Celtic
Odsonne Édouard celebrates a goal against Hamilton in the Scottish Premiership

Celtic moved seven points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership as Odsonne Edouard’s double inspired a 4-1 win against 10-man Hamilton on Sunday.

Neil Lennon’s side produced an emphatic display at the Foys Stadium to take advantage of second-placed Rangers’ draw with Aberdeen on Saturday.

Marios Ogkmpoe fired bottom of the table Hamilton into a shock lead midway through the first half.

But Celtic took control after Jamie Hamilton was dismissed for a foul on Leigh Griffiths.

Edouard fired home the resulting set-piece and added a late second three minutes after Christopher Jullien had put the Hoops back in charge.

James Forrest completed the Parkhead side’s late charge to leave Celtic back on course to win a ninth successive Scottish league title.

“You want to capitalise and make the most of things. When the third went in we had three points wrapped up,” Lennon said.

“Psychologically it’s good. I’m thinking it’s four rather than seven as I’m assuming the opposition will win their game in hand. It’s the first buffer for a while.

“I’m proud of the players and the momentum we’ve built at the start of year has been fantastic.”

The motivation was clear for Lennon’s team after Rangers dropped points for the second time in a week, but there was a sense of complacency about Celtic in the opening minutes.

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Kris Ajer got his header all wrong as he went to meet Aaron McGowan’s cross and the ball fell for Ogkmpoe but Fraser Forster beat away his volley.

Jullien then failed to get a grip on Ogkmpoe as Blair Alston put in the corner, allowing the Greek to power home with his head after 27 minutes.

The game swung back in Celtic’s favour 10 minutes before the break.

Hamilton got caught the wrong side of Leigh Griffiths as they chased a Jullien long ball, hauling the Hoops frontman down right on the edge of his own box.

Edouard swept the resulting free-kick over the wall into the corner of Luke Southwood’s goal.

Hamilton’s resistance could only last so long and Celtic pounced for the win with 12 minutes left.

Jonny Hayes slipped fellow substitute Ryan Christie down the left and his cross was steered home by Jullien’s expert finish.

And any doubt about the result extinguished three minutes later as Tom Rogic charged forward before slipping in Edouard for his 22nd goal of the season.

Forrest completed the scoring in stoppage time as he combined with Edouard before rifling home the fourth.

VANGUARD

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