Celtic were undergoing a difficult period having been knocked out from the Champions League qualifiers. They also suffered a Premiership defeat to Hearts in recent weeks. The emergence of Rangers piled the pressure up furthermore in their title defence and Brendan Rodgers, the Hoops boss, was in desperate search of a comprehensive victory this afternoon against minnows Hamilton Academical at Celtic Park. They were understandably the dominant force throughout the game but took more than an hour to break the deadlock and eventually settled for a 1-0 win to ensure three huge points in the aftermath of Rangers’ 3-3 draw against Motherwell.
Below are the Celtic players rated in their win against Hamilton Academical.
Craig Gordon: 7
Made a stunning stop in the early seconds of the game to deny Mikel Miller from a close range. Was mostly untested otherwise and clinched a clean sheet without much trouble.
Mikael Lustig: 7.5
Mostly spent his time making forward runs down the right-hand side and whipping in crosses inside the box for Dembele and Griffiths. Linked up with Forrest time and again while the latter challenged the Accies backline on many occasions.
Dedryck Boyata: 8.5
Returned to action after weeks of controversy and proved to be their saviour by grabbing a goal in the second half to claim a victory.
Kristoffer Ajer: 7.5
The youngster did not encounter much trouble but maintained his composure and concentration while passing the ball forward and distributing it to his teammates while forming moves from the deep.
Kieran Tierney: 8
Was a constant threat down the left flank as he kept on making overlapping runs and his deliveries from the wide often troubled the visitors defensively. Linked up beautifully with McGregor and caused enough threat inside the Accies box in search of goals.
James Forrest: 7
Was unlucky to be denied by the woodwork in early minutes but persistently created chances from the right flank with his cut insides, layoffs, one-twos and crosses.
Scott Brown: 7.5
The skipper had a comfortable afternoon as he was not troubled much. Controlled the flow from the middle of the park and orchestrated moves by finding his teammates high up the pitch with his impressive passing attributes.
Tom Rogic: 7
The Australian came close repeatedly to finding the back of the net and mostly spent his time in and around the visitors’ box. Operated as a midfield attacker and was replaced by Olivier Ntcham minutes after Boyata’s goal.
Callum McGregor: 7.5
Has been one of their most persistent performers in recent time. The Scotsman combined majestically with Tierney down the left and broke down the Accies’ backline with his runs, crosses and goal-bound attempts.
Moussa Dembele: 7.5
Came extremely close on many occasions and also hit the woodwork from an exquisite effort but somehow failed to mark his name on the scoresheet.
Leigh Griffiths: 7
The visitors’ defensive lapse from his corner allowed Boyata to knock the ball over the line, but the Scotsman failed to grab his 100th goal for the club despite multiple opportunities and was replaced by Ryan Christie late in the game.
Oliver Ntcham: 7
Looked confident with the ball as always and linked up with fellow attackers in search of more goals since replacing Rogic in the middle of the park.
Michael Johnston: 7
Impressed against FK Suduva in the midweek European tie and left his mark once again in limited minutes building up a few decent moves high up the pitch.
Ryan Christie: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.
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