Ambrose stars as Celtic whip St Johnstone


Super Eagles defender Efe Ambrose bagged 90 minutes of action as Celtic moved six points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a convincing 3-1 victory over St Johnstone.

The defending champions took control with a nine minute effort by Gary Mackay-Steven but the visitors rallied, and tied the game at 1-1 through Steven MacLean three minutes later before Armstrong made it 2-1 inside the final three minutes of the opening 45 minutes. St Johnstone had no answer to Celtic’s growing authority when Mackay-Steven netted again after the break.

St Johnstone’s resistance lasted only nine minutes, though they may consider that a feat given how ruthlessly Celtic dispatched Hamilton 8-1 in midweek with three early goals.

The visitors from Perth did not allow their sprightliness to be subdued by the circumstances and Michael O’Halloran’s pace could not be contained. He may yet complete a move to Rangers but he was focused in Glasgow and skipped past Kieran Tierney to cross for MacLean to finish from close range.

Frustration might have set in for the home side but Armstrong was brilliantly accurate and composed as he swept a first-time volley into the net from Mikael Lustig’s cross.

Another goal after the break finally quelled St Johnstone’s spirit. Johansen’s pass might have been aimed at Griffiths, but the ball fell perfectly into Mackay-Steven’s stride for him to finish with cool aplomb.

The display was sound from Celtic and scattered with the promise of their youthful attacking players.

Though over elaborate, Celtic dominated possession and Mackay-Steven, Griffiths and Callum McGregor all impressed in the final third, while debutant Ryan Christie replaced Armstrong late on.

The standout Celtic player was Tierney, though, who played with a depth of composure and awareness that sets him apart in defence and attack.