Late rally stuns Celtic
Wed 7th May 7.45pm
Celtic allowed a two-goal lead to slip as St Johnstone fought back for a late point in a 3-3 draw at McDiarmid Park.
Tim Clancy gave the hosts an early lead and Lukasz Zaluska saved Stevie May's penalty before substitute Kris Commons levelled from the spot early in the second-half.
Teemu Pukki and Virgil van Dijk then earned the visitors a clear advantage, only for Scott Brown and Michael O`Halloran to dramatically reply during a three-minute spell late in the game.
Celtic made six changes from the side which had comfortably defeated Aberdeen at the weekend and almost immediately fell behind as O'Halloran struck an upright from distance,
However, Saints still surged in front on nine minutes when Clancy turned the ball in after Zaluska had kept out May at the expense of a corner.
Defender Van Dijk was just wide at the other end while Pukki forced Alan Mannus into action and Mikael Lustig hoisted over.
Home leading scorer May curled an effort wide before standing over a penalty after Beram Kayal had caught O'Halloran inside the area. But Zaluska dived to fend aside from twelve-yards.
The Pole also thwarted Lee Croft after the break before Celtic substitute Scott Brown was brought down by Gary McDonald and Commons levelled from the spot.
The runaway champions then moved ahead as Finnish striker Pukki clinically despatched from Charlie Mulgrew's 73rd minute assist.
Four minutes later Commons' shot was blocked and Dutchman van Dijk lashed the rebound into the far corner to make it 3-1 to the visitors.
But that wasn't an end to it as they suddenly conceded twice in quick succession: Brown's deflected effort firstly beating Zaluska and O'Halloran then getting on the end of substitute David Wotherspoon's delivery to equalise with just four minutes left.
St Johnstone: Mannus, Miller (Wotherspoon 59), Clancy, Brown, Anderson, Wright, Croft (Iwelumo 78), McDonald, May (Hasselbaink 46), Cregg, O'Halloran
subs (unused): Millar, Dunne, Gilchrist, Banks
Goals: Clancy (9), Brown (84), O'Halloran (86)
Celtic: Zaluska, Lustig, Ambrose, van Dijk, Matthews (Brown 46), Kayal, Johansen, Mulgrew, Boerrigter (Commons 46), Pukki, Balde (Stokes 88)
subs (unused): Mouyokolo, Griffiths, Henderson, Forster
Goals: Commons (53 pen), Pukki (73), van Dijk (77)
Ref: S. McLean
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