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  • Debut delight for Edouard as stylish Celts sink Hamilton

    Debut delight for Edouard as stylish Celts sink Hamilton

    By: Tony Connelly on 08 Sep, 2017 22:07

  • Scottish Premiership
    New Douglas Park, Hamilton
    Friday, September 8, 2017

    HAMILTON...1
    (Gogic 83)

    CELTIC...4
    (Armstrong 16, Sinclair 29, 42, Odsonne 65)

    NEW Bhoy Odsonne Edouard scored on his Celtic debut as the Hoops returned to the top of the Scottish Premiership table with a dominant 4-1 win away to Hamilton Accies.

    Brendan Rodgers’ side tormented the hosts all night as they cruised to a morale-boosting victory ahead of next Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain

    Stuart Armstrong opened the scoring after 16 minutes, showing some quick footwork to open up the Hamilton defence inside the box and place a wonder-strike into the far corner.

    Sinclair doubled Celtic’s lead just before the half-hour mark after a great run from Edouard allowed the winger to curl home a shot inside the box. He then grabbed his second of the night five minutes before half-time with one of his trademark runs which resulted in him tucking home from a rebound.

    French striker Edouard then opened his account with the Bhoys when he linked up brilliantly with Patrick Roberts to sneak the ball under a helpless Gary Woods in the Hamilton goal.

    Accies never had enough of the ball to ever threaten Celtic, but were able to grab a goal seven minutes from time after substitute Alex Gogic headed in from a corner.

    The Hoops returned to action following the international break in which the majority of the squad saw action. The busy schedule didn’t look to have left the Bhoys tired and, if anything, the break only served to make them hungrier for another three points and to extend their domestic unbeaten run, which now stands at 54 games. 

    Brendan Rodgers made five changes to the side which drew with St Johnstone two weeks ago, and the travelling Celtic fans were delighted to see Roberts among the changes as the talented young winger started his first game for the Hoops since the Scottish Cup final following his return to the club from Manchester City on a season-long loan.  

    Roberts looked as if he had never been away from the squad. Only five minutes into the game he collected the ball on the halfway line before glancing up and cutting open the Hamilton defence with a good pass through to Edouard who was through on goal. The Frenchman, however, was flagged offside.

    It would be a sign of things to come as the teenager looked hungry from the off as he troubled the Hamilton defence with his strength and pace.

    Moments later, and Roberts was at it again when he slipped the ball through to Sinclair in the box, but the linesman rescued Hamilton with the offside flag.

    Celtic came close to opening the scoring after just nine minutes when Hamilton failed to clear a James Forrest cross into the box. The ball fell to Sinclair who reacted quickly but his shot was straight at Woods.

    Woods was again called into action after Roberts’ lovely first touch out on the wing sent him clear on his way. His perfectly weighted pass across the edge of the box picked out McGregor whose low driving shot was deflected behind.

    However, Stuart Armstrong ensured that the away support fans would not have to wait much longer to celebrate a goal. The Scotland internationalist got Celtic off the mark in the 16th minute when he used some silky footwork on the edge of the box to create space for himself and pick out the bottom far corner with a deft finish.

    Hamilton could only manage to hold out for a further 13 minutes before Celtic doubled their lead. Jozo Suminovic left the Hamilton defence helpless with a piercing through ball to Edouard who timed his run perfectly. The young striker showed great strength and pace as he sprinted towards goal with the ball. Hamilton defender Scott McMann made a last ditch-tackle on the edge of the box, but Sinclair anticipated the loose ball and curled a low shot into the back of the net.

    Roberts almost found the back of the net himself five minutes before half-time when the Hamilton defence crowded round Sinclair in an attempt to stifle the another attack. Roberts took advantage of the space with a well-timed run into the box but, having been found by Sinclair, his attempt to find the far corner was blocked and went out for a corner.

    Sinclair was far from finished tormenting the Hamilton defence and, three minutes from the break, he gave Celtic a comfortable lead. After collecting the ball 40 yards out, he utilised his pace and tricky footwork with another dash into the Hamilton box. McMann’s tackle resulted in the ball hitting the post and Sinclair was first to react to the rebound as he fired in from close range.

    Celtic ended the second half three goals up and exuded an energy and fluency that showed their desire to retain the top spot in the table. Roberts and Sinclair looked threatening throughout and the Celtic defence was only busy with attempted assists.

    The Hoops started the second half as dominantly as they had finished the first. Hamilton could not get the ball off Celtic and struggled to shut out the attack from the wings and through the middle.

    Having scored a brace, Sinclair looked sure to clinch a hat-trick with his constant forays into the box. His closest opportunity to grab a third goal came in the 60th minute when Kieran Tierney lifted a sublime long ball over the Hamilton defence to Sinclair, who was through on goal and unlucky to see his chipped shot land on the roof of the net.

    The Hamilton net would only lie empty for a further five minutes though as new Bhoy Edouard rounded off the scoring. He latched onto a stray pass 40 yards out, shrugged off a tackle and accelerated at the Hamilton defence before playing a lovely one-two with Roberts and slipping the ball under Woods.

    Odsonne came close to scoring his second of the night after a well-timed run allowed him to receive the ball from Sinclair, fashion a yard of space and fire off a shot which was blocked.A

    As the clock ticked down, Hamilton sub Gogic scored from a corner to provide some consolation to Martin Canning’s team.

    The three points ensured Celtic take to the league summit, before the weekend round of league fixtures, and the convincing performance will leave Hoops fans confident that their team are fully prepared for the arrival of PSG in the Champions League on Tuesday.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Lustig, Simunovic (Bitton 75), Tierney; Brown, Armstrong (Ntcham 67), Forrest, McGregor; Roberts (Hayes 67), Sinclair; Edouard.
    Not Used: De Vries, Rogic, Ajer, Ralston

    HAMILTON (4-5-1) Woods; Skondras, McMann, Tomas, Imrie (Gogic 76); Docherty, Bingham (Longridge 11), Crawford, MacKinnon, Boyd (Templeton 79), Sarris
    Not Used: Jamieson, Biabi, Donati, Lyon

    Website Man of the Match: Scott Sinclair

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