Scottish Premiership
Celtic4Hamilton0

Celtic 4-0 Hamilton Academical

  • Celtic go three points clear of Aberdeen
  • Celtic's seventh straight league win
  • Hamilton without win in eight games
  • Kris Commons scores two on return to side

Celtic eased past Hamilton to re-establish a three-point lead over Aberdeen at the top of the Premiership.

After enduring a frustrating opening period in which they dominated possession but could not convert, the home side ran riot after the break.

Kris Commons started and finished the scoring either side of goals from Stefan Johansen and John Guidetti.

The ruthless edge was necessary to overcome the dogged Hamilton but also keep second-place Aberdeen at bay.

It felt as though the crowd inside Celtic Park was still catching its breath following the raucous nature of Thursday's Europa League encounter with Internazionale.

Intensity was rare and the consequence was a game that fell into a settled rhythm.

Celtic controlled possession and Hamilton's defence dropped deep to deny space in behind to the home side's forwards.

The visitors were organised and resolute, so chances tended to be scrambled together.

Even so, the Hamilton goalkeeper, Michael McGovern, twice had to rescue his side with agile saves, making one from a close-range header and another from a John Guidetti shot that lacked power and direction.

John Guidetti and Kris Commons celebrate
John Guidetti and Kris Commons both scored on their return to Celtic's starting line-up

Hamilton could only break sporadically and it was a measure of their limited attacking reach that it was Scott Brown rather than the goalkeeper Craig Gordon who was called upon to be defensively strong for Celtic - he twice muscled Nigel Hasselbaink off the ball as the last man against the Hamilton striker.

Familiar themes emerged, with Brown as strong and conscientious as a gladiator and Johansen playing with stealth and guile.

Ronny Deila made four changes to his starting line-up, three of them in attack, to try to shake off any muted reaction to the European exertions.

That wasn't wholly successful, since Guidetti was often frustrated, while James Forrest was only intermittently involved.

Frustration was no more of an effective opponent to the home side than Hamilton, though.

It was 75 minutes by the time the visitors won a corner kick - which Michael Devlin headed over - but by then Celtic were two goals in front.

Deila's team was rewarded for keeping faith in the manager's strategy but also for being alert to a decline in Hamilton's standards.

When possession was surrendered cheaply to Virgil van Dijk, the defender surged upfield, spreading panic with every stride, before slipping the ball to Commons, whose firm shot bundled past McGovern.

Johansen then hit the post as the home side exploited more gaps in the Hamilton defence.

Untroubled in defence, Van Dijk sought some involvement by galloping forward. Another foray brought a thumping shot that McGovern parried, only for Johansen to turn the rebound into the net.

A weariness then settled on the visitors, which was a source of motivation to Celtic; the home side sensed a wounded prey.

McGovern had to fling his hands up to tip an Adam Matthews shot over, but he was helpless as Guidetti headed Emilio Izaguirre's cross in from close range to make it 3-0.

Stuart Armstrong played a role in the build-up and the substitute was more directly involved in the fourth goal, when his pass was clipped over McGovern by the grounded Commons.

The victory was merited but also a timely confidence boost ahead of Celtic's visit to the San Siro on Thursday for the second leg against Inter and then Aberdeen's trip to Celtic Park on Sunday.

John Guidetti netted for the second match in a row after ending his goal drought against Inter Milan
John Guidetti netted for the second match in a row after ending his goal drought against Inter Milan
Stefan Johansen celebrates putting Celtic two goals up
Stefan Johansen celebrates putting Celtic two goals up

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 26Gordon
  • 4Ambrose
  • 22DenayerSubstituted forMatthewsat 45'minutes
  • 5van Dijk
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 8Brown
  • 6Bitton
  • 25JohansenSubstituted forHendersonat 79'minutes
  • 15Commons
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forArmstrongat 59'minutes
  • 9Guidetti

Substitutes

  • 2Matthews
  • 14Armstrong
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 24Zaluska
  • 28Griffiths
  • 32Wakaso
  • 53Henderson

Hamilton

  • 1McGovern
  • 2GordonBooked at 24minsSubstituted forLongridgeat 45'minutesBooked at 86mins
  • 5CanningSubstituted forDe Lima Tagliapietraat 83'minutes
  • 4Devlin
  • 3Hendrie
  • 18MacKinnon
  • 6GillespieSubstituted forLyonat 55'minutes
  • 8Routledge
  • 11Crawford
  • 7Imrie
  • 14Hasselbaink

Substitutes

  • 9Scotland
  • 12Lyon
  • 17Longridge
  • 20Brophy
  • 28Redmond
  • 29Hill
  • 44De Lima Tagliapietra
Referee:
Brian Colvin
Attendance:
47,989

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home64%
Away36%
Shots
Home22
Away1
Shots on Target
Home12
Away0
Corners
Home13
Away2
Fouls
Home4
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 4, Hamilton Academical 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 4, Hamilton Academical 0.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Efe Ambrose.

Foul by Liam Henderson (Celtic).

Jon Routledge (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Michael Devlin.

Booking

Louis Longridge (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card.

Liam Henderson (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Louis Longridge (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by John Guidetti (Celtic).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Lucas replaces Martin Canning.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 4, Hamilton Academical 0. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Adam Matthews.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Louis Longridge.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Liam Henderson replaces Stefan Johansen.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 3, Hamilton Academical 0. John Guidetti (Celtic) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Emilio Izaguirre.

Attempt missed. Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical) header from very close range misses to the right.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Emilio Izaguirre.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Michael McGovern.

Attempt saved. Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Martin Canning.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Stephen Hendrie.

Attempt blocked. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 2, Hamilton Academical 0. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner.

Stefan Johansen (Celtic) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box.

Foul by Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic).

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

Attempt saved. John Guidetti (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Stuart Armstrong replaces James Forrest.

Attempt saved. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 1, Hamilton Academical 0. Kris Commons (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Virgil van Dijk.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Darren Lyon replaces Grant Gillespie because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Martin Canning.

Attempt blocked. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

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

Foul by Jon Routledge (Hamilton Academical).

Second Half

Second Half begins Celtic 0, Hamilton Academical 0.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Adam Matthews replaces Jason Denayer.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic25193352133960
2Aberdeen26183547212657
3Inverness CT26164640261452
4Dundee Utd25143848351345
5Hamilton28125113939041
6Dundee2710983938139
7St Johnstone26114112427-337
8Kilmarnock2696112935-633
9Partick Thistle2667133335-225
10Ross County2646162752-2518
11St Mirren2753192146-2518
12Motherwell2653181850-3218
View full Scottish Premiership table

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