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SOCCER

Stokes' hat trick sends Celtic past St Johnstone

Glasgow, Scotland (SportsNetwork.com) - Anthony Stokes netted a hat trick on Sunday, leading Celtic to a comfortable 3-0 victory over St Johnstone at Celtic Park.

The defending champions got off the mark quickly as Stokes opened the scoring for the Hoops just 16 minutes into proceedings and the club took the margin into the locker room.

In the second half, Celtic continued to push forward as Stokes netted his second of the day in the 64th minute before finishing his treble two minutes later.

St Johnstone was never really in the game as the club managed just three shot attempts and zero on target throughout the 90 minutes.

Celtic remains unbeaten through 25 league matches with 22 wins and three draws and the club earned its 14th consecutive win in league play to build its lead atop the Scottish Premier League to a massive 21 points over second- place Aberdeen.