Scottish Premiership
Celtic3Ross County0

Celtic 3-0 Ross County: Odsonne Edouard's four-minute double secures victory

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Highlights: Celtic 3-0 Ross County

Odsonne Edouard came off the bench to crush Ross County with a four-minute double and push lacklustre Celtic five points clear at the Scottish Premiership summit.

The visitors exploited the hosts' shaky defence in the first half and Josh Mullin, Blair Spittal and Don Cowie all missed the target with good chances.

But Callum McGregor's penalty - after a Keith Watson trip on Mikey Johnston - nudged Celtic ahead before the break and Edouard's 63rd-minute introduction put the outcome beyond doubt.

The French striker headed home McGregor's corner with his first touch and added a quick second for his 20th goal of the season to extend the gap at the top.

Closest challengers Rangers, who have two games in hand, attempt to narrow the lead when they face Hearts on Sunday.

Eighth-place County are now five games without a league win and remain four points above the relegation play-off spot.

Fatal mistake leads to County downfall

To say County came into this game as massive underdogs was a huge understatement - apparently they were the longest odds of any side in Europe to get a win this afternoon.

The bookies are rarely wrong, but arguably the Dingwall side looked the more likely to take the lead.

First a fantastic pass from Spittal sliced Celtic right open as Mullin raced in on goal, but he got too much on his lob and the ball looped over the bar.

Mullin would then return the favour, cutting back for Spittal midway inside the Celtic box but with the goal gaping he screwed his shot wide.

Veteran midfielder Cowie also angled a shot past the post as County continued to pose a threat while the murmurs of discontent grew in volume among the home faithful.

Celtic were a bit flat but their sheer quality ensured chances would occur in the first half, with headers from Christopher Jullien and James Forrest forcing saves from Nathan Baxter.

Forrest also flashed an inviting low ball across goal which Griffiths looked sure to tap in at the back post, but there was just a touch too much pace on it.

Edouard stat

Sometimes one mistake is all it takes and that was the case for County. The ball arrived at the tricky feet of Johnston in the penalty box, he turned smartly and was tripped by Watson.

Up stepped McGregor who fired expertly into the bottom right-hand corner for his eighth goal of the season.

Edouard had been left on the bench with a slight toe injury, but he entered the fray for Griffiths and made an immediate impact.

From a McGregor corner the French striker nodded home from close range at the back post as Celtic doubled their lead.

Straight after that Spittal had a chance well saved by Forster before Edouard was at it again.

This time a more conventional Edouard finish underlined his massive importance to Celtic, the French Under-21 international weaving into the box before firing home to make it 3-0 and end the game as a contest.

Man of the match - Odsonne Edouard

One of the great debates of this Scottish football season is who is best - Edouard of Celtic or Alfredo Morelos of Rangers?

That debate will rage on for a few months yet, but Edouard once again proved just how valuable he is to Neil Lennon's side.

It was a quiet afternoon for Griffiths, who came off for Edouard, and the Frenchman made short work of sealing another vital three points for the champions.

He has already surpassed his league goal tally of last season and his importance to Celtic as they strive to make it nine titles in a row cannot be overstated.

'Outstanding & talismanic' - reaction

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Edouard gave Celtic a spark - Lennon

Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "Once we got the first goal I thought we controlled the game. That's two very good wins in the league. We are starting to build again.

"Odsonne is hugely important, he is an outstanding footballer, almost talismanic. He is up there with some of the best we've had over the last 20 years."

Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson: "We created really good chances and, at places like this, you need to take them. We should have managed the goals we lost better. We felt it was a soft penalty but we have played our part in losing the other two."

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 67Forster
  • 13BauerBooked at 51mins
  • 5Simunovic
  • 2Jullien
  • 15Hayes
  • 8Brown
  • 42McGregor
  • 49Forrest
  • 21NtchamSubstituted forRogicat 70'minutes
  • 19JohnstonSubstituted forDembeleat 85'minutes
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forEdouardat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Gordon
  • 3Taylor
  • 11Klimala
  • 18Rogic
  • 22Edouard
  • 57Welsh
  • 77Dembele

Ross County

  • 21Baxter
  • 3Kelly
  • 25Donaldson
  • 15Watson
  • 2FraserSubstituted forFosterat 47'minutes
  • 20Spittal
  • 11Vigurs
  • 26CowieSubstituted forSpenceat 82'minutes
  • 22Tillson
  • 14MullinSubstituted forPatonat 77'minutes
  • 8Erwin

Substitutes

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 4Fontaine
  • 9Mckay
  • 16Spence
  • 18Foster
  • 19Shaw
  • 24Paton
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
58,785

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home69%
Away31%
Shots
Home14
Away7
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home14
Away0
Fouls
Home7
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 3, Ross County 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Ross County 0.

Attempt missed. Lee Erwin (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Karamoko Dembele replaces Michael Johnston.

Tomas Rogic (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lewis Spence (Ross County).

Foul by Jozo Simunovic (Celtic).

Lee Erwin (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

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

Foul by Lewis Spence (Ross County).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Lewis Spence replaces Don Cowie.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Harrison Paton replaces Josh Mullin.

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Ross County).

James Forrest (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Blair Spittal (Ross County).

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Keith Watson.

Attempt blocked. Michael Johnston (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Michael Johnston (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Richard Foster (Ross County).

Attempt missed. Michael Johnston (Celtic) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the right.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Josh Mullin.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Tomas Rogic replaces Olivier Ntcham.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 3, Ross County 0. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by James Forrest.

Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt saved. Blair Spittal (Ross County) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 2, Ross County 0. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Callum McGregor following a corner.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Odsonne Edouard replaces Leigh Griffiths.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Keith Watson.

Attempt blocked. Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Iain Vigurs.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Blair Spittal.

Foul by Jozo Simunovic (Celtic).

Lee Erwin (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Michael Johnston (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

James Forrest (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Keith Watson (Ross County).

Booking

Moritz Bauer (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Moritz Bauer (Celtic).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic22191261144758
2Rangers20172154114353
3Motherwell2313283427741
4Aberdeen2210663027336
5Livingston238783531431
6Hibernian237883137-629
7Kilmarnock2365121929-1023
8St Johnstone215881836-1823
9Ross County2257102245-2322
10St Mirren2254131730-1319
11Hamilton2346132340-1718
12Hearts2228121835-1714
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