Scottish Premiership
HamiltonHamilton Academical0CelticCeltic3

Hamilton Academical 0-3 Celtic: Neil Lennon's side earn fifth straight win

By Martin WattBBC Scotland

Celtic's Scottish Premiership victory at Hamilton Academical was "the best we've played for a long time", said manager Neil Lennon.

The dominant visitors continued their recovery with a fifth straight win secured by Odsonne Edouard's second-half penalty and strikes from Leigh Griffiths and David Turnbull.

It keeps Celtic 16 points behind Rangers - who they face on Saturday - with three games in hand.

"We were outstanding," said Lennon.

"We still have a lot to claw back but are moving in the right direction, there's no doubt about that.

"We could have won by a lot more. There was a flair about us which I haven't seen in a while."

Second-bottom Hamilton, having had a victory over St Mirren suspended on the morning of the game pending the Paisley club's appeal, are a point above Ross County.

That was an unexpected blow that Hamilton - having initially been awarded the points after St Mirren were found guilty of Covid-19 protocol breaches - could have done without amid an injury crisis depriving them of 10 players.

And from the moment stand-in goalkeeper Kyle Gourlay superbly denied Griffiths in the opening minutes, Celtic's third consecutive league victory seldom looked in doubt.

Yet Hamilton valiantly survived on the scraps of 20% first-half possession to delay the opener.

Griffiths met Jeremie Frimpong's cross to rattle an upright with a header, and had a drive parried over by Gourlay, who impressed again just before half-time when Edouard's touch on a Turnbull shot couldn't deceive the keeper.

Edouard, Ryan Christie and Nir Bitton also had efforts off target, but Hamilton's resistance crumbled within 10 minutes of the second period.

Aaron Martin was penalised for a foul on Edouard, who slammed the penalty into the net before linking with his strike partner to put the game beyond the hosts, laying the ball off for Griffiths to fire home from the edge of the box.

Hamilton were helpless as Celtic kept up the tempo and Turnbull curled inches wide before Ryan Christie stung the palms of Gourlay.

A deserved third arrived when Turnbull pounced to convert the rebound after Edouard's header from a Callum McGregor cross rebounded off a post.

Lennon's side could have enhanced their goal difference further as Turnbull smacked the side-netting and substitute Mohamed Elyounoussi's goal-bound header was diverted wide by Lee Hodson.

But after their struggles of recent months, the Celtic recovery continues with a third Premiership win and clean sheet in succession.

Man of the match - Odsonne Edouard

The French striker had a role in all three goals and looked much
The French striker had a role in all three goals and linked well with Griffiths up front

What did we learn?

Depleted Hamilton's injury woes offered Celtic the ideal opportunity to rebuild confidence prior to next weekend's visit to Rangers.

And Lennon's side looked much more like the dominant force of last season, with the front two of Edouard and Griffiths particularly impressive.

Hamilton gave their all to keep the scoreline respectable and will hope to have bodies back to help ease their plight in the coming weeks.

What did they say?

Hamilton boss Rice irked by 'very soft' Celtic penalty award

Hamilton head coach Brian Rice: "It is the season for presents, isn't it? The penalty kick, in my opinion, was very soft and it changed the game.

"But we hung in and I can't fault the players. Their effort was magnificent."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "I thought we were outstanding. The attitude of the players was brilliant - and the way we played - we look far more like ourselves.

"Everything about the team today was excellent."

Lennon hails 'excellent' Celtic

What's next?

Hamilton are away St Johnstone on Wednesday (15:00 GMT) in their final fixture of 2020 before hosting Lanarkshire rivals Motherwell on Saturday (15:00)

Celtic welcome Dundee United on Wednesday (15:00) then begin the new year with a seismic old Firm derby against Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday (12:30).

