Saints 1-3 Celtic
First Team

Saints 1-3 Celtic

3rd December 2023

Saints 1-3 Celtic

Saints put in a battling performance against Celtic this afternoon as the league leaders came from behind to leave Perth with the 3 points.

Celtic started strongly however, it was Saints who would go in at half time a goal up as Diallang Jaiyesimi bundled the ball home following a Graham Carey corner on 40 minutes.

However, the Champions levelled the match on 67 minutes as Callum McGregor fired a fine strike beyond Dimitar Mitov.

Celtic then took the lead when Matt O’Riley sent an excellent strike into the top corner with 11 minutes remaining. The visitors sealed the win in added on time as Joe Hart made an excellent save to deny Jay Turner-Cooke and Celtic then hit Saints on a quick counter as Tomoki Iwata setup James Forrest who slotted the ball beyond Mitov to secure the win for the Champions.

Next up for Saints is a midweek game against St Mirren on Wednesday evening at McDiarmid Park, kick off 7:45pm.


Celtic were the visitors to Perth this lunchtime as Saints looked to bounce back from last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Hearts in Edinburgh. Craig Levein made three changes to his starting eleven for today’s match, which was live on Sky Sports, as both Stevie May and Chris Kane dropped to the bench, whilst Andy Considine missed out due to injury and they were replaced by James Brown, Graham Carey and Diallang Jaiyesimi. A late double from substitute Ciro Immobile ended Celtic’s European hopes on Tuesday evening as they lost 2-0 to Lazio in Rome and manager Brendan Rodgers made two changes to his starting eleven. Paulo Bernardo and James Forrest both dropped to the bench and they were replaced by Luis Palma and David Turnbull.

It was a cold afternoon in Perth as Max Kucheriavyi got the match underway for Saints.

Celtic created the first chance of the match after 48 seconds as a ball down the left from Liam Scales played in Luis Palma who cut it back to Kyogo Furuhashi and the Japanese forward took a touch before sending his effort over the bar from 16 yards. The Bhoys created another chance on 6 minutes as Yang Hyun-Jun crossed the ball in from the right and it was met by Matt O’Riley as the Danish midfielder slide in to meet the cross however, his effort lacked power as Dimitar Mitov gathered the ball.

The visitors were dominating possession however, Saints created a chance of their own on 17 minutes as Diallang Jaiyesimi saw his effort take a deflection off Scales which took the power out of the strike as Joe Hart gathered the ball.

PHOTO: Matt Smith holds off Matt O'Riley

Celtic thought they had taken the lead 2 minutes later when David Turnbull turned home a Yang cross however, played was pulled back as the South Korean had strayed offside in the build-up.

The champions kept up the pressure and on 25 minutes Mitov was called into action as he clawed away Turnbull’s curling strike from the edge of the box.

Saints were coming more into the game as the first half progressed and on 29 minutes Graham Carey’s corner from the right was met by Liam Gordon at the near post however, the Saints captain saw his header go over.

Saints continued the pressure on the Celtic goal and a minute later a Ryan McGowan long-throw was headed on by Gordon to Matt Smith and he sent an inviting ball across the face of the Celtic goal however, no one in a Saints shirt could get on the end of it.

Play then switch to the other end as Palma’s corner from the right was met by Scales at the back post however, he scooped his effort wide.

The breakthrough came with 5 minutes of the first half remaining as Saints took the lead. Carey’s corner from the right saw a stramash breakout in the Celtic box as the visitors failed to deal with the delivery and Diallang Jaiyesimi turned the ball home from close range to give Saints a half time lead.

PHOTO: Diallang Jaiyesimi scores for Saints

Celtic made a change before the second half could get underway as Oh Hyeon-Gyu came on to replace Yang Hyun-Jun.

On 51 minutes a poor clearance by Cameron Carter-Vickers saw him play the ball straight to Carey who unleashed an effort at goal which hit the side netting.

Unsurprisingly Celtic upped the tempo in the second half and on 54 minutes Mitov was called into action as the Bulgarian was off his line quick to make a great sliding block to deny Furuhashi.

The pressure from the Celts eventually told on 67 minutes as they levelled the match. Mitov managed to get a touch on Oh’s cutback and James Brown then attempted to head the ball clear however, his header lacked power and Callum McGregor latched onto the ball and drilled a fine low strike past Mitov to bring the visitors level.

PHOTO: Diallang Jaiyesimi and Liam Scales

Saints made their first changes of the game on 73 minutes as Max Kucheriavyi and Diallang Jaiyesimi were replaced by Jay Turner-Cooke and Chris Kane.

However, Celtic took the lead with 11 minutes remaining as they hit Saints on a quick attack. Furuhashi slipped the ball into the path of O’Riley and he despatched his effort from the edge of the box high past Mitov and into the top corner of the net.

Celtic continued to create chances and on 81 minutes substitute James Forrest saw his effort palmed away by Mitov and Mikey Johnston tried to get his head on the ball for a follow-up effort however, the substitute couldn’t make a connection with the ball.

PHOTO: Luke Robinson gets away from Alistair Johnston

Saints third change of the game came on 87 minutes as Stevie May came on to replace Dara Costelloe.

A minute later Forrest curled a strike wide as Celtic looked to extend their lead.

There was 5 additional minutes added on at the end and in the third minute of added on time Saints came close to an equaliser. Luke Robinson’s cross from the left was met by Turner-Cooke and his goal bound header was clawed away by Hart and Brown tried to make connection with the follow-up however, Celtic cleared the danger as they hit Saints on a quick counter. The visitors broke forward as substitute Tomoki Iwata squared the ball to Forrest who took a touch before slamming it past Mitov to seal the points for the champions.

Saints: Mitov, Brown, McGowan, Gordon, Carey, Jaiyesimi (Kane 73’), Kucheriavyi (Turner-Cooke 73’), Robinson, Smith, Philips, Costelloe (May 87’)

Unused Substitutes: Richards (GK), Jephcott, Olufunwa, Sprangler, Ballantyne, Franczak

Booked: McGowan, Mitov

Scorer: Jaiyesimi (40’)

Celtic: Hart, A. Johnston, Taylor, Scales, Palma (Forrest 80') Furuhashi (Iwata 85’), Yang (M. Johnston 45’), Turnbull (Oh 58’), Carter-Vickers, O’Riley, McGregor

Unused Substitute: Bain (GK), Phillips, Thiago Holm, Bernardo, Ralston

Booked: Furuhashi

Scorers: McGregor (67’), O’Riley (79’), Forrest (90+3’)

Referee: Don Robertson

VAR: Kevin Clancy

Attendance: 6,777

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Graham Carey gets between Callum McGregor and Cameron Carter-Vickers

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