Celtic got their 2020 Premiership campaign off to a good start with a hard fought 3-1 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Odsonne Edouard had us ahead during the first-half with an exquisite finish following some quick feet. His strike partner Leigh Griffiths then added the second after the break before Killie reduced the deficit through Nicke Kabamba.

Things threatened to get a little close for comfort at that point but defender Christopher Jullien rose at the back post to bullet a header in and guarantee an important three points.

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Here’s how we rated the players in green and white.

Fraser Forster – 6

The big keeper didn’t have a great deal to do throughout the 90 minutes. He dealt well with a couple of nervy moments in the first-half without having to make a save while he could do little about Kabamba’s headed goal.

Celtic keeper Fraser Forster

Celtic keeper Fraser Forster (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Jozo Simunovic – 5

Big Jozo was played on the right side of a back three and did well in the main, although it’s clear he’s still getting back to full fitness. He did little wrong but wasn’t one of our best performers on the evening.

Christopher Jullien – 8

The Frenchman was tasked with keeping Killie combative forward Nicke Kabamba under wraps. He did pretty well in the main and, other than losing the forward briefly for his goal, had a very good evening. Added the gloss with a towering header – something we’re becoming accustomed to seeing.

Kristoffer Ajer – 6

The Norwegian was the best attacking outlet of our back three. Often tasked with bringing the ball out of defence, he had a dependable game without ever being properly tested.

 

Jeremie Frimpong – 7

The flying Dutchman had a big say in our opening goal after completely skinning Killie full-back Niko Hamalainen. Frimpong really grew into the game as the opposition tired. Unfortunately his game was cut short with what looked like a pretty serious injury. Let’s just hope for the best possible news with that one.

Jeremie Frimpong

Jeremie Frimpong (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Jonny Hayes – 6

The Irishman was preferred to Greg Taylor probably because of his ability to get up and down the pitch at pace. He did a good solid job of doing so and really grew into the game as it progressed.

Scott Brown – 6

The skipper had another strong performance in the middle of the park. Brown often takes some time to get up to speed after lengthy breaks but this game will have done him a world of good ahead of a frantic schedule of matches.

Callum McGregor – 7

The industrious midfielder had another really good game in the middle of the park. Usually playing in the shadows, McGregor really should have scored in the first half after a brilliant move. His goal will come.

Olivier Ntcham – 8

The Frenchman had an absolutely wonderful game in the kind of environment where he has often struggled. His passing was exquisite as he created a number of chances – especially as the game got stretched. It will be hard to keep him out of the team if he keeps playing this well.

Leigh Griffiths – 8

Griffiths will be judged on goals between now and the end of the season and that is why his rating is so high. He took his goal well, although the keeper was questionable. But Griffiths’ full display gives so much hope that he is ready to end his stay in the wilderness. Two goals from two is an ideal start to 2020.

Leigh Griffiths

Leigh Griffiths (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Odsonne Edouard – 9

Our star man led the way with the opening goal and only got better from that point onwards. His strike was terrific and gave us exactly what we needed at the time. This whole article could be used to describe the rest of his performance. His touch was perfect, his passing great and his running direct. This was the Edouard we know and love.

Substitutes

Mikey Johnston nearly scored with a strike soon after coming on for Griffiths. Moritz Bauer replaced the injured Frimpong late on while Vakoun Bayo also had a few minutes on the pitch.

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