3 talking points as Odsonne Edouard becomes deadly treble hero to help Celtic sink Hamilton


Deadly Celtic kicked off his quest for Ten In A Row with a convincing 5-1 win over Hamilton Accies.Odsonne Edouard helped himself to a hat-trick on Matchday 1 as Premiership football returned to east Glasgow for the first time in five months.

Jeremie Frimpong and his sub Patryk Klimala were also on hand to seal a perfect home comeback for the defending champions.

Boss Neil Lennon watched the club’s ninth successive league flag unfold inside a nearly empty and eerily silent Parkhead.

But where the pre-game ceremony fell flat, his players certainly didn’t.

A somewhat sultry 20-minute opening was given a breath of fresh air by a rampaging Jeremie Frimpong.

His inside dart stroke left Hamilton to scramble and the ball found its way to Greg Taylor via Mohamed Elyounoussi’s model.

The delivery from the full-back was too enticing for Edouard to let it pass and he hit home a six-yard opener.

Before long it was 2-0, Taylor again the provider, this time for Frimpong at the back post, who returned home another perfect cross.

The quick-fire double looked worrisome for Accies, but it was Brian Rice’s side that clinched the next one – Scott Martin claiming the goal after a double deflection that spun the ball agonizingly out of Scott’s reach. Bath.

But as appropriate as this reprieve was for Hamilton’s efforts, they were dead and buried within nine minutes of the reboot.

James Forrest’s excellent work on the right side kept Edouard hanging out with the intention of hitting home his second and giving Celtic some breathing space.

And when he resumed a close-range rebound four minutes later, Hamilton’s fate was sealed.

The hosts eventually found a fifth, with Klimala stepping off the bench to make it home in the dying seconds.

3 talking points

Edouard to a flyer

Nothing, of course, is won in the first few weeks of a season, but a manager’s job is so much easier at this point when his big-name players kick in.

In that regard, Edouard made fun of the five-month layoff by picking up exactly where he left off in March.

Three goals on Matchday 1 were the perfect reintroduction to competitive action for the Frenchman, putting the game to bed well ahead of its time.

Contract negotiations may have been halted but, based on this evidence, this does not indicate a player is working on their ticket.

In fact, Edouard seemed as happy as they came and it’s no wonder with the service offered.

First, Taylor and then Forrest pulled off a hat-trick as simple as the striker will ever claim in his career.

This allowed Edouard to return home with a rather ridiculous record to his credit. He’s now involved in 32 Premiership goals since August 2019, one more than Hamilton has scored in total.

If Celtic are to clinch ten in a row, there is no doubt that goals will get them there.

It’s easy

It was about as low-key as an opener as Celtic could have hoped to kick off a memorable season, until the flag ceremony just didn’t feel right without 60,000 people to enjoy it .

It’s an atmosphere, or the lack of it, that Lennon players have to adjust to for a while.

Even the tentative September return date for fans will involve a limited number and that is all subject to change in this ever-evolving pandemic nightmare.

It’s a shame for a pitch so revered for its delighted noise reduced to near silence, but Celtic have not missed the conduct of their supporters, at least on this occasion.

Celtic were just as clinical and powerful as we expected, with offensive contributions coming from almost every area of ​​the pitch.

The Accies, meanwhile, were competitive for long stretches, but the manner of goals conceded will be a concern for Rice.

He’s never been a manager to sit down and lift the drawbridge in these matches, but while his side were willing to move forward, they were just as static at the back.

Celtic didn’t have to work particularly on their four goals, but there was tremendous energy about them which bodes well for the continuation of the story that is about to unfold.

Back fun

In a talented squad in the final third, it was Celtic’s full-backs who provided some of the most telling moments.

Frimpong’s attacking potential was never in doubt and it was his run on the pitch that left Accies scrambling to recover. The Elyounoussi model found Taylor in acres and his center point for Edouard left the striker with the simplest of finishes.

Taylor then found Frimpong galloping towards the back post for what turned out to be a decisive second.

It has been suggested in some quarters that Celtic could do with another left-back, but it was a season-opening statement from Taylor that he was determined to make the role his own. Boli Bolingoli has barely featured for a few stringing shows at the end of 2019, so the position is there for the Scotsman to create his own.

A very capable defenseman, all question marks over Taylor have been drawn on the other end, but there is nothing more that anyone could have asked of him here.

Frimpong, on the other flank, looks destined to be a star.


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