On paper it will look like a straightforward afternoon for Brendan Rodgers’ side who booked their Scottish Cup quarter-final place after a 2-0 win over St Mirren.
A goal in each half from Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda ensured a safe passage into the last eight but it was an afternoon where St Mirren will kick themselves for the chances they passed up.
Indeed, in an opening period where they forced eight corners, they hit the crossbar and had Celtic’s backline under considerable pressure at times.
For Celtic, though, the outcome is all the matters after recent weeks in that it offers a sense of breathing space for Brendan Rodgers’ side, with the Parkhead boss insisting that his side’s focus has not been distracted by the recent ‘narrative’ around the club.
“The narrative has been for a while,” he said. “That’s the reality of it.
“We can only concentrate on ourselves. I’m so proud of the players today.
“It’s a very young team when you take out Joe Hart and Callum McGregor, a very inexperienced group.
“But how they are reacting and sticking together is very important. There’s a lot of noise around but we continue to win football matches
“I don’t think it’s a crisis. It’s obviously a narrative that’s been created outside.
“But I don’t expect anything less to be honest. We just focus on ourselves.
“We are a winning club. When you’ve won consistently over a number of years, people will look to jump on you and bring you down – and bring me down.
“I am here to win. For sure we will have our day, and have many days going forward.”
The Celtic manager went with Kyogo and Adam Idah as he looked to bring some menace to Celtic’s forward line.
It was St Mirren, though, who enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges as they looked to put the Hoops under an early bit of pressure.
Liam Scales caused some consternation when, under pressure from Mikael Mandron, he looked to play the ball back to the feet of Joe Hart with an own-goal threatening before the keeper managed to reach it.
It seemed indicative of an opening spell where Celtic struggled to find their feet – literally and metaphorically. On a heavy surface with players skidding and losing possession, however, they were the first to find the breakthrough.
Callum McGregor kicked it off with a raking pass in front of Palma which the winger duly whipped into the box for the oncoming Kyogo to convert for his 12th goal of the season.
It did not kick St Mirren off their stride. Robinson’s side stuck to their task as they continued to probe and keep Celtic under pressure. But for the width of the crossbar they would have been back on level terms after Alex Gogic rattled the woodwork from Caolan Boyd-Munce’s corner.
He came closer still on the cusp of the break when he forced Joe Hart into a one-handed save around his right-hand post after an acrobatic overhead kick.
If St Mirren felt irked to go into the break on level terms, Celtic took the wind entirely out of their sails just seven minutes into the second period. Idah had posted noticed of the Parkhead’s side threat when he pinged one effort wide before Maeda added Celtic’s second of the afternoon.
Palma’s cross was knocked onto the crossbar by Matt O’Riley with Maeda there to follow-up the rebound and knock it into the net.
Still, though, St Mirren caused problems for Celtic. Greg Kiltie could and should have scored with a free header while Mandron stung the palms of Hart with a rasping effort from the edge of the box.
Celtic, too, might have made it more comfortable in the latter stages with Yang fluffing his lines with a header while Kuhn also had a chance to get on the scoresheet.
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