Alexandro Bernabei has made the headlines in Scotland for all of the wrong reasons since completing a £3.75m move to Celtic from Lanus in his native Argentina back in June.

The South American had made just two appearances before the league meeting with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park today – one as a substitute in the cinch Premiership rout over Dundee United at Tannadice and then one from the start in the Premier Sports Cup win over Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium.

But Greg Taylor’s form at left back both at home and abroad has also limited his involvement in the first team.  

Could, with Taylor rested after his midweek exertions, the 22-year-old grasp his opportunity and show why the Scottish champions had been prepared to pay so much to secure his services. 

He played a nice one-two with Reo Hatate in the seventh minute to set up a chance which one of his team mates should really have buried. He then sent Jota haring down the wing with a quickly-taken and perfectly-weighted pass.

Bernabei was excellent both defensively and offensively thereafter. He got upfield and supplied Giorgos Giakoumakis with the cross for the winning goal in injury-time. The diminutive defender can build on his encouraging showing.



Ange Postecoglou brought no fewer than nine new players into his starting line-up when Celtic played Ross County in Dingwall in the Premier Sports Cup back in August and they eased to a 4-1 win.

But when he made six changes to his side for the cinch Premiership match against St Mirren in Paisley last month the Parkhead club slumped to a 2-0 defeat that ended their 38 game unbeaten run in the top flight.

What impact would drafting in Anthony Ralston, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Alexandro Bernabei, Liel Abada, Sead Haksabanovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis for Josip Juranovic, Moritz Jenz, Greg Taylor, Callum McGregor, Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi have?

Would it show that the Greek-Australian coach has the strength and depth he needs in every position to negotiate a hectic schedule of domestic and European fictures? Or would he have cause to regret his team selection in Perth?

The defensive approach that St Johnstone adopted to proceedings made lift difficult for the visitors. If their finishing had been better their supporters would have endured a less nervous afternoon. They certainly created enough opportunities in the final third.

They got the job done and picked up all three points at the end of the 90 minutes thanks to a dramatic injury-time Giakoumakis striker. But Postecoglou may think twice about performing such extensive surgery going forward.



Ange Postecoglou described Celtic captain Callum McGregor, who picked up a knee injury in the defeat to Leipzig that is going to sideline him until after Qatar 2022 finals, as “irreplaceable” on Friday.

He had, though, to draft in someone in central midfield in the absence of his skipper today and before kick-off there was much interest in who would take over from an individual who rarely misses a match.

Somewhat surprisingly given that Oliver Abildgaard, Aaron Mooy, and James McCarthy were all available, Matt O’Riley played in a slightly deeper role that normal.

Reo Hatate dropped deep when his side wetre out of possession and moved forward alongside Sead Haksabanovic, who was deployed just behind lone striker Giorgos Giakoumakis, when they had the ball.

It worked well enough. Celtic got the victory they wanted and should not really have needed an injury-time goal to clinch the points. But they missed their talisman’s leadership qualities. There was nobody cajoling and encouraging them in the middle of the park.

Can they overcome RB Leipzig in their Champions League rematch with the Germans in the East End on Tuesday night without the Scot?