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Sinclair scores hat-trick as Celtic remain top

Scott Sinclair completed his hat-trick amid a spell of four goals in the final seven minutes as Celtic ensured they will be top of the Scottish Premiership going into Saturday’s Rangers game.

Sinclair twice put Brendan Rodgers’ side in front from close range.

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But Stevie May and Sam Cosgrove scored penalties in each half to level.

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Substitute Odsonne Edouard chipped in Celtic’s third and set up Sinclair for a fourth, before Lewis Ferguson’s late consolation.

Five of the seven goals came in the final 14 minutes as Rodgers secured a fifth successive win at Pittodrie.

And his team will remain at the league’s summit regardless of the outcome of Rangers’ match against Hibernian, while Aberdeen could fall out of the top four if Kilmarnock avoid defeat at Motherwell.

Sinclair had been the difference when the sides last met in the Premiership, before Ryan Christie netted the winner in this month’s League Cup final – and both players played a big part in the opening goal.

Christie’s chipped pass released Callum McGregor in behind Aberdeen’s defence and though his cross bounced off Dominic Ball, Sinclair was perfectly placed to profit.

It was from a similar move that the hosts pulled level. Niall McGinn got beyond Celtic’s defence to latch on to Shay Logan’s lofted pass and was taken late by Emilio Izaguirre after delivering a cross. May blasted the resulting spot-kick right down the middle.

Edouard, who had missed the weekend win over Dundee, took over from McGregor and the striker’s pass inside Andrew Considine found Forrest, whose cross was turned in by Sinclair.

But Aberdeen came back again with Graeme Shinnie going down after being closed down by Mikael Lustig, the defender penalised for a push, and Cosgrove confidently converted.

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