Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Action Plus via Getty Images Brendan Rodgers celebrates his side's win.
Three and easy for table-topping Celtic at Hamilton
The Bhoys recorded a commanding victory this afternoon, as Steven Gerrard’s Rangers also picked up three points.

CELTIC MOVED TWO points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership as Ryan Christie’s early strike, a Scott Martin own goal and Leigh Griffiths’s free-kick earned a 3-0 win at Hamilton on Saturday.

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers moved into second with an equally convincing 3-0 win over Livingston, but Hearts’ slump continued in a shock 2-0 defeat at St Mirren.

Christie continued his fine form of late after playing a big role in Scotland’s victories over Albania and Israel in the past week by firing Callum McGregor’s cross from a well-worked corner into the roof of the net on 13 minutes.

Hamilton goalkeeper Gary Woods kept his side in the game with a fine save from Scott Sinclair, while Edouard and Olivier Ntcham both fired into the side-netting from the edge of the area as Celtic looked for a second.

It duly arrived with a big slice of fortune 22 minutes from time when Sinclair’s header across goal was flicked into his own net by Martin.

Griffiths missed Scotland’s success due to a knee injury that had kept him sidelined for six weeks, but marked his return with a goal by drilling home a free-kick low into the far corner.

“It was a good win, and off the back of the international break you want to come back and get the points on the board as quickly as you can,” said Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers.

“We had to generate the rhythm and intensity in our own game today. I thought we did that really well, the passing was really crisp, and we could have been up by about three at half-time.”

Rangers had to be more patient at Ibrox than a 7-1 demolition of Motherwell before the international window, but rarely looked troubled after Daniel Candeias opened the scoring after 20 minutes.

Gerrard left top scorer Alfredo Morelos on the bench ahead of Thursday’s crucial Europa League clash with Villarreal, but the Colombian soon made an impact as a substitute to seal the three points seven minutes from time before Scott Arfield added a late third.

After a brilliant start to the season to surge ahead of the Glasgow giants to the top of the table, Hearts have now lost four of their last five games in all competitions.

Two goals from Adam Hammill ended St Mirren’s 12-game run without a win and handed Oran Kearney his first victory since taking over the Paisley side in September.

Hibernian also surprisingly let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 with bottom of the table Dundee at Easter Road.

Aberdeen’s confidence ahead of next weekend’s League Cup final against Celtic took a battering with a 3-0 defeat at Motherwell.

And Kilmarnock and St Johnstone remain fourth and fifth respectively after a 0-0 draw at McDiarmid Park. 

© – AFP 2018  

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