Scottish Premiership
CelticCeltic2HamiltonHamilton Academical0

Celtic 2-0 Hamilton Academical: Leigh Griffiths & Odsonne Edouard on target for hosts

By Scott MullenBBC Sport Scotland

Celtic claimed their first win of 2021 to arrest a troubling winless slump by seeing off Hamilton Academical in the Scottish Premiership.

Four games without victory offered a bleak precursor but Leigh Griffiths lit the path to victory with a sweet strike early on.

Odsonne Edouard then netted his 13th goal of the term just after the break.

Neil Lennon's Celtic remain 23 points behind undefeated league leaders Rangers with three games in hand.

Hamilton, who failed to build on a bright start, remain anchored at the foot of the table, a point adrift of Ross County who they face next.

Sheets of snow offered a picturesque backdrop to Celtic's draw in Livingston last week, a result which added to a winless run of results that was their longest for over two decades.

But it was the winds of change that have blown over Celtic in the last few months that was noticeable again in this one.

Manager Lennon admitted earlier in the week that unnamed players have signalled their desire to leave, while wantaway right-back Jeremie Frimpong signed for Bayer Leverkusen pre-match.

But those who remain to pick of the pieces of what appears to be a shattered 10-in-a-row bid held it together in a performance, that while not at their scintillating best, was much more like it from the defending champions.

It was a first half defined by a moment of magic from Griffiths and a glut of chances missed. The Scotland striker, on his sixth consecutive start, shaped for goal after 12 minutes only to drive a low effort skidding into the bottom corner across Ryan Fulton.

For as instinctive as the opener was, his killer touch deserted him moments later as he fresh-aired Callum McGregor's cutback.

McGregor, Edouard and Turnbull would also go close for the hosts, while at the other end David Moyo spurned a great chance before the break, steering a close-range effort wide.

It proved costly with the game almost beyond the visitors just three minutes after break. This time Griffiths turned provider, shuttling a sharp pass into the feet of Edouard. The Frenchman wriggled clear of the falling Jamie Hamilton and Fulton in goal before scooping high into the net.

Accies tried their best to force a late lifeline with a handful of corners, but the returning Scott Bain remained untested during the closing stages.

Man of the match - Ismaila Soro

Ismaila Soro
David Turnbull was excellent again for Celtic, but his midfield partner ran the show against Accies. Ismaila Soro produced another industrious performance

What did we learn?

This was better from Celtic. Without the departed Frimpong, the suspended Scott Brown, and on the back of a rotten run, they were well worth their win here.

At times, there was a swagger to their play. Turnbull was again dynamic, McGregor drove with purposes, Ismaila Soro influential while Kris Ajer was causing problems at right-back. Tougher tests will come, but this result steadies a ship which has rocked ever since that Old Firm defeat at the start of the month.

Hamilton will not be judged on their performances against Celtic. Still, there was enough here to give Brian Rice encouragement. A steady start was extinguished by the boot of Griffiths, but a late rally demonstrated the character in his ranks.

Instead, the focus must be on a huge match next Wednesday against Ross County. A victory for either side could prove decisive come May.

What they said

Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "I'm delighted with three points and the clean sheets, but overall delighted with the team and their attitude.

"We created good chances, we need to be more ruthless. To be fair Hamilton threw bodies in the way and the goalkeeper played well."

Hamilton head coach Brian Rice: "I'm delighted with the spirit we showed. You can come here and get rolled over quite easily. But for my boys to keep at it and create a few chances, I can't ask any more.

"I believe we can stay in the division. I'm positive, I've not seen too much to say we will get cut adrift."

What's next?

Celtic host St Mirren on Saturday (15:00 GMT) in the Scottish Premiership, while Hamilton welcome Ross County to Lanarkshire in a basement battle on Wednesday (18:00).

