Celtic’s quest for a tenth consecutive title got off to a winning start as they blitzed Hamilton Academical by five goals to one.
A hat-trick from Odsonne Edouard as well as goals from Jeremie Frimpong and Patryk Klimala gave them the three points despite an unlucky Christopher Jullien own goal.
After a quick attacking move, Greg Taylor’s lovely low cross was tapped home by Edouard for the opener after 20 minutes.
Taylor was involved again for the second with another terrific assist for Frimpong to finish from close range.
Minutes later Hamilton found a lifeline.
Scott Martin’s shot flicked off Callum McGregor before defecting off of Jullien’s boot to beat Scott Bain.
After the break, Celtic came out flying.
James Forrest broke down the wing and his early ball was perfect for Edouard to lift it into the net.
Ryan Christie then could have had the fourth but a good save from Ryan Fulton only set up Edouard’s hat-trick, again with an easy finish.
Celtic looked very fluid and sharp in the final third and did add a fifth late on.
Olivier Ntcham’s through ball found Klimala’s run as the subs combined and a first time finish caught out Fulton and found the corner. A very nice goal from the Pole.
Here’s how I rated the players after today’s victory.
Scott Bain: 6
Got the nod ahead of Barkas who is not long in the door at Lennoxtown.
Could have done with slighty longer arms to keep out Scott Martin’s effort but ultimately he was unlucky to concede.
Harshly, Barkas probably would have saved it with his extra height.
Jeremie Frimpong: 8
Probably more delighted than most of us watching as he gleefully grabbed his first goal of the season, turning home Taylor’s cross.
Linked up well with Forrest down the right and was always a threat.
Kristoffer Ajer: 6
Overplayed at the back at times and took more chances than he really needed to.
Christopher Jullien: 7
Was dangerous from corners and saw two well struck volleys blocked with one cracking the post.
A little hesitant in the air defensively but a nice assist saw Klimala net late on.
Greg Taylor: 7
I’d probably almost written him off as attacking-full back but he was really impressed me today in the first half with two excellent assists.
Faded a little in the second half.
Scott Brown: 5
Still looked to be getting up to speed today.
Almost towing a caravan today and gave away a couple of loose balls.
Callum McGregor: 7
Covered ground really well and picked up a lot loose balls down the left side as Taylor pushed on.
Prevented some promising Hamilton breaks.
A really strong strong shift.
James Forrest: 7
Dangerous in the second half as he found more space.
Ryan Christie: 6
Worked hard as always but didn’t penetrate that backline too much.
Good run for Edouard’s third as his finish was saved.
Mohamed Elyounoussi: 6
A little quiet in this game. Like Forrest started to open up the defence but really should have scored as he was played in on the right but Fulton saved at the near post.
Odsonne Edouard: 9
Three good finishes.
Showed that striker’s instinct today and made it look so easy.
After a sluggish pre-season, normal service has resumed.
Olivier Ntcham: 5
Came on for Elyounoussi late on.
Almost unrecognisable without his classic black boots.
Patryk Klimala: 6
Only on for a couple of minutes but my word, what a finish.
Made his run and took the ball early to find the corner.
Could be a provide real completion for Leigh Griffiths.
Karamoko Dembele: 4
Hatem Abd Elhamed: 4