Scottish Premiership
Celtic3Hamilton1

Celtic 3-1 Hamilton Academical

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Highlights: Celtic 3-1 Hamilton Academical

Celtic eased aside Hamilton Academical to maintain their five-point lead at the top of the table and stretch their unbeaten domestic run to 69 games.

It was no surprise when, after a spell of early pressure, Olivier Ntcham fired Celtic into a 12th-minute lead.

Danny Redmond equalised with a fine finish, but the Premiership leaders scored twice within a minute through James Forrest and Scott Sinclair.

Rakish Bingham hit the post as Accies had the better second-half chances.

But there was to be no fightback from the side who remain ninth in the table after their three-match unbeaten run away from home came to an end.

With Aberdeen sweeping aside St Johnstone and Rangers edging out Hibernian, Brendan Rodgers' reigning champions retain the gap at the summit with both - and still have a game in hand.

Celtic made a lively start and Nir Bitton, who had returned to the centre of defence, forced a save from goalkeeper Gary Woods then Stuart Armstrong and Ntcham fired just wide from distance.

They were getting closer and opened the scoring with a wonderful effort from Ntcham. Sinclair worked a neat one-two with Callum McGregor before picking out the Frenchman, who blasted a right-foot volley from 10 yards into the net for his fifth goal of the season.

Ntcham came close to adding to his tally with a fine half volley from the edge of the area that Woods tipped excellently round the post.

Hamilton had won only one of their previous 20 matches against Celtic, but they stunned the home crowd with an equaliser just before the half-hour mark.

Celtic's Stuart Armstrong and Scott Sinclair celebrate
Scott Sinclair (right) scored his third goal in two games and his 15th of the season

Darian MacKinnon set up Redmond on the 18-yard line and he sent a left-foot shot over goalkeeper Craig Gordon and into the top left-hand corner of the net.

However, Celtic were dominating and regained the lead through Forrest. A defence-splitting pass from Armstrong picked out the winger on the run and he rounded Woods before slotting home with a low left-foot shot.

Sinclair, who scored twice at the weekend against Hibs, hit Celtic's third three minutes before the break with an exquisite finish, chipping from 16 yards beyond Woods.

Redmond had an effort deflected wide early in the second half as he followed up after his own free-kick was blocked by the defensive wall.

Celtic were still creating more than the visitors and, when Odsonne Edouard was clean through, Woods was up to the task of saving his low shot.

Accies were always dangerous on the counter attack and Bingham missed a glorious chance, screwing his shot wide when unmarked eight yards from Greg Docherty's low cross.

Docherty wasted another chance when he burst forward and dragged his shot wide when he had the opportunity to pass to Bingham.

A short pass-back from substitute Jozo Simunovic presented Bingham with another chance and the striker sent a low shot beyond goalkeeper Craig Gordon but back off the post.

Celtic substitute Jonny Hayes forced another fine save from Woods, but the damage for Accies had been done in the first half as Rodgers' men stretched their unbeaten home run in domestic game to 44 matches.

Match reaction

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers: "I was very pleased because Hamilton showed why they've gone to Ibrox and gone to Easter Road and other places and won games because they're a good side with good players and Martin Canning's done a very very good job with them.

"So it was always going to be a test for us, but I thought we came through it very well.

"We tried something slightly different in our shape and our positioning when we had the ball and, in the main, that worked really well for us.

"We scored three very good goals with things we've been working on in terms of breaking the line.

"There were a couple of mistakes which weren't so good, but at this time of the season, when games are coming thick and fast, it was a very very good win for us.

"Olivier Ntcham's first goal was great technique and his overall play and passing and movement was very good."

Hamilton Academical manager Martin Canning: "I thought we performed well. Obviously, at 1-1, a one-minute period killed us in terms of the game - we go 3-1 down.

"In the second half at 3-1, a goal for us and it's game back on and we had two or three really good chances from which we could quite easily scored.

"In terms of the performance, the boys worked hard, the shape was good and we created our chances and I'd have liked to have seen us take one of them to add that little bit of pressure on.

"We competed very well and limited Celtic to not a lot as far as opportunities because a lot of the chances came from distance.

"Obviously Celtic are a top team and, when you come here, its always going to be difficult, but in terms of the players effort and commitment, it was first class."

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 35Ajer
  • 20BoyataSubstituted forSimunovicat 73'minutes
  • 6Bitton
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forHayesat 80'minutes
  • 21Ntcham
  • 8Brown
  • 14Armstrong
  • 42McGregor
  • 22EdouardBooked at 45minsSubstituted forGriffithsat 68'minutes
  • 11Sinclair

Substitutes

  • 5Simunovic
  • 9Griffiths
  • 10Dembele
  • 15Hayes
  • 23Lustig
  • 24de Vries
  • 63Tierney

Hamilton

  • 1Woods
  • 13Gogic
  • 5Tomas
  • 3McMann
  • 6GillespieBooked at 36minsSubstituted forSkondrasat 50'minutes
  • 18MacKinnon
  • 21Donati
  • 8Docherty
  • 7Imrie
  • 10RedmondSubstituted forLyonat 79'minutes
  • 9BinghamSubstituted forCunninghamat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Skondras
  • 12Fulton
  • 16Templeton
  • 22Lyon
  • 25Ferguson
  • 28Cunningham
  • 89Sarris
Referee:
Stephen Finnie
Attendance:
53,883

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home70%
Away30%
Shots
Home16
Away6
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home11
Away3
Fouls
Home8
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 3, Hamilton Academical 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Hamilton Academical 1.

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Greg Docherty (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Gary Woods.

Attempt saved. Jonny Hayes (Celtic) right footed shot from long range on the right is saved in the bottom right corner.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Scott McMann.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Ross Cunningham replaces Rakish Bingham.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Xavier Tomas.

Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical) hits the left post with a right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Jonny Hayes replaces James Forrest.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Darren Lyon replaces Daniel Redmond.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Greg Docherty.

Attempt saved. Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Jozo Simunovic replaces Dedryck Boyata because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Greg Docherty (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Daniel Redmond (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Leigh Griffiths replaces Odsonne Edouard.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Alexander Gogic.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Alexander Gogic.

Foul by Callum McGregor (Celtic).

Giannis Skondras (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Scott Sinclair (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Giannis Skondras (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt saved. Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Callum McGregor.

Attempt blocked. Daniel Redmond (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

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

Foul by Dedryck Boyata (Celtic).

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Giannis Skondras replaces Grant Gillespie.

Scott Sinclair (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Grant Gillespie (Hamilton Academical).

Second Half

Second Half begins Celtic 3, Hamilton Academical 1.

Half Time

First Half ends, Celtic 3, Hamilton Academical 1.

Booking

Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic17125041113041
2Rangers18113437201736
3Aberdeen1811342820836
4Hibernian188642721630
5Hearts186661719-224
6Motherwell177282425-123
7St Johnstone176381726-921
8Kilmarnock184772126-519
9Hamilton184592430-617
10Ross County1844101728-1116
11Dundee1843111729-1215
12Partick Thistle173591631-1514
View full Scottish Premiership table

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