Celtic vs Hamilton always reads like it will be a walkover, and despite a positive showing from the visitors, Neil Lennon’s men powered their way to an opening day three points in this one.
Odsonne Edouard’s hat-trick, Jeremie Frimpong’s effort, and a late Patryk Klimala strike were enough to secure the win in a convincing 5-1 success. A Christopher Jullien own goal gave the Accies hope, but the truth is they were second best all afternoon.
And that was mainly down to the clinical finishing of Edouard, the crossing ability of Greg Taylor, and the pace of Frimpong. All three impressed well as Accies just failed to cope with Celtic’s quality.
But what did they score overall in our player ratings? Here we take a look at how the Celts performed individually:
Scott Bain – 6
It’s so easy to have a pop at Bain for anything at the moment. But he didn’t do a lot wrong this afternoon. Jullien’s own goal was a freak moment that not many would’ve kept out the net. Outside of the goal, Bain looked solid enough, but it’s only a matter of time before Vasilios Barkas takes his place in the sticks.
Jeremie Frimpong – 8
A speed merchant down the right flank, it was Frimpong’s directness that lifted Celtic when we needed it most. Played a key role in both goals as his pace opened Accies up for the first before he darted into the area to connect for our second. Outside of that he was constantly making himself available and combining effectively with his team-mates throughout.
Christopher Jullien – 6
It’s not only the goal that makes us mark Jullien down a tad. After all, it was a freak moment that could’ve happened to anyone. But outside of that, he had some awkward moments. Beaten in the air a bit too much and sending a pass or two wayward suggests that this wasn’t the big man’s best day. Still extremely comfortable at this level.
Kristoffer Ajer – 7
Solid and composed. Nothing more to say about big Kris’ performance here. Was never targeted by Hamilton as they knew they were getting no joy from him. Came close to a goal on opening day with a first-half header. Too good for David Moyo and Marios Ogboe.
Greg Taylor – 8
Deserves this number for two superb assists that put Celtic in the ascendancy. Was constantly up and down the left flank as he worked tirelessly all afternoon. His effect going forward did die down in the second half, but the damage was done and he could hold his head up high as he came off late on.
Scott Brown – 7
Mr Reliable put in a display befitting of the nickname. Constantly kept the play moving whilst providing the defence with sufficient cover. Another season comes along and still Broony doesn’t look like he’s slowing up. Kept it simple with no errors to his game.
Callum McGregor – 7
Another 7 and this time for CalMac. There was no real need for him to get overly involved in the attacking side of things with so much going through the wing-backs, but he was still involved to provide an extra man down the left when needed. Not a loose pass that you can remember as he produced another controlled performance.
James Forrest – 6
Call this harsh but for us, we didn’t see much from James in this one. One of his quieter afternoons as most of his touches on the ball seemed to be taking us backwards. Looks like he may take some time to get fully up to speed, but he did come close with a late curler in the second half and crossed well for Edouard to net his second.
Ryan Christie – 7
Deserved a goal or a direct assist today. May claim one of the latter after his weak effort was parried straight to Edouard for his third. Showed tremendous footwork in tight areas this afternoon and was a constant link between the midfield and the forward line. The odd slack moment but that was simply down to him consistently offering himself for the ball.
Mohamed Elyounoussi – 6
Quiet day for Mo but not for the want of trying. Had a couple of moments when he cut inside in the first half and saw some efforts blocked. His influence waned as the game wore on, but still contributed with his combination play. He’ll only get better with more games.
Odsonne Edouard – 10
Unplayable – simply unplayable. Two of his goals may have been put on a plate for him, but they sandwiched a fine strike when he buried a cross for his second. You could see the confidence radiating through him after every strike, and in the end Hamilton couldn’t touch him. It’s frightening to think how good he can be this season.
Olivier Ntcham – 5: Was the first to come on but the game was dying out and he didn’t manage to lift it to any real degree. Needed more time.
Karamoko Dembele – 3: Exciting to see the youngster back on yet again after an impressive outing vs Hibs in pre-season. Too late to make an impact.
Patryk Klimala – 5: On late on along with Dembele and managed to come up with another fine finish to add to his brace vs Hibs in last week’s friendly. He’s one to watch this season.
Hatem Elhamed – 2: No real impact whatsoever but good to see him back in competitive action.