Player of the match

MartinScott Martin

with an average of 7.05

Celtic

  1. Squad number12Player nameSoro
    Average rating

    6.35

  2. Squad number9Player nameGriffiths
    Average rating

    6.28

  3. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull
    Average rating

    6.25

  4. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    6.02

  5. Squad number22Player nameEdouard
    Average rating

    5.99

  6. Squad number35Player nameAjer
    Average rating

    5.88

  7. Squad number27Player nameElyounoussi
    Average rating

    5.70

  8. Squad number3Player nameTaylor
    Average rating

    5.63

  9. Squad number29Player nameBain
    Average rating

    5.33

  10. Squad number6Player nameBitton
    Average rating

    5.27

  11. Squad number17Player nameChristie
    Average rating

    4.87

  12. Squad number4Player nameDuffy
    Average rating

    4.74

  13. Squad number10Player nameAjeti
    Average rating

    4.71

  14. Squad number18Player nameRogic
    Average rating

    4.49

Hamilton Academical

  1. Squad number8Player nameMartin
    Average rating

    7.05

  2. Squad number16Player nameMartin
    Average rating

    6.87

  3. Squad number6Player nameHamilton
    Average rating

    6.86

  4. Squad number18Player nameMimnaugh
    Average rating

    6.81

  5. Squad number3Player nameMcMann
    Average rating

    6.79

  6. Squad number19Player nameWinter
    Average rating

    6.79

  7. Squad number4Player nameStirling
    Average rating

    6.75

  8. Squad number5Player nameEaston
    Average rating

    6.73

  9. Squad number20Player nameMoyo
    Average rating

    6.72

  10. Squad number27Player nameHodson
    Average rating

    6.70

  11. Squad number9Player nameOgkmpoe
    Average rating

    6.68

  12. Squad number34Player nameCallachan
    Average rating

    6.66

  13. Squad number2Player nameOdoffin
    Average rating

    6.61

  14. Squad number23Player nameFulton
    Average rating

    6.37

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-4-2

  • 29Bain
  • 35Ajer
  • 6Bitton
  • 4Duffy
  • 3Taylor
  • 14TurnbullSubstituted forChristieat 69'minutes
  • 12Soro
  • 42McGregor
  • 27Elyounoussi
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forAjetiat 69'minutes
  • 22EdouardSubstituted forRogicat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Barkas
  • 10Ajeti
  • 11Klimala
  • 17Christie
  • 18Rogic
  • 19Johnston
  • 56Ralston
  • 57Welsh
  • 93Laxalt

Hamilton

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 23Fulton
  • 6Hamilton
  • 16Martin
  • 5Easton
  • 27Hodson
  • 2Odoffin
  • 4StirlingSubstituted forWinterat 74'minutes
  • 3McMann
  • 34CallachanSubstituted forMimnaughat 87'minutes
  • 20Moyo
  • 9OgkmpoeSubstituted forMartinat 56'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Collar
  • 8Martin
  • 14Trafford
  • 17Stanger
  • 18Mimnaugh
  • 19Winter
  • 21Munro
  • 22Gourlay
  • 32Smith
Referee:
Colin Steven

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home75%
Away25%
Shots
Home24
Away4
Shots on Target
Home7
Away0
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 2, Hamilton Academical 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 2, Hamilton Academical 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic).

  4. Post update

    Scott McMann (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Tomas Rogic (Celtic).

  6. Post update

    Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Albian Ajeti (Celtic).

  8. Post update

    Aaron Martin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Reegan Mimnaugh replaces Ross Callachan.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Nir Bitton.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Tomas Rogic replaces Odsonne Edouard.

  12. Post update

    Offside, Celtic. Ryan Christie tries a through ball, but Albian Ajeti is caught offside.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Shane Duffy (Celtic).

  14. Post update

    David Moyo (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Aaron Martin.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Christie (Celtic) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Callum McGregor with a cross.

  17. Post update

    Nir Bitton (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by David Moyo (Hamilton Academical).

  19. Post update

    Foul by Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic).

  20. Post update

    Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport