It was a tale of two halves, as Celtic came from a goal behind to defeat Craig Levein’s St Johnstone side 3-1 at McDiarmid Park yesterday.

After failing to win in their last two outings against Motherwell and Lazio, Brendan Rodgers’ team needed to bounce back in a positive way in Perth. Despite having a number of chances in the first half, the visitors were wasteful and went behind thanks to a Diallang Jaiyesimi goal, following Celtic’s failure to get rid of the home side’s cross into the box. Celtic were up against it, and their travelling supporters let them know exactly what they made of their display at the end of the half.

Mikey Johnston was brought on at half-time for Yang Hyun-jun, who had a torrid 45 minutes on the right wing for Celtic. This proved to be a masterstroke by the manager, as the winger injected the pace and directness needed to swing the game back into their favour. Celtic continued to push and were rewarded with an equaliser through captain Callum McGregor, whose shot just inside the box transpired into his first goal of the season.

READ MORE: Celtic's Rodgers hints that Iwata and Johnston may start

They would then completely turn the game on its head, as Matt O’Riley’s wonder strike from distance left the impressive Dimitar Mitov with no chance in the St Johnstone goal. Celtic would continue to probe but were almost punished in added time as Jay Turner-Cook’s header was saved by Joe Hart, who atoned for his earlier error in the first half. 20 seconds after this chance, the ball was in the back of the net at the other end of the park, as Tomoki Iwata found James Forrest unmarked, with the veteran putting his chance away to seal all three points.

Celtic made two changes from the team that were beaten 2-0 by Lazio in Rome last Tuesday. Luis Palma returned to the side following his European suspension, whilst David Turnbull started in place of Paulo Bernardo in midfield. Forrest dropped to the bench, as Yang was preferred on the right. Kyogo Furuhashi led the line, with Liam Scales and Cameron Carter-Vickers continuing their partnership in the heart of defence.

Here, The Celtic Way rounds up the best StatsBomb data to give you a match report like no other…

xG trendline

Despite Celtic going behind in the first half, the xG trendline shows that – based purely on the chances they created – they had a massive 76 per cent chance of winning this game, with the hosts only having an eight per cent chance of the game going in their favour. The remaining 16 per cent was predicted as a draw.

It took under a minute for Celtic to register their first chance of the game, which fell to Kyogo, whose shot went over the bar (0.15 xG). O’Riley was next, as Yang found the midfielder in the box, though his shot went just wide of the post (0.23 xG). Jaiyesimi would have the first chance for the hosts, as his shot deflected off of Scales in the direction of Hart, who saved well (0.12 xG). Turnbull would have a couple of chances (0.18 combined xG), before Liam Gordon went close with a header for St Johnstone (0.13 xG). Scales and Kyogo would get shots away - with their efforts scoring 0.12 in xG – before their side would concede the opening goal…

This goal was a mess from start to finish. St Johnstone delivered a ball into the box which ended up next to O’Riley, who uncharacteristically swung at thin air when trying to clear. By this point, the home side have managed to crowd Hart’s box, and the goalkeeper was out of the game as a defensive force. After a couple of ricochets, Jaiyesimi would manage to direct his chance into the back of Celtic’s net, as a shock was on the cards at McDiarmid Park. Rising from 0.36 to 0.74 in PSxG, the striker took charge of the situation and forced the issue, which led to his side taking the lead during proceedings as a result.

Celtic were booed off at half-time, as the travelling support made their feelings known concerning their side’s display in the opening 45 minutes.

READ MORE: Celtic's Callum McGregor says they deserved Rodgers wrath

Apart from two chances created by the home side – occurring at the start and end of the half – it was one-way sailing for Celtic in terms of goalmouth action. After two chances from McGregor and O’Riley (more on them later), Kyogo had a massive chance to even up the game. After being played through one-on-one by McGregor, the striker’s low shot was saved by the outstretched leg of Mitov. 0.59 in xG, Kyogo’s poor choice of shot in turn lowered the xG to 0.53 as the ball left his foot. However, Celtic were getting closer and were turning the screw in terms of getting on the scoresheet, which they would do eight minutes later…

As a football captain, one of your main jobs is to drive the team forward with your leadership and guidance. Sometimes, however, you have to force the issue, and McGregor did just that with his first goal of the season. Johnston – a constant thorn in the side of the Saints – passed to O’Riley, who found substitute Oh Hyeon-gyu in the box, with the striker trying an audacious back-heel towards Mitov. The ball was saved and cleared, before dropping kindly to McGregor just inside the box. Allowing the ball to bounce directly to him, McGregor measured the chance before striking the ball past Mitov, who had no chance in the opposition goal. Such is the quality of the shot, it rose from 0.05 to a massive 0.86, as Celtic’s quality finally shone through.

McGregor would be on the hunt for more goals, as both of Celtic’s chances before the second goal came through him (0.06 xG combined). McGregor’s equaliser would have been the pick of the goals, but Celtic’s star midfielder just had to go one better on the day, didn’t he?

It is safe to say that this strike is one of the goals of the season so far, rivalling Palma’s long-range effort in Dingwall in terms of quality and accuracy. It all starts from a St Johnstone throw-in, which is well-defended by Greg Taylor. Johnston has tracked back to start the counter, who then pushes back up to join the attack. Following a nice back-heel, the winger finds Kyogo, who distributes the ball to O’Riley. The Denmark international takes a touch before launching a thunderous strike with his weaker foot into the back of Mitov’s net. 0.05 rising to 0.28 in xG, these statistics underline the difficulty of this shot to accurately convert.

