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Dublin: 13°C Wednesday 21 October 2020
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Christie nets hat-trick as Celtic smash seven past St Johnstone in Scottish Premiership opener

Celtic issued a stern warning to their would-be title rivals on the opening day of the new season in Scotland.

Christie scored three times to earn the match ball.
Christie scored three times to earn the match ball.

RYAN CHRISTIE HIT a hat-trick as Celtic commenced their quest for a ninth consecutive Scottish Premiership title with a 7-0 thrashing of St Johnstone.

Neil Lennon insisted ahead of the season his players had lost none of their hunger and the champions looked in the mood for more silverware as they made a flying start on Saturday.

Mikey Johnston grabbed the first goal in the ninth minute before Scotland international Christie took control of the contest, scoring twice before the break.

The attacking midfielder completed his treble after the interval with a second fine strike from outside the box and there was no respite for a hapless St Johnstone in the final half hour.

Olivier Ntcham, Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths all got on the scoresheet to complete the rout at a buoyant Celtic Park.

The result served as a warning to Rangers – who finished nine points adrift of their rivals last season – ahead of their visit to Kilmarnock on Sunday.

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