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By ESPN Staff

SPL: Nakamura hits hat-trick in 7-0 hammering

Japan midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura hit a hat-trick as Celtic thrashed 10-man St Mirren 7-0 on Saturday to close within four goals of Rangers at the top of Scottish Premier League.

St Mirren had Jack Ross sent off in the first half at 1-0 for a last-man foul on Scott McDonald and although St Mirren goalkeeper Chris Smith saved Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink's penalty, Celtic eventually made the visitors pay.

A Nakamura double put the home side 2-0 up at halftime and they ran riot after the break when Scott Brown weighed in with a brace and Nakamura completed his treble.

Celtic, who led the league by seven points two months ago, are level with Rangers on 60 points after their rivals won 1-0 at Hamilton thanks to a Barry Ferguson strike but their goal-fest has made things even tighter at the top.

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