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Gary Mackay-Steven delighted for pal Armstrong as pair grab debut goals

The former Dundee United duo found the net in Celtic's 3-0 win over Partick Thistle.

Stuart Armstrong (right) celebrates scoring Celtic's second with first goalscorer and fellow debutant Gary Mackay-Steven.
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Gary Mackay-Steven admitted finding the net just 38 seconds into his Celtic career helped settle his nerves but claimed he was just as happy to see his pal Stuart Armstrong hit the net.

The pair made the move from Dundee United to the Scottish champions on transfer deadline day and made their first starts for the club in the 3-0 win over Partick Thistle.

Mackay-Steven fired home the opening goal before Armstrong doubled the visitors' advantage at Firhill.

Stefan Johansen scored a third to complete an impressive win for Ronny Deila's league leaders and afterwards Mackay-Steven revealed his joy for his team-mate.

He said: "I am obviously delighted first and foremost to make my debut and to score straight away settled some nerves.

"It was a bit of a blur. You want to get your first touch right and settle into the game, but obviously to score was great.

"It was good that Stuart scored. We have been getting a bit of stick at the club for doing everything together.

"We are good pals and obviously it was only right that he would score today and I am really happy for him, he played really well too.

"It is great for us. It was a great experience and all the boys helped me."

Boss Deila was thrilled with the contribution made by his new signings as his team moved three points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the Scottish Premiership table with a game in hand over the Dons.

He added: "We knew Gary had the skills we need - we need players who can go on penetrating runs and open more spaces.

"Both of them are doing that and that makes us more difficult to read and it is harder to beat us.

"I think we are a better team but it is not just them who are making us better, we are improving all the time.

"I feel comfortable when I sit on the bench now compared to four months ago.

"We have good confidence and we are looking forward to every game."

James Forrest and Leigh Griffiths missed the Glasgow derby through injury but Deila expects the duo to be available for selection ahead of Saturday's game with St Johnstone.

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