Scottish Premiership
Celtic2Hamilton0

Celtic 2-0 Hamilton Academical

Moussa Dembele scored twice against Hamilton Academical to give Celtic a 21st straight Premiership victory.

The visitors, sitting bottom of the table, had limited the leaders to a Stuart Armstrong strike against the woodwork until Dembele struck.

The French striker curled home a superb shot on the stroke of half-time.

Dembele scored his second after 59 minutes from the penalty spot after Kieran Tierney was brought down by Massimo Donati.

Celtic's 15th consecutive win in all competitions means they retain their 24-point lead over Aberdeen, who beat Ross County.

Accies remain one point behind Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who had lifted themselves off the bottom with Friday's win over Rangers.

Dembele makes difference

Celtic were in command of this game, but that alone was not enough to overcome Hamilton.

The visitors were disciplined, well-organised and spirited, while their hosts lacked the edge and intensity that has distinguished the best of their work this season.

The game became a test of Celtic's patience until Dembele delivered a moment of improvisation and exquisite technique.

Spinning on the ball then dragging it past Massimo Donati, he made room 25 yards from goal then lifted a shot over Hamilton goalkeeper Gary Woods and into the far corner of the net.

It was striking enough for goalkeeper Craig Gordon to wait for his team-mate at the side of the pitch as the players left at half-time and congratulate him.

Dembele almost added a second early in the second half, but his shot from Tierney's cross was deflected wide.

The Celtic full-back still managed to create a goal for Dembele, though, being brought down inside the area for a penalty that the French striker converted calmly.

Hamilton suffer familiar tale

Celtic's Moussa Dembele is replaced with Leigh Griffiths
Moussa Dembele was replaced with Leigh Griffiths, who was returning from injury

Not for the first time this season, much of Hamilton's play was solid and dependable.

They set up to contain Celtic and their work was diligent and thorough enough to frustrate the home side.

Darian MacKinnon was typically bullish in central midfield, while Danny Redmond kept trying to prompt counter-attacks from deep positions.

Steven Boyd, a graduate of the club's youth academy, looked promising up front, but mostly Hamilton were trying to maintain their hold on a clean sheet.

Redmond did shoot wide early on and one break upfield ended with MacKinnon playing Dougie Imrie in, but he sliced his shot wide of the goal.

The visitors had a claim for a penalty late on, when Gramoz Kurtaj went down inside the area, but the Hamilton forward was booked for diving instead.

Just before the end, Eamonn Brophy also had a header tipped over by Gordon.

Hamilton were bottom of the table before kick-off and there is no sense of panic at the club, but this was a difficult day for the visitors.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers: "When teams sit in that deep, it's always difficult. For spells in the first half we closed up our own space a little too much - that was just our positioning really.

"We still have moments where we could find the final pass a little bit better, but right on half-time an absolutely brilliant goal by Moussa. The boy oozes quality, he has wonderful finishing, and I think that was his first one from outside the box, so he's continually working on that.

"His movement was good, he's improving all the time in the setting up of his game. He's always a threat, he wants to score. His contribution was very high.

"Defensively we were outstanding, how quickly we won the ball back. Overall, a very pleasing performance."

Hamilton Academical manager Martin Canning: "We stuck to our task, and we did well, but it takes that moment of quality from Dembele to open the scoring.

"At that point the plan was working to frustrate Celtic, and when we had counterattack opportunities our quality maybe wasn't as good as it could have been. I was really pleased with the players' attitude, they worked hard.

"You can take a lot from it. They've competed with the best team in the country. It's always going to be difficult going toe-to-toe with Celtic because they've got quality players who can hurt you.

"You've got to come here with a plan of keeping your shape and being disciplined and organised. We did that very well and the concentration levels were great. There were positives to take into Tuesday's game against Aberdeen."

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 12Gamboa
  • 20Boyata
  • 28Sviatchenko
  • 63Tierney
  • 6Bitton
  • 8Brown
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 10'minutes
  • 14ArmstrongSubstituted forMcGregorat 85'minutes
  • 11Sinclair
  • 10DembeleSubstituted forGriffithsat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2K Touré
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 9Griffiths
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 24de Vries
  • 42McGregor
  • 53Henderson

Hamilton

  • 34Woods
  • 3SkondrasBooked at 90mins
  • 4DevlinBooked at 15mins
  • 21DonatiBooked at 59mins
  • 23McMann
  • 10RedmondSubstituted forKurtajat 69'minutesBooked at 78mins
  • 6Gillespie
  • 18MacKinnon
  • 7Imrie
  • 15BinghamSubstituted forBrophyat 76'minutes
  • 30BoydSubstituted forDochertyat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Matthews
  • 2Seaborne
  • 8Docherty
  • 12Kurtaj
  • 16Watson
  • 20Brophy
  • 39Adams
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
54,685

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home10
Away5
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away1
Fouls
Home8
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 2, Hamilton Academical 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 2, Hamilton Academical 0.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Craig Gordon.

Attempt saved. Eamonn Brophy (Hamilton Academical) header from very close range is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Booking

Giannis Skondras (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Giannis Skondras (Hamilton Academical).

Scott Sinclair (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Callum McGregor replaces Stuart Armstrong.

Attempt blocked. Eamonn Brophy (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Giannis Skondras.

Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Gramoz Kurtaj (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card.

Gramoz Kurtaj (Hamilton Academical) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Eamonn Brophy replaces Rakish Bingham.

Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Leigh Griffiths replaces Moussa Dembele.

Attempt missed. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left.

Attempt missed. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Gramoz Kurtaj replaces Daniel Redmond.

Attempt saved. Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Greg Docherty replaces Steven Boyd.

Erik Sviatchenko (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical).

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 2, Hamilton Academical 0. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

Penalty Celtic. Kieran Tierney draws a foul in the penalty area.

Booking

Massimo Donati (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Penalty conceded by Massimo Donati (Hamilton Academical) after a foul in the penalty area.

Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic).

Daniel Redmond (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic).

Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Michael Devlin.

Attempt blocked. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Scott Sinclair (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Giannis Skondras (Hamilton Academical).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic26251069165376
2Aberdeen26164650232752
3Rangers2612773430443
4Hearts26108846341238
5St Johnstone2610793333037
6Dundee2686123136-530
7Partick Thistle2678112832-429
8Kilmarnock26610102441-1728
9Ross County2659122845-1724
10Motherwell2666143053-2324
11Inverness CT26410123147-1622
12Hamilton26312112539-1421
View full Scottish Premiership table

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