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St Mirren 0-2 Celtic

Gary Hooper at the double to seal victory for Neil Lennon's side.

Gary Hooper fires in his first goal as Celtic beat St Mirren 2-0
©SNS Group

A double from Gary Hooper gave Celtic all three points against St Mirren in Paisley.

Two early strikes from the Englishman gave the Hoops the perfect tonic after Thursday’s Europa League exit to Sion.

Manager Neil Lennon reinstated Anthony Stokes to the starting eleven to partner Gary Hooper and the two combined after a minute with the Irishman hooking his finish wide.

However there was to be no reprieve for the St Mirren defence when the duo combined on six minutes. Stokes fed Hooper, who held of the challenge from Lee Mair to fire past Craig Samson.

Hooper doubled Celtic’s advantage after eleven minutes when he intercepted Paul McGowan’s wayward back pass before finding the bottom right corner.

McGowan nearly made amends by pulling a goal back for the hosts but he saw his shot tipped wide by Fraser Forster.

The hosts controlled possession for the rest of the half but Celtic’s defence held firm to take a two-goal lead into the break.

Nigel Hasselbaink caused the Hoops backline all sorts of problems and when he was brought down by Kelvin Wilson, Jeroen Tesselaar’s free-kick was well saved by Forster.

A breakdown in communication nearly saw Wilson head into his own net but thankfully for the centre-back the ball dropped wide of the post.

Forster also saved Steven Thompson’s header from Jon McShane’s fine cross as Saints continued to look dangerous while Craig Samson stood tall at the other end to save from Ki Sung-Yueng.

However neither side could find another goal as the game drew to a close to send the Parkhead club second in the table ahead of Sunday’s other matches.

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