St Johnstone hold Rangers as Celtic pull 12 points clear

Steven Gerrard lamented the nerves he felt watching his side defend in Perth.

Leigh Griffiths celebrates scoring his side's third goal .
Leigh Griffiths celebrates scoring his side's third goal .
Image: Andrew Milligan

CELTIC’S BID FOR ninth straight title in Scotland remains firmly on track after Rangers coughed up a draw away at St Johnstone.

Neil Lennon’s side gave Kilmarnock a goal head-start as Eamonn Brophy scored a sixth-minute penalty, but normal service was resumed by half-time as Kristoffer Ajer and Odsonne Edouard put the Hoops 2-1 ahead at the interval.

Kilmarnock’s third straight loss was sealed after Alan Power was sent off with just over half an hour to play, Leigh Griffiths completing a 3-1 home win to move Celtic 12 points clear of their rivals.

Steven Gerrard’s side meanwhile never looked comfortable in Perth as they stuttered to a 2-2 draw.

Though they took the lead with 20 minutes to play through Joe Aribo, Stevie May punished hesitant defence from a corner with 80 minutes on the clock to tie the teams up again.

“We weren’t good in the first half,” said Gerrard after Callum Hendry had given St Johnstone a 1-0 half-time advantage.

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st-johnstone-v-rangers-ladbrokes-scottish-premiership-mcdiarmid-park Source: Steve Welsh

“Defensively, I felt nervous. But I’m not shocked and surprised at the outcome because it’s happened too many times of late.

“I’m going to have to try and find solutions. I’m going to have to work even harder than we do as a staff to find solutions and get back to the basics of defending. I need [Filip] Helander back fit sharpish.”

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Sean Farrell

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