Celtic managed to overcome St Mirren with a 2-1 success in Paisley as they narrowed the gap at the top of the Premiership to three points.
A disastrous start had the Hoops 1-0 down as Lee Erwin scrambled home at the back post from a corner. Thankfully however, goals from Shane Duffy and James Forrest managed to turn the game around and secure the club’s fourth consecutive Premiership win.
It was more of a controlled display than a scintillating one, but the three points is all that matters in a season of such incredible importance and meaning to the club.
Neil Lennon made a bunch of changes to his starting XI but kept the much-loved 3-5-2 formation. The exciting strike partnership of Odsonne Edouard and Patryk Klimala were given the nod in what was the highlight of the pre-match teamsheet.
And here, we give our individual players ratings:
Vasilis Barkas – 6
Could do absolutely nothing about the goal. Far too exposed by his defence and will be furious at being robbed of another clean sheet. However, he showed his commanding presence in his air as he gathered everything else that came into his penalty area.
Hatem Elhamed – 5
He’ll have better days than this. Gave away too many needless free-kicks and was a bit more sloppy with his passing on the night. Recovered a bit in the second half, but not the performance he would’ve liked.
Shane Duffy – 8
Already proving his worth in a Celtic jersey. Two goals in two games thanks to another fine header from a set-piece. Commanding at the back and played it safe when he had to. Tried to step out on occasion too to give the Buddies something else to think about. Top performer.
Kris Ajer – 7
Good performance from Ajer tonight. Always eager to step forward and bring St Mirren out of their 10-man defence. When Saints didn’t step out, Ajer looked for forward passes. Recovered well when the opposition tried to exploit gaps at the back.
James Forrest – 6
Put Celtic 2-1 ahead with a stunning header, but it would be pretentious to say he had an impressive evening. Failed to really provide any real service on his favoured right side and often ran into opposition defenders too easily. His goal brings his rating up.
Scott Brown – 4
A worryingly sluggish display from the captain as he continues his concerning start to the campaign. Just seems to be slowing up with his reaction times with Saints too often finding gaps just in front of the back four. Passing wasn’t always accurate despite often looking for the safe option. Neil Lennon needs to find out what’s going on here.
Callum McGregor – 6
Industrious and you can see exactly what Celtic would be missing if he wasn’t in the side. Moves the ball quickly and finds little pockets of space well when the Hoops are probing. A solid worker tonight without being too explosive. Would’ve been a lot more difficult without him on the pitch.
Ryan Christie – 6
Good work to set up Odsonne Edouard with a big chance in the first half and made some clever switches of play throughout the game. Also managed to set up James Forrest’s header and won the penalty that led to goal number three. Frustrating at times with his crosses.
Greg Taylor – 4
We need better from Greg in matches like this. Seemed to be on a different wavelength from his team-mates as he struggled to get into the game. His ball-control, movement, and combination play weren’t up to scratch.
Odsonne Edouard – 4
Not what we’ve come to expect from Edouard. Was constantly crowded out when he was on the ball but at times didn’t release it quick enough. He and Patryk Klimala didn’t link up as well as we would’ve hoped, and Eddy will generally consider this as an off-night. Struck a poor penalty that could’ve sealed the game.
Patryk Klimala – 5
Same as Edouard. Tried to come deep in order to get the ball and show what he’s all about, but his comfort zone is the penalty area. Had two glancing headers that never really came close to troubling St Mirren goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal but was anonymous outside of that. He and Edouard, the exciting pre-match combination chosen by Lennon, didn’t click tonight.
Albian Ajeti (5) – On for the final 25 minutes but never really made his mark on the game. Had one half-chance where he just failed to get a shot away.
Jeremie Frimpong (3) – Given the last 10 minutes and tried to use his pace down the right. Not enough time to be judged fairly.
Olivier Ntcham (3) – Same as Frimpong in that he didn’t have enough time to make an impact. Moved the ball tidily enough after coming on.