Dembele scores twice as Celtic earn 21st consecutive win

By Richard Wilson

BBC Scotland at Celtic Park

Moussa Dembele celebrates for Celtic
Moussa Dembele has scored 29 goals for Celtic this season

Moussa Dembele scored twice against Hamilton Academical to give Celtic a 21st straight Premiership victory.

The visitors, sitting bottom of the table, had limited the leaders to a Stuart Armstrong strike against the woodwork until Dembele struck.

The French striker curled home a superb strike on the stroke of half-time.

Dembele fired his second after 59 minutes from the penalty spot after Kieran Tierney was brought down by Massimo Donati.

Celtic's 15th consecutive win in all competitions means they retain their 24-point lead over Aberdeen, who defeated Ross County.

Accies remain one point behind Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who had lifted themselves off the bottom with Friday's win over Rangers.

Dembele makes difference

Celtic were in command of this game, but that alone wasn't enough to overcome Hamilton.

The visitors were disciplined, well-organised and spirited, while their hosts lacked the edge and intensity that has distinguised the best of their work this season.

The game became a test of Celtic's patience until Dembele delivered a moment of improvisation and exquisite technique.

Spinning on the ball then dragging it past Massimo Donati, he made room 25 yards from goal then lifted a shot over Hamilton goalkeeper Gary Woods and into the far corner of the net.

It was striking enough for goalkeeper Craig Gordon to wait for his team-mate at the side of the pitch as the players left at half-time and congratulate him.

Dembele almost added a second early in the second half, but his shot from Tierney's cross was deflected wide.

The Celtic full-back was still to create a goal for Dembele, though, since he was brought down inside the area and the French striker converted the penalty calmly.

Hamilton suffer familiar tale

Celtic's Moussa Dembele is replaced with Leigh Griffiths
Moussa Dembele was replaced with Leigh Griffiths, who was returning from injury

Not for the first time this season, much of Hamilton's play was solid and dependable.

They set up to contain Celtic and their work was diligent and thorough enough to frustrate the home side.

Darian MacKinnon was typically bullish in central midfield, while Danny Redmond kept trying to prompt counter-attacks from deep positions.

Steven Boyd, a graduate of the club's youth academy, looked promising up front, but mostly Hamilton were trying to maintain their hold on a clean sheet.

Redmond did shoot wide early on and one break upfield ended with MacKinnon playing Dougie Imrie in, but he sliced his shot wide of the goal.

The visitors did claim for a penalty late on, when Gramoz Kurtaj went down inside the area, but the Hamilton forward was booked for diving instead.

Just before the end, Eamonn Brophy also had a header tipped over by Gordon.

Hamilton were bottom of the table before kick-off and there is no sense of panic at the club, but this was a difficult day for the visitors.

Celtic ease through gears

Brendan Rodgers' side were not at their best, but enough players were prominent enough to make this a comfortable win.

Stuart Armstrong was tireless in midfield, although he lacked his usual sureness of touch in front of goal.

When Tierney drove the ball across the area, Armstrong raced in at the back post, but his shot from only one yard out hit the face of the crossbar.

BBC

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