Leigh Griffiths and Patryk Klimala came off the bench to secure a massive three points in Perth as they put St Johnstone to the sword late on in this afternoon’s Premiership clash.
Saints goalkeeper Zander Clark barely had a save to make throughout before Neil Lennon threw on the strike duo late in the second half. Griffiths’ pin-point header and Klimala’s rasping finish ensured that the Hoops mate it eight wins on the spin going into the Glasgow derby in two weeks’ time.
However, after a host of poor performances in the starting XI, here, we give our individual player ratings:
Vasilis Barkas – 6
Another game where the big Greek shot-stopper had nothing to do. Had one dodgy moment when he came too clumsily for a cross-ball that nearly led to a St Johnstone goal. Other than that – no concerns. Ball-handling was generally top notch.
Hatem Elhamed – 6
Tried to go forward and join in with the attacks despite being a right-sided centre-back. Lost the ball too carelessly on a couple of occasions, and still isn’t looking as tidy on the ball as he did when he joined. Not the worst performer; not the best either.
Shane Duffy – 7
Dominant and not a foot wrong throughout. Never lost an aerial duel and was part of a back-line who had to deal with some uncomfortable moments due to careless ball-retention in the midfield. A couple of wayward passes but, considering he saw the ball more often than most, that’s not a massive concern.
Kristoffer Ajer – 6
Decent enough. Again he showed his naivety in the box when he grabbed hold of a St Johnstone’s Craig Conway when the ball was in the air. Like his centre-back team-mate however, he won his fair share of headers and didn’t give anything away at the back.
Jeremie Frimpong – 6.5
Not good enough for a seven, but was still better than many on the pitch as he showed plenty of desire when on the ball. Was taken out the game on a couple of occasions and was a tad quieter afterwards. Not getting enough protection from the referees.
David Turnbull – 5
Not positive enough when on the ball as he failed to take his chance to shine unfortunately. Too many touches in possession and didn’t seem to want to put himself out there. Showed his tidiness on the ball, but just hung onto it for too long at times. Booked at the start of the second half and off before the hour mark. Will have wanted to produce better.
Callum McGregor 6.5
Same as Frimpong in the sense that it feels rough to give him a 6 but not effective enough for a 7. Always showed for the ball and took on a lot of responsibility today after being named captain. But the quality wasn’t there and he often looked for safer passes.
Olivier Ntcham – 5
Poor. You expect more from Ntcham and we didn’t get it here. The Frenchman was the subject of some heavy tackles but got himself booked for a needless tug in the first 45. Tried to switch the play consistently but he couldn’t find his range. Looked frustrated for long spells. Subbed for the final 15.
Greg Taylor – 5
You won’t find a player who tries harder, but he was badly caught out at the start of the second half. Conway rattled the post and it came down Taylor’s side. Rarely got into any decent attacking areas in one of his quietest performances in green-and-white.
Mohamed Elyounoussi – 4
Perhaps the most disappointing today. Despite the odd flash of decent combination-play between Elyounoussi and Odsonne Edouard, for the most the former was anonymous. Made a mess of a good opening in the first 45 when he failed to control in the box. Simply not offering enough when given a place in the starting XI.
Odsonne Edouard – 4.5
Often crowded out when in possession but always came back for more. Some decent touches in the first half but again lost the ball almost every time he had it. Was alert to provide Elyounoussi with a big chance in the first half, but that was his only highlight. Hooked before the hour.
Ryan Christie – (3): Didn’t change the game whatsoever. Produced some poor cross-balls when we needed better quality from him.
Patryk Klimala – (6): Fired home a brilliant effort after being hauled to the deck in the last-minute. Nearly grabbed a goal earlier too with a flick from a cross-ball. Extremely positive cameo.
Leigh Griffiths – (6): On for the final 15 minutes and effectively won us the game with a tremendous header at the death. Massive moment for him.
Tom Rogic (3): Showed some positive flashes, but was barely on the field for any length of time.
Scott Brown (2): On for less than 10 minutes but his presence on the pitch made a difference.