Celtic were now ahead in proceedings and pushed forward to try and score more goals and end the game as a contest. The best of the numerous chances created came to Scales, whose header went wide (0.17 xG). It could have been a very different scoreline if St Johnstone’s Turner-Cook had converted his free header at the death, as Hart saved his team from conceding more points late on with a great save. This save would act as a de-facto assist, as Iwata broke through the midfield before squaring to Forrest, who expertly placed the ball beyond the reach of Mitov with the outside of his foot. (0.35 xG). A relief for Celtic, who survived their late scare to secure all three points.

Celtic had 25 shots in this game, though only seven were on target at a cumulative xG of 2.73. What will please Rodgers when viewing his side’s shot map is the variety of shots that Celtic managed to take, both from close proximity and in long-range scenarios. Celtic having more shots inside in the box is reassuring, especially considering how much they have struggled against low blocks recently. This variety will ensure that they will win more games than they will draw or lose, due to the quality they possess in these areas.

Celtic take on average 20.53 shots per game, so to manage 25 away from home against a defensive side like St Johnstone is good going, regardless of performance.

For the home side, they managed three shots on target with their five in total, at a cumulative xG of 0.96. All of their chances occurred in the box, with their brighter coloured shapes indicating higher-xG opportunities. If they can keep these chances coming, then staying up in this league should be an achievable task for Levein and his side.

St Johnstone average 9.86 shots per 90 minutes, though this number falling is only natural due to their opponents and the difference in quality. Their position in the Premiership will not be determined in games such as yesterday, though they put up a solid fight against the champions.

In terms of shooting for Celtic, O’Riley was the busiest attacker for the club with six shots. Kyogo and McGregor had four, whilst Forrest had three and Scales managed two from defence.

For St Johnstone, Jaiyesimi managed the most shots for his team with two. Graham Carey, Turner-Cook and Gordon had one each.

Possession, passing and positions

As is virtually always the case in domestic proceedings, Celtic dominated the ball in this game with 70 per cent of possession to St Johnstone’s remaining 30 per cent. Celtic’s pass success rate was better too, with the visitors managing to complete 86 per cent of their 646 passes compared to the home side’s 60 per cent of 278 passes.

The passing network gives a rough idea of where the majority of the game was played and who was the most involved. Remember that the warmer the colour, the more influential the player was in the game, and the thicker the passing lines, the more passes between the players.

StatsBomb measures pass contributions in on-ball value (often referred to as OBV, a term breakdown of which can be read here).

The passing networks for both teams in both the first and second half indicate how the game changed in terms of what transpired. In the opening half, Alistair Johnston was Celtic’s standout OBV contributor as shown on the diagram, with his large red circle being the brightest for both teams during the first 45 minutes. Interestingly, Yang and Palma both posted positive OBV scoring during this half, despite seemingly failing to impress in other areas. For St Johnstone, Mitov, Gordon, Ryan McGowan and Maksym Kucheryavyi were all positives in this regard. The second half was far better for Celtic, as they got into the swing of things in terms of getting their passing style and game going. Johnston again was a standout, as was O’Riley, McGregor, Palma and Scales at the back, as Celtic pushed on to claim victory.

READ MORE: Celtic's O'Riley talks 'small percentage' training boosts

In terms of stats concerning OBV, Johnston at right-back was the standout for Celtic with a massive total of 0.69 for 75 of his passes. The next best was O’Riley, as his 46 passes notched up an OBV score of 0.38. Conversely, it was a poor day for Turnbull, who scored -0.12 for his 24 passes in toal.

Luke Robinson was the home side’s best OBV performer, as his 11 passes scored 0.2 across the whole game. Goalkeeper Mitov was not far behind with 0.23 for five passes. Both Carey and Jayesimi had -0.08 for their respective OBV totals, whilst Matthew Smith had -0.07.

Surprisingly, Palma had the most key passes for Celtic in this game with five at an xG score of 0.35. O’Riley had three, whilst Johnston, Taylor and McGregor had two.

St Johnstone’s Robinson, Carey and Kucheryavyi all had one key pass, with Robinson’s having a high xG score of 0.31.

Pressing and defending

Celtic initialised 147 pressures to St Johnstone’s 223, with the home side regaining the ball more as a result of these pressures at a rate of 38 to 26 in favour of the Perth club.

It was a return to the top of the pressures chart for O’Riley, as he led Celtic in both pressures and counterpressures with 23 and eight respectively. Palma was not far behind him with 21 and seven, though, whilst Turnbull had 18 and seven. Daniel Phillips had the most pressures in the game for both teams with 38, with Dara Costelloe and Smith had 32. Carey had six counterpressures.

READ MORE: Will Iwata start for Celtic against Hibs? - video debate

Celtic’s Scales and Taylor both had four combined tackles and interceptions, whilst Yang had three, in what was an otherwise pretty miserable day for the South Korea cap. Carter-Vickers had 12 clearances and 10 aerial wins, with a win percentage of a massive 83 per cent. Scales had 9 of each in the same metrics, in what seems to be an unbreakable defensive partnership at the minute.

For St Johnstone, Carey, Phillips and Gordon also had four combined tackles and interceptions. Robinson had 11 clearances, meanwhile, Carey had five aerial wins, in what was a busy afternoon for the former Celtic youth player.