For the first time since losing 2-0 away against St Mirren in mid-September, Celtic were condemned to defeat in the Premiership at the hands of their bitter Old Firm rivals Rangers, who secured a 3-0 victory at Ibrox last weekend.
Having previously beaten the Gers four times in all competitions this term, the Hoops found themselves two goals down inside the opening 34 minutes through strikes from Todd Cantwell and John Souttar, before Fashion Sakala rubbed salt into the wounds with a third midway through the second half.
Nevertheless, Ange Postecoglou’s men hold the title of Scotland’s finest after clinching the top-flight crown two weeks ago, and they still boast a 10-point lead over second-placed Rangers with three games remaining.
Celtic, who have accumulated 95 points from 35 games so far this season, have already bettered last season’s points tally of 93 and will now endeavour to reach the 100-point mark for just the third time in their history, having previously notched up a century under Brendan Rodgers in 2016-17 (106 points) and under Martin O’Neill in 2001-02 (102 points).
The Hoops will be confident of returning to winning ways on Saturday as they have won each of their last three meetings with St Mirren this year by an aggregate score of 14-1, as well as winning 18 of their last 19 home encounters with the Buddies.
Following a run of three successive defeats, St Mirren appeared to be on course to secure all three points against Hearts last weekend as goals from Joe Shaughnessy and Ryan Strain put them in control heading into the final 20 minutes.
However, the Buddies threw away their two-goal lead against 10 men, with Peter Haring’s dismissal taking place either side of strikes from Josh Ginnelly and Lawrence Shankland, the latter of whom netted a dramatic 96th-minute penalty to snatch a point at the death for the visitors.