EMILIO Izaguirre won the praise of Ronny Deila after the defender put aside his grief for Honduras international team-mate Arnold Peralta to help Celtic win 3-0 at St Johnstone yesterday.

Izaguirre paid a tribute to the former Rangers midfielder, who was shot dead in his homeland on Thursday, during a minute’s applause for former St Johnstone player Willie Coburn and wore a T-shirt under his top carrying a message in memory of the man he described as “a brother”.

Deila said: “It was hard for him, but he wanted to play and I am very pleased with the way he got through the game. I talked with him and he was ready. I trust my players and he did a good job. He made the choice himself and that was important.”

With Leigh Griffiths out injured, Nadir Ciftci was handed a starting slot and made the most of his opportunity by scoring a double, netting either side of a Dedryck Boyata header. Ciftci was also praised by the manager, as was goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who recovered from a blunder against Fenerbahce in midweek to make a string of good saves.

Deila said: “I was very happy with Craig. He was very important in the first half, as were the whole defence, who dealt with a lot of crosses and pressure. We have spoken about getting a settled defence. You can see Craig feels more safe and today he showed his class.”

Deila added: “I am also happy for Nadir. He has had two games in a row and we know he can do things. He was strong and scored two goals and it makes it better for everybody that we don’t have to rely on Leigh all the time.”

Home manager Tommy Wright said the defeat was “hard to take”. He said: “We can only look at ourselves. “There was some good goalkeeping, but we probably could have been more ruthless in front of goal and we ended up losing because we gave away two goals from corners.”