Glasgow (AFP) – David Turnbull scored a hat-trick as Celtic showed 10-man St Mirren no mercy in a 6-0 thrashing to move to the top of the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.
After a slow start to Ange Postecoglou’s reign, the Hoops have won six consecutive games in all competitions with the Australian’s brand of fast, attacking football winning over the home fans at Celtic Park.
“We set off at a good tempo and put them under pressure. The sending off enabled us to control the game very well.
“Right to the end, we were pushing. We want to be relentless in our pursuit of playing our football. Today was a good test of that.”
There was little doubt over the outcome after just 19 minutes as the Buddies found themselves a goal and a man down.
Liel Abada opened the scoring with the help of some poor goalkeeping from Jak Alnwick before Alan Power was shown a straight red card for a lunge on Turnbull.
Israeli international Abada quickly doubled the lead before Turnbull added two more before half-time.
Postecoglou could afford the luxury of taking off captain Callum McGregor and Japanese forward Kyogo Furuhashi early in the second-half with one eye on Thursday’s Europa League playoff second leg against AZ Alkmaar, with the Glasgow giants leading 2-0 from the first leg.
Odsonne Edouard stroked home Celtic’s fifth on the rebound after his first effort had been blocked.
And with six minutes remaining, Turnbull completed his hat-trick by prodding home Tom Rogic’s pass.
A big week lies ahead for Postecoglou’s men. After their trip to the Netherlands, they face Rangers in the first Old Firm derby of the season at Ibrox next weekend.
Rangers ended a 10-year wait to end Celtic’s dominance of Scottish football last season.
But with Steven Gerrard’s side suffering a lacklustre start to the new season, it is Celtic who are full of confidence heading to Ibrox.
“You saw today we were relentless until the 90th minute and everything is going well at the moment,” said Turnbull.
“It’s just about building confidence and the manager is breeding that through the team.”
Rangers are three points adrift of Celtic in the table, but can cut that gap when they travel to Ross County on Sunday.
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