Celtic penned another little footnote into Scottish football’s history books as they eased their way into quarter-final of the Scottish Cup. A Scott Sinclair hat-trick along with goals for Scott Brown and James Forrest gave Brendan Rodgers’ his 24th success Cup win with the club. It also continued the Parkhead side’s run of games without conceding; Celtic have not lost a goal since their Ibrox defeat at the end of December. Sinclair started and finished the rout with a goal just three minutes into the tie that set the tone for a rampant afternoon before nabbing the last just minutes from time. No sooner had the Englishman netted his opener than Brown had put the game beyond the visitors with his first goal for the club since February 2017.
Sinclair had got the ball running with the game still in its infancy. Jeremy Toljan and Forrest had combined before Oliver Burke had taken up possession in the box.
Just as it looked that Burke would go for goal, he squared instead to Sinclair who netted from close range.
The second came from the unlikeliest of sources when Brown doubled Celtic’s advantage. The Celtic skipper let fly from 25-yards out with a ferocious effort that whistled into the top corner.
From there on in it was always going to be a touch call for St Johnstone to feel their way back into thee game. Still, the Perthshire side brought out a smart save from Scott Bain on the half hour mark with their first real forward forward.
Celtic, though, were always a threat and it seemed inevitable that they would add to their lead. Burke deserved more after powering his way into the box and cutting the ball across from the byline but there was always a sense that Celtic could turn up the pressure if required.
Jozo Simunovic did not appear after the break after feeling unwell with Kristoffer Ajer taking his place. Not that it disrupted Celtic’s rhythm.
Burke looked certain to add the third of the day when a clever exchange with Ryan Christie put him through but after excelling in the build-up, he finished off with a tame effort straight at Alexander Clark.
It proved to a stay of execution for the visitors, however. Just minutes later the third and fourth arrived in quick succession as Celtic turned the screw.
James Forrest claimed the third after a fine run from Jonny Hayes set him up in the box before Sinclair added his second and Celtic’s fourth after Burke forced his way to the byline and delivered a cross straight to the feet of Sinclair. The Englishman duly dispatched his effort.
Christie could have made it five as he scorned a chance with a header before the arrival of Odsonne Edouard and Timo Weah. It was Sinclair who added the fifth after Hayes’ initial effort was blocked.