Player of the match

McMannScott McMann

with an average of 7.47

Hamilton Academical

  1. Squad number3Player nameMcMann
    Average rating

    7.47

  2. Squad number4Player nameStirling
    Average rating

    7.46

  3. Squad number2Player nameOdoffin
    Average rating

    7.44

  4. Squad number27Player nameHodson
    Average rating

    7.43

  5. Squad number5Player nameEaston
    Average rating

    7.43

  6. Squad number19Player nameWinter
    Average rating

    7.39

  7. Squad number14Player nameTrafford
    Average rating

    7.38

  8. Squad number20Player nameMoyo
    Average rating

    7.35

  9. Squad number16Player nameMartin
    Average rating

    7.32

  10. Squad number6Player nameHamilton
    Average rating

    7.25

  11. Squad number22Player nameGourlay
    Average rating

    6.99

  12. Squad number36Player nameOwolabi
    Average rating

    6.38

  13. Squad number18Player nameMimnaugh
    Average rating

    5.57

  14. Squad number21Player nameMunro
    Average rating

    4.72

Celtic

  1. Squad number19Player nameJohnston
    Average rating

    5.78

  2. Squad number10Player nameAjeti
    Average rating

    5.74

  3. Squad number27Player nameElyounoussi
    Average rating

    5.53

  4. Squad number11Player nameKlimala
    Average rating

    5.53

  5. Squad number9Player nameGriffiths
    Average rating

    5.29

  6. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull
    Average rating

    5.24

  7. Squad number22Player nameEdouard
    Average rating

    5.08

  8. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    4.88

  9. Squad number17Player nameChristie
    Average rating

    4.87

  10. Squad number12Player nameSoro
    Average rating

    4.86

  11. Squad number30Player nameFrimpong
    Average rating

    4.86

  12. Squad number65Player nameHazard
    Average rating

    4.85

  13. Squad number35Player nameAjer
    Average rating

    4.80

  14. Squad number3Player nameTaylor
    Average rating

    4.73

  15. Squad number6Player nameBitton
    Average rating

    4.71

Line-ups

Hamilton

Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 22Gourlay
  • 6Hamilton
  • 16Martin
  • 5Easton
  • 2Odoffin
  • 27Hodson
  • 4StirlingSubstituted forMimnaughat 82'minutes
  • 14Trafford
  • 3McMannBooked at 31mins
  • 19WinterSubstituted forOwolabiat 69'minutes
  • 20MoyoSubstituted forMunroat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 15Hughes
  • 17Stanger
  • 18Mimnaugh
  • 21Munro
  • 36Owolabi
  • 37Johnson
  • 41Scully

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 65Hazard
  • 30Frimpong
  • 6BittonBooked at 5mins
  • 35Ajer
  • 3Taylor
  • 12Soro
  • 42McGregor
  • 17ChristieSubstituted forElyounoussiat 83'minutes
  • 14TurnbullSubstituted forJohnstonat 78'minutes
  • 22EdouardSubstituted forKlimalaat 77'minutes
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forAjetiat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Barkas
  • 4Duffy
  • 8Brown
  • 10Ajeti
  • 11Klimala
  • 18Rogic
  • 19Johnston
  • 27Elyounoussi
  • 93Laxalt
Referee:
Don Robertson

Match Stats

Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home26%
Away74%
Shots
Home3
Away23
Shots on Target
Home0
Away8
Corners
Home3
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Celtic 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Celtic 3.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Kyle Munro replaces David Moyo.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Lee Hodson.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Jeremie Frimpong.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jeremie Frimpong (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Greg Taylor.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. David Moyo (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Mohamed Elyounoussi replaces Ryan Christie.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Reegan Mimnaugh replaces Ben Stirling.

  10. Post update

    Callum McGregor (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Ben Stirling (Hamilton Academical).

  12. Post update

    Foul by Albian Ajeti (Celtic).

  13. Post update

    Ben Stirling (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Michael Johnston replaces David Turnbull.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Patryk Klimala replaces Odsonne Edouard.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Hamilton Academical 0, Celtic 3. David Turnbull (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

  17. Post update

    Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) hits the left post with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Callum McGregor.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Albian Ajeti replaces Leigh Griffiths.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ismaila Soro.

  20. Post update

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

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