Celtic 2 - 0 St Mirren

Match info: Scottish Premier at Celtic Park

Date: 15/12/2012 KO: 15:00 Ref:

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Celtic

Victor Wanyama 15
Gary Hooper 83

2
vs
0

St Mirren


FT (ht: 1-0)

  • Last Updated: December 15 2012, 18:51 GMT

Charlie Mulgrew helped Celtic to a 2-0 win over St Mirren at Parkhead with two trademark corners, and then revealed he is hoping to put his skills to the test against Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Celtic celebrate against St Mirren
Celtic celebrate against St Mirren

The Hoops defender set the Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions on their way in the 15th minute with a corner which was forced in by Victor Wanyama, and another set-piece with seven minutes remaining led to Gary Hooper slamming in number two to seal the win.

The Scotland player turned his attention to Thursday's Champions League draw and picked United as the side he hopes comes out of the hat with Celtic.

"I would like Manchester United, personally," he said.

"Whoever it is, it is going to be hard for us and we will need to be prepared. But I would like Manchester United, it would be a Battle of Britain type of game.

"I have watched them but I have never been involved in them so that would be my choice.

"You have to believe in yourself, whoever you get is going to be difficult, we are not making any mistakes about that.

"We did get a result against Barcelona here but it is different types of football we are up against, it is Manchester United so it would be hard.

"I am not going to say I fancy my chances against Manchester United but I am sure we will compete and do everything we can to get a result."

Manager Neil Lennon, who described Mulgrew's deliveries as "world class" was happy with his side's performance.

He said: "We played well and should have been out of sight before we got the second goal.

"I was pleased with the way we worked their goalkeeper and our concentration levels.

"There was good attitude, tempo and aggression and we managed to maintain that for the majority of the game.

"We have a four-point cushion with a game in hand, I don't know if we will win that game in hand but we are starting to get some daylight between us and the rest, which is obviously what we want."

The former Celtic skipper claimed his side should have been awarded two penalties in a first half which witnessed several claims from the home supporters.

Referee Calum Murray ignored all the appeals, including when Hooper went down under attention from Saints skipper Jim Goodwin and defender Paul Dummett, and when midfielder Beram Kayal went to ground in the box after being challenged by St Mirren defender Marc McAusland.

The Northern Irishman, though, said: "There were two blatant ones (penalties). The one on Hooper and the one on Beram, particularly the one on Beram.

"The linesman is on that side and he has a clear look at it.

"His first touch has taken Beram across McAusland who has taken him out, so it is as clear a penalty as you will see.

"There were some suggestions this week after the Arbroath game that we get all the big decisions, but that is obviously not the case so we can put that theory to bed straight away."

The Buddies' last victory at Celtic Park was in 1990 and, since taking over as St Mirren boss in 2010, Danny Lennon has failed to manage a point or even a goal against the champions while earlier in the season the Hoops strolled to a 5-0 victory in Paisley.

With that recent history, former Celtic player Goodwin admitted the Paisley side had come to Parkhead to simply grind out a point.

He said: "They beat us by five the last time and that was in the back of our minds in the build-up to the game.

"We obviously didn't want another embarrassment like that.

"We know it is dull and boring to watch but other teams have been successful playing a 4-5-1 and being defensive, and we tried to adopt it and it was two set-pieces that done us.

"It is not really our style of football, we like to get it down and play and attack and we didn't do that today.

"But Celtic are a huge force and we tried to do to them what they did to Barcelona but we didn't get the right result.

"If we had come away with a nil-nil, I know it wouldn't have been great entertainment but it would have been a job well done.

"But the fact that we lost 2-0 and didn't offer anything to the game as very disappointing."

Saints manager Lennon said: "I think Celtic deserved their victory, they had the ball in the net twice.

"We tried to come here, not for damage limitation, but we tried to keep the game as close as we could and I thought until the 83rd minute or whenever the goal went in, we certainly did keep it on a knife edge."


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