Celtic 3-0 Ross County: Neil Lennon praises 'talismanic' two-goal Odsonne Edouard
Celtic manager Neil Lennon hailed "talismanic" Odsonne Edouard after the striker played despite a toe injury to inspire the Scottish Premiership leaders to victory over Ross County.
Edouard was only fit enough for the bench but netted twice within five minutes of coming on to seal a 3-0 win.
Celtic had toiled until the devastating impact of the 22-year-old, who took his tally to 20 goals this season.
"You always worry about a toe injury, it was quite tender," Lennon said.
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"His foot was in a boot. But he did a fitness session last night and said it felt a lot better. He looked fine and fresh and you could see the lift he gave to the team and his second goal was a great finish.
"We were concerned he wouldn't do the 90 minutes so it has worked out okay. He had an incredible impact when he came on and should be okay for Wednesday [away to St Johnstone].
"He 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."
Edouard's double hoisted him to 15 league goals this season - one more than his total for last term, where he scored 23 in all competitions.
His intervention was vital in a game which Celtic, fielding a makeshift defence due to injuries, led through Callum McGregor's first-half penalty but allowed County a string of clear opportunities.
Celtic are now five points clear of Rangers, who have played two games fewer and face Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.
"It [20 goals] is fantastic," Lennon added. "Odsonne is playing better than ever and we are delighted with that.
"I am delighted with the goal tallies of a lot of the players, Odsonne, Ryan Christie, James Forrest, they are well into double figures. I think that is McGregor's eighth and we are racking up the goals.
"First half we weren't at the races. But once we got the all-important first goal we controlled the game. It's a fantastic win and a very important one."