Cameron Carter-Vickers and Celtic are proving to be an unstoppable force as they recorded another win, while Matthew Hoppe started and registered an assist to help Hibernian to a win as they look to lock down a spot in the Scottish Premiership’s championship phase.
St. Mirren 1-5 Celtic
A week after coming off winning the League Cup, Celtic showed they will be tough to wrest the league title from them down the home stretch as they put in a dominant display in the second half to beat St. Mirren at the SMISA Stadium to extend their unbeaten run to 20 games in the Premiership.
Cameron Carter-Vickers put in another strong performance for the Hoops, completing 91 percent of his passes and winning seven duels as the team maintained their nine-point lead atop the standings.
The visitors must have been still hungover from last week’s cup celebration when the video assistant referee determined that Greg Taylor handled the ball in the area just minutes into the start of the game, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot for a penalty. Mark O’Hara stepped up for St. Mirren to convert the spot-kick and give his team the surprise lead.
The joy of holding the lead over the defending champions came to an end in the 38th minute when Charles Dunne was shown a red card for bringing down Kyogo Furuhashi who had a clear path to the goal.
With the hosts down to 10 men, that left Celtic ample opportunity to punish their opponents.
Jota would level the score in the 56th minute when the Portuguese international slid into the six-yard box to redirect a low cross from Aaron Mooy. They took the lead five minutes later Alistair Johnston got his head on Mooy’s free kick.
Celtic extended their lead in 70th minute with Liel Abada linking up with Mooy before the Israeli international finished off the play with a strike from the right side of the 12-yard box. Matthew O’Riley scored two minutes later as he was left all alone to volley in a cross from Abada.
The game was done and dusted, but that did not stop the visitors from grabbing a fifth goal after VAR judged that Oh Hyeon-Gyun was brought in the area. The South Korean was rewarded as he struck from the spot in the 81st minute.
Celtic remain atop the standings with 76 points.
Livingston 1-4 Hibernian
Hibernian fell behind early, but was in complete control afterward as they came away with a comfortable over Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Matthew Hoppe started for Hibs and played 68 minutes, completing 55 percent of his passes, winning two duels and putting one shot on target.
The hosts opened the scoring after nine minutes when Joel Nouble fired a powerful shot past Hibs goalkeeper David Marshall.
However, the early deficit did not rattle the visitors as they leveled the score in the 28th minute when Elie Youan collected a long ball from the back, which left the Livingston backline screaming for an offside call, and the Frenchman made them pay with his first goal of the contest.
Youan struck again nine minutes later when he played the ball Hoppe at the top of the box and the American forward returned it to him as he snuck his shot pas Livingston goalkeeper Shamal George.
The visitors maintained their momentum in the second half and got an advantage in the 52nd minute whene Jack Fitzwater was shown a red card for triipping up Hoppe as he had a clear path to the goal.
It went from bad to worse for Livingston as Stephane Omeonga scored an own goal in the 61st minute. Hibs went on the counter-attack when Christopher Cadden’s cross came off the Belgian midfielder’s leg before going into the goal.
Mykola Kukharevych rounded out the scoring for the visitors in the seventh minute of stoppage time. It was initially disallowed due to an offised call, but the video assistant referee overuled the call on the field and the goal was good.
Elsewhere in the Premiership, Ian Harkes started and played 70 minutes for his new coach Jim Goodwin (who recently coached Dante Polvara and Christian Ramirez) as Dundee United’s woes continued following a 3-1 loss to Aberdeen.
Malik Tillman did not dress for Rangers due to injury as the Light Blues secured a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock.
In the Championship, Brian Schwake was between the posts for Greenock Morton as they surrendered two first-half goals, but fought back to claim a point in their 2-2 draw with leaders Queen’s Park. The team now sits in the fourth promotion playoff place just a point ahead of Ayr United.