By Ben McNicol
Covid-hit Hamilton put in a strong first-half performance against Celtic, but quickfire strikes from Odsonne Edouard, Leigh Griffiths and David Turnbull put the game beyond Brian Rice’s side in wild conditions in South Lanarkshire.
After just two minutes, Edouard and Griffiths combined superbly on the edge of the box before Griffiths’ strike at goal pulled a fine save out of Kyle Gourlay. Celtic continued their strong start and came close to opening the scoring again shortly after when Ryan Christie’s dipping effort deflected onto the roof of the net and Nir Biton could only guide the resulting corner wide of the target.
On the 20th minute, Jeremie Frimpong used his electric pace down the right wing and his excellently timed delivery found Griffiths at the back post, but his effort came crashing back off the woodwork.
Edouard was next to have an effort on goal when he showed some tremendous skill inside the box, but the Frenchman’s effort sailed over the bar. Following a quiet period in the match, Andy Winter’s effort flashed wide for the home side on the stroke of half-time.
Neil Lennon’s men came out with the same intensity in the second period and took the lead from the spot on the 49th minute through Edouard after Aaron Martin brought the striker down inside the box.
Celtic had a couple of opportunities to double their advantage in quick succession. Firstly, when Turnbull’s curling effort whistled inches wide of the target before Gourlay made a fantastic reflex stop to deny Ryan Christie.
However, the Hamilton keeper was left helpless shortly after as the visitors doubled their advantage through Griffiths’ low powerful drive which nestled into the bottom corner. It was three shortly after when Turnbull flicked home his second league goal for Celtic after Edouard’s initial header came back off the left-hand post. Here are three things we learned.
Strong Hamilton performance
Hamilton may’ve been on the end of defeat this afternoon, but there are plenty of positives to take from a strong first half performance which would’ve left the champions frustrated at the break.
Rice will most likely be disappointed with the manner that his side conceded the goals, but these aren’t the games which are going to define the club’s season.
Key players a huge miss for Accies
Brian Rice has already admitted that he’s had the heart of his side ripped out due to covid-19 issues and injuries and it was evident in the second half in particular.
The sooner the likes of Ross Callachan and Scott Martin are back the better.
Celtic form too much
There’s no doubt that Celtic have been through a tough patch in the last few months, but today’s win makes it five wins in a row for the first time since October, meaning they are hitting form at the perfect time before the Old Firm next weekend.
It proved too much for Hamilton’s depleted squad, who could only hold on for so long.