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6th Mar, 2017 | 1:00pm

Mikael Lustig: Celtic were struggling until 20-year-old came along

By Matt Farr

Mikael Lustig has heaped praise on Celtic team-mate Patrick Roberts for his matchwinning influence against St Mirren on Sunday.

Celtic found themselves trailing St Mirren at half-time during their Scottish Cup quarter final clash at the weekend, but the introduction of Roberts at the break inspired an impressive comeback from the hosts.

Roberts, 20, netted two assists as Celtic ran out 4-1 winners, and Lustig admitted to the Daily Record that his precious contribution kept their domestic treble ambitions alive.

He said: “Paddy was brilliant. He was involved in three of our goals. It was him who did good things. In the second half the game opened up.

“They [St Mirren] played a really good game. In the first half we weren’t that good and obviously it was close to being 2-0 but after that in the second half we showed our class.

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“We have a big chance to make the Treble. We have two tough games left. We have been to Hampden this year and played really good football and hopefully we can continue that.”

The Roberts-inspired victory sees Celtic book their place in the final four of the Scottish Cup, where they will now face Old Firm rivals Rangers in the semi final.

Perhaps more importantly, their hopes of winning a first domestic treble since the 2000-1 campaign remain very much alive.

Celtic were victorious in the Scottish League Cup earlier in the campaign, thanks to a 3-0 win over Aberdeen in the final on November 27.

Meanwhile, the 4-0 win over Inverness in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday saw them move 27 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, and within seven points of the league title.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have yet to be defeated throughout the entire domestic campaign this season, a 33-match unbeaten run that was threatened to be brought to an abrupt end against St Mirren.

Prior to his return, Roberts had missed the last four games for Celtic with a knee injury. He has scored five goals and supplied 11 assists from 34 appearances, with his loan deal from Manchester City set to expire at the end of the season.

If they do cruise home to a treble victory this season, Lustig is certain that Celtic will have Roberts to thank.

In other Celtic news, Rangers forward Martyn Waghorn believes the Hoops can be beaten for these two reasons.

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