Celtic 5-1 Hamilton: Rampant Hoops Lay Down 10-in-a-Row Marker at Accies' Expense

Robbie Copeland
Aug 2, 2020, 9:20 PM GMT+1
Edouard was the hat-trick hero as Celtic dismissed Hamilton
Edouard was the hat-trick hero as Celtic dismissed Hamilton | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The first Saturday of the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership season was tight and cagey all round, but Sunday afternoon saw Celtic once again separate themselves from the pack.

The Hoops are not messing about in their bid for a tenth successive title, and while eight teams scored seven goals between across Saturday's games, Neil Lennon's team brought five of their own to the party on the day they raised another Premiership flag.

Odsonne Edouard's hat-trick and goals from Jeremie Frimpong and Patryk Klimala came at the expense of a shellshocked Hamilton team who, for long spells, had every reason to be content with their showing.

They were simply blown away by a composed, clinical and single-minded Hoops team who were in no mood for an early slip-up.

There were so many facets to a Celtic performance that reminded us all just what we've been missing while they've been away. Edouard at his goal-poaching best was majestic to watch as he had Shaun Want and Jamie Hamilton beaten for pace and power at every turn, and Lennon will be desperate for the transfer window to close so he can be sure of his hit-man's services for at least another few months.

The centre-back pairing of Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer were imperious as usual, but on a day in which they were rarely challenged, it was the full backs who caught the eye. Greg Taylor and Frimpong arrived last summer and each endured stop-start 2019/20 seasons, but here they looked every bit the established partnership.

Giving off airs of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold with their directness and intensity, they attacked in tandem. Edouard's opener came as a result of the two combining, and Frimpong's simple goal to double the lead came as the result of Taylor's exemplary cross.

Nothing needs said about the Hoops' midfield three, as Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, and Ryan Christie covered every blade of grass and catalysed a performance in which their team registered more than 80% possession.

When you've got a front three of Edouard, James Forrest and Southampton loanee Mohamed Elyounoussi in front of you, it's easy enough to make that sort of dominance count.

There was a brief wobble just after the half-hour mark when Scott Martin's strike deflected in to give the visitors hope, but Celtic have been there and done it all before. They responded with cool heads, and had the game wrapped up ten minutes after half time when two Edouard finishes made it a hat-trick for the prolific Frenchman.

Rangers' win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Saturday was billed as a statement victory, but when substitute Klimala raced through to finish the game off with number five, this felt like more than just an adequate response.

This was a team reminding us, clearly and succinctly, that as they approach the historic crowning moment of an unprecedented decade of dominance, they are only just now digging their heel into the accelerator.

Steven Gerrard's team will know they have to be inch-perfect to even stand a chance of spoiling the party, but on this evidence, even perfection may only take them so far.