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SPL wrap: St Johnstone hold Celtic as Hibs stay top

By Football News



Defending champions Celtic were denied the chance to reclaim top spot after they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to St Johnstone on Sunday.

Celtic looked to have replaced Hibernian at the Scottish Premier League summit when Tony Watt came off the bench to claim his eighth goal of the season, but that was not enough as Nigel Hasselbaink netted a 77th-minute equaliser.

Neil Lennon made just one change from the side who beat Spanish giants Barcelona in midweek Champions League action with captain Scott Brown returning in place of Mikael Lustig.

St Johnstone brought in Gary Miller, Steven Anderson and Gregory Tade for David McCracken, Callum Davidson and David Robertson.

The visitors started brightly in the first half with Steven Maclean and McCracken involved with a chance in the box, but Efe Ambrose managed to clear.

However Steve Lomas' men were to suffer in the aftermath of the incident as McCracken was forced off the field with a suspected fractured cheekbone and he was replaced by Miller.

The hosts made a change at break, with Miku coming off in place of Watt and the substitution paid immediate dividends with only six minutes gone in the second half.

Charlie Mulgrew played a long ball from the left to Watt and the young striker, who hit the back of the net against Barcelona, poked the ball home from close range.

St Johnstone went in search for an equaliser and they found it through Hasselbaink with less than 15 minutes remaining after the Dutch striker smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

Celtic are now two points adrift of league leaders Hibernian with a game in hand following their 2-1 victory over Dundee United.

Hibs took a 19th-minute lead through Leigh Griffiths before Eoin Doyle made it two for the hosts six minutes into the second half.

Gary Mackay-Steven pulled a goal back for visitors but Hibs held on for their first win over United since attempts, a run stretching back to May 2010.