Celtic ran riot against 10-man St Mirren in a second half which saw them net five times, after going in a goal down at the break.
Goals from Jota and Alistair Johnston flipped the game on it’s head on the hour mark, before strikes from substitutes Liel Abada, Matt O’Riley and Oh Hyeon-gyu to give the league leaders a resounding victory. The South Korean’s late penalty was the Hoops 250th goal in 99 games under Ange Postecoglou as they once again demonstrated the quality of their squad depth.
The Australian’s side didn’t have things all their own way though, falling behind to a Mark O’Hara penalty in the opening 10 minutes. However the hosts’ task was made almost impossible when Charles Dunne was shown a straight red card before half time for a last minute pull on Kyogo.
Back on the only ground where they had tasted domestic defeat this season, Postecoglou named an unchanged Celtic starting XI from the side that defeated Rangers to claim the League Cup last week.
The ghosts of St Mirren park were quick to haunt the league leaders however as the hosts were awarded a penalty with just seven minutes gone. VAR adjudged that Greg Tylor had handled in the area, before captain Mark O’Hara stepped up to give his side a shock early advantage.
Celtic inevitably piled the pressure on as the half ticked down, with Trevor Carson producing an excellent reflex save to deny Jota just before the half hour mark. The Portuguese winger drifted into the box only to see his low driven effort parried away by the man celebrating his 35th birthday.
Jota was again looking the most dangerous from a Celtic perspective, this time it was Charles Dunne who intervened to deflect his strike wide with 10 minutes of the half remaining.
As St Mirren were looking to see out the first period with their lead in tact, Celtic were awarded a penalty and Dunne shown a straight red card.
Kyogo’s high press forced the defender into an error which saw him sent to the stands for a clumsy last man challenge. VAR would, in part, spare St Mirren as Dunne’s foul was deemed to be outside the box but Celtic still had the man advantage as they hunted down an equalizer.
Liel Abada was introduced at half time to inject an extra spark to the away side, but it was Jota who grabbed the leveller 10 minutes into the second half as St Mirren’s worst fears were realised. Aaron Mooy flashed a ball across the six-yard box where the forward was on hand to provide a clever finish through the legs of Carson.
Celtic completed the turnaround minutes later when Alistair Johnston headed home from a free kick on the left hand side. Mooy was once again the architect with a whipped a ball towards the back post, where the Canadian full back showed impressive desire to outjump the St Mirren defence and give his side the lead.
The visitors could have had a quickfire third when first Kyogo and then Liel Abada had efforts cleared off the line, but the gap remained at one as Ange Postecoglou flexed his squad’s muscle, introducing Matt O’Riley and Oh Hyeon-gyu from the bench.
It was half time substitute Liel Abada that would have the next impact though, with the the Isreali winger rifling in a low finish on the 70th minute mark for Celtic’s third of the afternoon.
Not to be outdone, Matt O’Riley grabbed his first goal of the season. The midfielder was barely on the park before he swept the ball home from close range to add a fourth.
Celtic were awarded a penalty of their own with nine minutes left. Substitute Oh converted his first league of the season from the spot as the Hoops cruised towards victory and regained their nine point advantage at the summit of the Cinch Premiership.