Glasgow Celtic bounced back from their midweek European exit in the hands of FC Copenhagen by taking it on St. Johnstone in Scottish Cup quarter-finals.
The fixture was all but easy for the visiting Celtic, as the home team pushed back relentlessly and definitely smelled blood after seeing Celtic’s faltering form. The determination paid off in the end, with Ryan Christie saving his club with 81st minute goal and sending the reigning Cup champions to the semi-finals against Aberdeen. It was Celtic’s 34th straight cup win as they are chasing their 4th straight Scottish Cup trophy.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon wiped his disappointment of the European failure fast and sent out a top-level starting XI to face the hungry St. Johnstone side. The home team had not scored a single goal against Celtic in nine games, dating back to 26th of August, 2017. Despite pressing on especially in the second half, St. Johnstone didn’t get to beat Fraser Forster this time either. Celtic started strong and took control of the ball, but didn’t manage to properly threaten Zander Clark. The home side got more chances, but Fraser Forster was again unbeatable.
It took all of 81 minutes to break the deadlock. Home team’s Jamie McCart hacked down surging James Forrest and the free-kick was delivered straight to the net by Ryan Christie. It was Christie’s 20th goal of the season, even if defenseman Chrisopher Jullien claimed to have gotten a touch. St. Johnstone can feel a bit hard done by the result, as they had their chances to squander and Celtic was not as dominant as they more often than not are.
Celtic’s failure in Europe allows Lennon to push for all the available trophies in domestic competitions, namely Scottish Premiership and the Scottish Cup. Celtic hold the top spot in Premiership with 12 points and are now in top eight of the Scottish Cup. Next venture for Neil Lennon’s side is against Livingston on the 4th of March, so don’t forget Dafabet’s Celtic FC Prediction Challenge in order to win free weekly bets.