Scottish Premiership
CelticCeltic5HamiltonHamilton Academical1
By Thomas DuncanBBC Scotland

Celtic keeping striker Odsonne Edouard is "pivotal" if they are to realise their ambitions this season, says manager Neil Lennon.

Edouard scored a hat-trick as Celtic began their quest for a 10th title in a row with a 5-1 home win over Hamilton.

He tapped in from two crosses, and then pounced on a rebound for his third - as the champions responded to Rangers' 1-0 win at Aberdeen on Saturday in style.

"We don't want him to go anywhere," Lennon said of Frenchman Edouard.

"That's what's pleased me over the last 12 to 18 months - his goal return as well as all the other things he brings to the game.

"He's scoring a lot of goals now and it's fantastic to see. He would be the first to say it was a real team effort."

Edouard converted Greg Taylor's cross before the Scotland left-back laid on a tap-in for right-back Jeremie Frimpong.

Scott Martin's deflected strike gave Hamilton hope, but Edouard added two more from close range after the break, getting on the end of James Forrest's cross and then side-footing in after Ryan Christie's shot was saved.

But on the day they unfurled the Premiership flag to celebrate their ninth title in a row - complete with fireworks in the empty stands - Neil Lennon's side looked vulnerable early on.

Andy Winter tested Scott Bain from distance and David Moyo glanced a header just wide as Hamilton impressed.

Martin's shot - deflected in off Christopher Jullien - was no less than they deserved as they went in 2-1 down at half-time.

But thereafter, Celtic looked imperious, with substitute Patryk Klimala adding to Edouard's goals as he got on the end of a defence-splitting pass from Jullien to slide his first goal for the club past Ryan Fulton.

Man of the match - Odsonne Edouard

Odsonne Edouard
None of Edouard's goals were difficult or spectacular finishes, but the Frenchman's movement and vision put him in the right place regularly. Celtic will be desperate to keep him for this season, even if he may not be in Scotland for much longer than that

What did we learn?

Celtic looked incredibly slick in attack, with Edouard's intelligent runs allowing him to capitalise on the pace, skill and invention of adventurous full-backs Frimpong and Taylor, plus Forrest, Ryan Christie and Mohamed Elyounoussi.

It is a frightening attacking unit that will put many teams to the sword this season, and rendered Hamilton's positive start ultimately meaningless.

The only concern for Lennon will be the number of chances the visitors managed to create, especially in the first half.

But ultimately if they hit their stride in attack, teams will need to score a hatful against them to have any chance.

Klimala's cameo and first competitive goal will also give the Celtic boss confidence in the depth of his forward options for the campaign ahead.

Hamilton, despite the scoreline, can take a huge amount from their performance.

Their line-up contained six academy graduates, and 18-year-old Winter up front performed admirably, while Hakeen Odoffin impressed at full-back following his arrival from Livingston.

Their season will not be defined by results away from home against the Old Firm.

What did they say?

'Pivotal' Celtic hold on to Edouard - Lennon

Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "I'm pleased with the second half; the first half was a bit passive. We got a great response second half.

"Considering it's the first game in four or five months it's a brilliant return. I think that stands them in good stead as we go on."

Hamilton head coach Brian Rice: "I am disappointed to lose five goals, but Hamilton will not be judged in games against Celtic.

"We created a lot of chances and we scored as well, but you have to be clinical and you've got to keep the back door shut."

Hamilton showed 'naivety' in Celtic defeat - Rice

What's next?

Celtic travel to Rugby Park to face Kilmarnock at 16:30 BST next Sunday, while Hamilton host Ross County at 15:00 BST on Saturday.

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 29Bain
  • 30FrimpongSubstituted forElhamedat 86'minutes
  • 2Jullien
  • 35Ajer
  • 3TaylorBooked at 85mins
  • 8Brown
  • 42McGregor
  • 49Forrest
  • 17ChristieSubstituted forDembeleat 86'minutes
  • 27ElyounoussiSubstituted forNtchamat 70'minutes
  • 22EdouardSubstituted forKlimalaat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Barkas
  • 6Bitton
  • 11Klimala
  • 12Soro
  • 18Rogic
  • 21Ntcham
  • 23Bolingoli-Mbombo
  • 44Elhamed
  • 77Dembele

Hamilton

  • 23Fulton
  • 2OdoffinSubstituted forMcKennaat 70'minutes
  • 6Hamilton
  • 12Want
  • 3McMann
  • 11Smith
  • 34CallachanBooked at 36minsSubstituted forTraffordat 70'minutes
  • 8MartinBooked at 17mins
  • 15HughesSubstituted forOgkmpoeat 42'minutesBooked at 55mins
  • 20Moyo
  • 19Winter

Substitutes

  • 4McKenna
  • 9Ogkmpoe
  • 14Trafford
  • 16Fjørtoft
  • 18Mimnaugh
  • 21Munro
  • 22Gourlay
  • 32Smith
  • 36Owolabi
Referee:
William Collum

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home81%
Away19%
Shots
Home25
Away7
Shots on Target
Home15
Away1
Corners
Home11
Away8
Fouls
Home9
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 5, Hamilton Academical 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 5, Hamilton Academical 1.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Celtic 5, Hamilton Academical 1. Patryk Klimala (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Christopher Jullien.

  4. Post update

    Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Charlie Trafford (Hamilton Academical).

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Patryk Klimala (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Hatem Elhamed with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Offside, Hamilton Academical. Jamie Hamilton tries a through ball, but David Moyo is caught offside.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Hatem Elhamed replaces Jeremie Frimpong.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Karamoko Dembele replaces Ryan Christie.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Patryk Klimala replaces Odsonne Edouard.

  11. Booking

    Greg Taylor (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Greg Taylor (Celtic).

  13. Post update

    Lewis Smith (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Jeremie Frimpong (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Shaun Want (Hamilton Academical).

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Christopher Jullien (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jamie Hamilton.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Olivier Ntcham.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jamie Hamilton.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Moyo (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Charlie Trafford.

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