Celtic 1-0 St Johnstone: Leaders match Lisbon Lions as unbeaten domestic run continues
Last Updated: 26/01/17 9:51am
Celtic equalled a 50-year club record and moved 22 points clear of Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership, after beating St Johnstone 1-0 thanks to Dedryck Boyata's second-half header.
Brendan Rodgers' side, led by Scott Brown making his 400th appearance for the Hoops, have now gone 26 domestic games unbeaten to match the landmark set by Jock Stein's all-conquering Lisbon Lions in the 1966-67 season.
St Johnstone stood toe-to-toe with the home side for long periods, and were to hit the post through Danny Swanson, but they were undone as Boyata rose highest to head home a corner on the 72nd minute.
Hoops midfielder Nir Bitton sent a free kick from 25 yards just wide of the post in the third minute, but Saints raced up the park moments later and won a corner, with skipper Steven Anderson heading Liam Craig's deep cross just wide.
Scott Sinclair had the ball in the net with a header in the 10th minute but the referee's assistant ruled that the ball had crossed the bye-line before James Forrest had floated it to the back post.
St Johnstone keeper Zander Clark tipped a thunderous drive from Stuart Armstrong past the post and, from the resulting corner, Boyata's header was cleared off the line by David Wotherspoon.
In the 20th minute, following another Saints corner, Swanson fired in a shot from 16 yards which rebounded off the post with the Celtic defence scrambling the ball clear.
St Johnstone remained dogged as Celtic pressed with increased tempo at the start of the second half.
Clark made saves from Brown and Armstrong, the second less comfortable than the first, before Patrick Roberts replaced Forrest to give some added fizz to the home side.
The winger, on loan from Manchester City, immediately set up a chance with a great piece of trickery, but Sinclair could not convert.
Celtic were more or less camped inside St Johnstone's half and when Armstrong's corner was swung in, Boyata - making only his third start of the season - fired a header past the helpless the goalkeeper.
Saints came out their shell in the latter stages - there was a penalty claim when Brown appeared to push Anderson in the box - but there was no real drama and the Hoops skipper blazed over the bar in added time which denied him a perfect ending as he reached his quadruple century.