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Roberts brace helps bring up Celtic century of goals

Glasgow (AFP) – Patrick Roberts’ double helped champions Celtic break the 100 goal barrier for the season with a 5-0 thrashing of Partick Thistle on Thursday in their Scottish Premiership clash.

A Leigh Griffiths penalty opened the scoring before Australian international Tom Rogic slid in a second and Roberts’ stunning strike made it 3-0 before half-time.

Callum McGregor and Roberts then added to the scoreline in the last 10 minutes to help Celtic move on to 104 goals — just one short of the record 105 they amassed in the 2003-04 campaign.

Celtic are also just one game away from an unbeaten season and have equalled their record points haul of 103 set in 2000-01.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said his side had been a joy to watch.

“Our level of concentration as well as our technical quality was at a really high level,” the former Liverpool manager said.

“Five special goals and the players worked very hard. An outstanding team performance.”

Thistle manager Alan Archibald said his side contributed to their own defeat.

“They were miles ahead of us tonight as they have been with most of the league all season,” said Archibald.

Celtic made five changes for the trip across Glasgow as Rodgers rested several first team regulars.

A Celtic goal seemed inevitable form the start and it came from the penalty spot in the 18th minute. 

Callum Booth took out Roberts — on loan from Manchester City — with a crude sliding challenge and Griffiths expertly despatched his spot-kick for Celtic’s 100th league goal of an incredible season.

The champions added another eight minutes later.

Griffiths turned provider as he drove into the box and cut the ball across goal for Rogic, who slid in to get the slightest of touches to divert it into the net off both posts.

Celtic looked hungry for more with Tomas Cerny doing well to palm away a Callum McGregor effort moments later.

However, there was nothing the ‘keeper could do to stop them adding another four minutes before the break when Roberts picked the ball up outside the box and smacked an unstoppable shot high into the net past Cerny.

The Thistle ‘keeper, who took a heavy knock after colliding with Rogic at the goal, was replaced at the break by Mark Ridgers.

Celtic dropped a gear in the second half but came close to a fourth when substitute Scott Sinclair met Roberts’ cross on the volley with Ridgers producing a fine save to keep his effort out.

Celtic regained their ruthless streak late on with two goals in two minutes.

McGregor grabbed his fourth goal in five games after the midfielder’s strike was adjudged to have crossed the line after it hit the underside of the bar and bounced out.

Roberts then capped a fine performance with his second of the game.

He pounced on some slackness in the Thistle defence to send another curling shot into the net from the edge of the box.

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