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Stokes strikes to get Celtic on their way in league

Published 14/08/2014 | 02:30

Anthony Stokes gets past St Johnstone goalkeeper Alan Mannus to score for Celtic during their Scottish Premier League match at McDiarmid Park. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Anthony Stokes gets past St Johnstone goalkeeper Alan Mannus to score for Celtic during their Scottish Premier League match at McDiarmid Park. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Celtic began the defence of their Scottish Premiership title with a 3-0 win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park but not without some help and some controversy.

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After a dismal and goalless first-half, a horror mistake by Saints defender Steven Anderson when he allowed himself to be dispossessed by Kris Commons allowed Anthony Stokes to fire the visitors ahead.

To the anger of the Saints players and fans, skipper Dave Mackay was shown a straight red card in the 75th minute by referee John Beaton for a foul on Hoops substitute Derk Boerrigeter inside the box with Nir Biton converting from the spot-kick as the Perth claims of a dive by the Dutchman continued.

Hoops midfielder Callum McGregor added a third in the 85th minute with a low drive which keeper Alan Mannus should have saved to compound a miserable night for the Scottish Cup winners.

Former Hearts and Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon, signed on a free during the summer, was nominated by Hoops boss Ronny Deila as number one following the departure of Fraser Forster to Southampton with Lukasz Zaluska remaining as back-up.

Irish Independent

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