curtis Main, who was a handful for Celtic’s defence all day, nodded across for Ayunga to head into the net.
The visitors made further changes, with Giorgos Giakoumakis and Sead Haksabanovic replacing Turnbull and Liel Abada but the pattern of the game remained the same. Celtic’s attacks brought danger but few clear cut chances, while an organised and confident St Mirren side kept them at bay and looked to carve out occasional openings.
Giakoumakis and then Greg Taylor had decent efforts as the champions looked to protect their record but the team couldn’t find a breakthrough and St Mirren celebrated a first home win over Celtic since 2010.
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