Last-gasp goal salvages Celtic win at St Johnstone


Giorgos Giakoumakis’ dramatic goal with virtually the last kick of the game salvaged Scottish Premiership victory for Celtic at St Johnstone in a game filled with late drama.

Alex Mitchell had sensationally levelled for the Perth side in the 92nd minute following Andrew Considine’s earlier own goal, only for the champions to go up the other end and hit back.

Giakoumakis pounced on Alex Bernabei’s cross to stretch Celtic’s lead at the league summit to five points.

Rangers can narrow the gap back to two points if they beat St Mirren at home later on Saturday (15:00 BST).

Celtic showed fantastic character after Mitchell’s late sucker punch, but once again Ange Postecoglou’s side were wasteful when on top for three quarters of the game. When St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson threw on the attacking cavalry, they were frantic and nervy.

They had 80% of possession for the first 70 minutes, but in the first half struggled to penetrate a stout St Johnstone defence, until a clever inside run and low cross from Sead Haksanabovic forced Considine to turn past his own goalkeeper just before the break.

Celtic created more opportunities after the break, with Giakoumakis and Daizen Maeda both having goals ruled out for offside, while Liel Abada was denied by Remi Mitchell when clean through.

But Davidson’s substitutes helped turn the tide, with Stevie May first forcing Joe Hart to tip his shot onto a post, and then the striker crossed for Connor McLennan, who should have done far better from eight yards than slice high and wide.

But St Johnstone eventually got their reward, albeit it was fleeting. Ali Crawford’s free-kick caused havoc, and Mitchell was there to side-foot home and spark bedlam at McDiarmid Park.

However, they will be kicking themselves at the finish.

Celtic had three minutes to salvage victory, and managed it in the dying seconds when they worked the ball down the side to Bernabei, whose terrific cross was bundled home by Giakoumakis to create wild scenes in the away end behind the goal.

More to follow.

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St Johnstone

  1. Squad number1Player nameMatthews

  2. Squad number14Player nameWright

  3. Squad number5Player nameMitchell

  4. Squad number6Player nameGordon

  5. Squad number4Player nameConsidine

  6. Squad number2Player nameBrown

  7. Squad number13Player nameMcGowan

  8. Squad number22Player nameHallberg

  9. Squad number27Player nameKucheriavyi

  10. Squad number29Player nameMurphy

  11. Squad number37Player nameClark

  1. Squad number7Player nameMay

  2. Squad number17Player nameBair

  3. Squad number21Player nameCrawford

  4. Squad number26Player nameMcLennan

Celtic

  1. Squad number1Player nameHart

  2. Squad number56Player nameRalston

  3. Squad number20Player nameCarter-Vickers

  4. Squad number57Player nameWelsh

  5. Squad number25Player nameBernabei

  6. Squad number33Player nameO’Riley

  7. Squad number41Player nameHatate

  8. Squad number11Player nameAbada

  9. Squad number9Player nameHaksabanovic

  10. Squad number17Player nameJota

  11. Squad number7Player nameGiakoumakis

  1. Squad number13Player nameMooy

  2. Squad number16Player nameMcCarthy

  3. Squad number28Player nameAbildgaard

  4. Squad number38Player nameMaeda

  5. Squad number49Player nameForrest

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Matthews
  • 14Wright
  • 5Mitchell
  • 6Gordon
  • 4Considine
  • 2BrownSubstituted forBairat 75′minutes
  • 13McGowanBooked at 21mins
  • 22HallbergBooked at 49mins
  • 27KucheriavyiBooked at 53minsSubstituted forCrawfordat 63′minutes
  • 29MurphySubstituted forMayat 63′minutes
  • 37ClarkSubstituted forMcLennanat 75′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Gallacher
  • 7May
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 11O’Halloran
  • 12Parish
  • 17Bair
  • 21Crawford
  • 26McLennan
  • 34Phillips

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Hart
  • 56Ralston
  • 20Carter-VickersBooked at 90mins
  • 57WelshBooked at 11mins
  • 25Bernabei
  • 33O’RileySubstituted forAbildgaardat 68′minutes
  • 41HatateSubstituted forMooyat 68′minutes
  • 11AbadaSubstituted forForrestat 68′minutes
  • 9HaksabanovicSubstituted forMcCarthyat 82′minutes
  • 17Neves FilipeSubstituted forMaedaat 45′minutes
  • 7GiakoumakisBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 8Furuhashi
  • 13Mooy
  • 16McCarthy
  • 28Abildgaard
  • 29Bain
  • 31Siegrist
  • 38Maeda
  • 49Forrest
  • 88Juranovic

Referee:
Euan Anderson

Attendance:
7,093

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