Bhoys go eight clear and stay on course for treble
Celtic went eight points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a perfunctory 2-0 win over bottom side St Mirren in Paisley.
Buddies goalkeeper Mark Ridgers made good saves from Kris Commons and James Forrest in the first half but the latter opened the scoring in the 63rd minute when he finished off a fine move from close range.
When Forrest's drive was blocked by the arm of St Mirren defender Victor Genev for a penalty in the 79th minute, midfielder Stefan Johansen slotted in the spot-kick to widen the gap over second-placed Aberdeen with nine games remaining for both teams.
Saints remain four points behind second-bottom Motherwell, whom they play on Tuesday night after the Steelmen face Kilmarnock on Saturday, and they proved to be awkward customers.
With a tough fixture schedule coming up, Hoops manager Ronny Deila took the chance to freshen up his side.
Commons, Forrest, Adam Matthews and Anthony Stokes returned to the starting line-up as Efe Ambrose, Gary Mackay-Steven, Nir Bitton and John Guidetti all started on the bench.
Celtic's goal was a touch of class in what was otherwise a scrappy start to the second half.
Brown took the ball from Commons and quickly threaded a pass through a packed penalty area to Matthews. When the Wales defender cut the ball back, Forrest bundled it past Ridgers to some relief from the travelling fans.
The points were sealed when referee Alan Muir pointed to the spot after Genev was adjudged to have handled Forrest's shot, with Johansen confidently knocking the penalty past Ridgers to keep the Scottish League Cup winners on course for the treble.
st mirren 0 celtic 2