Commons leads emphatic Celtic win

Kris Commons scored two goals in two minutes for Celtic in an emphatic second half display that sealed a 4-0 win over St. Mirren and extends his side's lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to 14 points.

In a tight first half Celtic twice came close to opening the scoring with both Charlie Mulgrew and Commons firing strikes off the post.

With no goalless draws between the sides since 1990, there were always likely to be goals in the second half and Mulgrew started the scoring when he coolly finished in the box after great work from Adam Matthews in the 53rd minute.

Stokes scored his 100th career goal with a superb 58th minute strike before Commons added his 50th goal for Celtic with a 70th minute header.

The Scottish midfielder fired in his 16th of the season two minutes later to seal Celtic's ninth win in a row in the league and extend their undefeated start to the season to 20 games going into a two-week winter break.

Celtic had made just one change from Wednesday's win over Partick Thistle with Stokes restored to the starting line-up in favour of the Finnish striker Temmu Pukki.

Stokes had a shot blocked before Mulgrew nearly opened the scoring with a fine strike that bounced off the post and into the hands of 'keeper Marian Kello.

In the 32nd minute Commons came even closer to putting Celtic in front when his superbly hit shot on the turn flew over the head of Kello and smacked the post before bouncing along the line and out.

Commons was again involved just before the break when Emilio Izaguirre's cross from the left went evaded Joe Ledley and fell to the Scottish midfielder six yards out but he couldn't direct his header on target.

Mulgrew gave Celtic the lead in the 53rd minute but it was Matthews who deserved the plaudits. The Welsh defender burst into the box and evaded two challenges before backheeling the ball to Mulgrew, who took a touch before burying the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.

Celtic moved further ahead in the 58th minute through Stokes with only his second goal in his last 16 outings. The Irish striker peeled away from his marker to collect a pass from Ledley before curling a shot across Kello and into the bottom right-hand corner from just inside the box.

Only a fine save from Kello denied Celtic a third in the 68th minute as he got his fingertips to a fierce 25 yard strike from Scott Brown

However, Kello could do nothing to prevent Commons from making it 3-0 a minute later. Izaguirre sent over a great cross from the left to the back post where the unmarked midfielder was on hand to head in his 50th goal for Celtic.

Commons only had to wait two minutes to add another to his tally when he supplied a great finish to James Forrest's cross as he sent a left foot shot high into the net past Kello.

It was a well-deserved win as Celtic sealed their seventh consecutive league shutout with St Mirren failing to manage a shot on target.