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  • Edouard hits a treble as Celtic open season in style

    Edouard hits a treble as Celtic open season in style

    By: Paul Cuddihy on 02 Aug, 2020 18:20

  • Scottish Premiership
    Sunday, August 2, 2020
    Celtic Park

    CELTIC… 5
    (Edouard 19, 49, 52, Frimpong 30, Klimala 90)

    HAMILTON ACCIES… 1
    (Martin 33)

    FOR the 10th season in a row, Celtic celebrated Flag Day with a victory, Neil Lennon’s side beating Hamilton Accies 5-1 at Celtic Park. Odsonne Edouard was the goal hero for the Hoops, netting an impressive opening day hat-trick, including the first goal of the new Premiership campaign, while Jeremie Frimpong and Patryk Klimala were also among the goals. 

    Before kick-off, the league trophy took pride of place in the centre-circle, brought on to the pitch by Celtic’s nine-in-a-row captain, Scott Brown, the league flag was raised high over Paradise atop the North Stand, while fireworks and pyrotechnics greeted the moment. It was followed by players and officials of both sides taking knee in support of the Black Lives Matters movement.

    Neil Lennon’s side began the game with real attacking intent and Chris Jullien came close after just 90 seconds, but his header from a Ryan Christie corner was well saved by Ryan Fulton in the Hamilton goal. Two minutes later, Jullien’s central defensive partner, Kris Ajer, headed just over from another corner.

    Hamilton showed early signs that they could cause problems on the counter-attack, with Andrew Winter curling a shot from the edge of the box that Scott Bain pushed round the post. And the visitors came close again three minutes later, with David Moyo heading over from a Hakeem Odoffin cross.

    Both James Forrest and Chris Jullien came close with chances, the former denied by a save, the latter by the post, while No.8 was lucky to escape with just a yellow card for a crude challenge on Jeremie Frimpong.

    With 19 minutes on the clock, Celtic scored their first goal of the new campaign, and it came from last season’s top goalscorer, Odsonne Edouard. It was a fast-flowing move from the Hoops that started with Bain and saw Christie and Frimpong combine well in the middle of the park, with the right-back using his pace to surge forward.

    When the ball was worked out wide on the left to Greg Taylor, he delivered a precise cross into the six-yard box for Edouard to knock into the Hamilton net.

    Hamilton should have equalised just two minutes later, but Shaun Want headed over from a corner when it looked easier to score.

    And on the half-hour mark, Celtic extended their lead. Again, Taylor was the provider, and his cross from the left was knocked in at the far post by Frimpong. That two-goal lead only lasted three minutes, however, as Scott Martin’s shot from the edge of the box took a deflection, allowing the ball to squirm past Bain and into the net.

    Celtic continued to press forward and Ryan Christie came close on a couple of occasions without managing to hit the target.

    However, just four minutes into the second-half, Celtic did score their third of the afternoon. Christie set Forrest off down the right, with the winger’s pace taking him past Shaun Want, and his first-time cross into the box was slotted home by Edouard for his second of the game.

    And three minutes later, the Frenchman had his hat-trick. The Hamilton keeper saved Christie's initial effort, but the ball fell to Edouard who side-footed the ball into the roof of the net to claim the match ball and put the game out of Hamilton's reach.

    Neil Lennon’s side continued their search for more goals, and Forrest was denied when Fulton pushed his right-foot shot from the edge of the box out for a corner.

    Forrest and Frimpong were combining well down the right flank, and on 63 minutes, the young Dutch defender came close to his second of the game as he and Forrest carved open the Hamilton defence with a one-two. Frimpong’s effort was saved, while Callum McGregor’s follow-up header was cleared off the line.

    Mohamed Elyounoussi was next to test the visitors’ defence, with his shot from inside box saved by Fulton, while Jullien was also denied when the Hamilton keeper raced off his line to block the Frenchman’s effort from six yards out.

    Patryk Klimala, on as a substitute for Edouard, had a header on target in the 87th minute, but it was comfortably held by Fulton. However, the Polish striker soon netted his first competitive goal of his Celtic career, sliding the ball under Fulton from inside the box in the 90th minutes to round off an impressive afternoon for Neil Lennon’s side.

    CELTIC: Bain, Jullien, Taylor, Brown, Christie (Karamoko 85), Edouard (Klimala 85), Elyounoussi (Ntcham 70), Frimpong (Elhamed 85), Ajer, McGregor, Forrest.
    Subs: Barkas, Bitton, Soro, Rogic, Bolingoli

    HAMILTON ACCIES:
    Fulton, Odoffin (McKenna 70), McMann, Hamilton, Martin, L.Smith, Want, Hughes (Ogkmpoe 41), Winter, Moyo, Callachan (Trafford, 70).
    Subs: Gourlay, Fjortoft, Mimnaugh, Munro, C.Smith, Owolabi

    Man of the match: Odsonne Edouard

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