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Edouard nets brace for rampant Celtic while Hagi keeps Rangers in touch with late winner

The champions won 4-0 at third-placed Motherwell while Gheorge Hagi’s son kept the gap at seven points as he fired Rangers past Hibs.

Odsonne Edouard scores his side's fourth goal.
Odsonne Edouard scores his side's fourth goal.
Image: PA

CELTIC EARNED THEIR sixth successive victory since the winter break as they beat Motherwell 4-0 at Fir Park while Rangers, who have a game in hand, remain seven points behind the champions thanks to a late goal by Ianis Hagi in a 2-1 win at home to Hibernian.

Odsonne Edouard scored in each half with Leigh Griffiths and Callum McGregor netting after the interval as Neil Lennon’s men swotted away the would-be challenge of the Scottish Premiership’s third-placed side. Motherwell, however, remain three points clear of Aberdeen.

The hosts took the game to Celtic early as promised by manager Stephen Robinson, Jermaine Hylton snatching at an early chance and skewing it wide.

It was Edouard, however, who separated the sides at the break with help from the Hoops’ other two goalscorers on the night: Griffiths regained possession and laid off to McGregor, who combined with the 22-year-old Frenchman at the edge of the area. Edouard’s initial attempt on goal was blocked but with the help of the bounce, he fired low into the net for the opener.

Motherwell responded and had the lion’s share of first-half chances, but the visitors retreated to the dressing room with a slender lead at the turnaround.

motherwell-v-celtic-ladbrokes-scottish-premiership-fir-park-stadium Edouard celebrates his first. Source: PA

It wasn’t long after the restart, however, that Celtic all but killed off the contest, Griffiths nonchalantly stroking home a guilt-edged chance after McGregor’s pull-back from the left.

Edouard and Griffiths then combined with the Scottish striker seeing his header come back off the bar, before the imperious Frenchman teed up Olivier Ntcham who should have done better than sky his chance from 10 or so yards out.

On went the Celtic rampage, however, and Motherwell’s resistance was broken conclusively on 75 minutes. The goal of the night saw James Forrest drive a low cross in the direction of McGregor at the edge of the area. The 26-year-old Scottish international flicked the ball up with his left foot and volleyed sumptuously with the same peg past Motherwell ‘keeper Mark Gillespie.

Edouard’s second was a peach, too — a 20-yard free-kick which left Gillespie rooted to the spot as it flew into the left-hand corner.

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rangers-v-hibernian-ladbrokes-scottish-premiership-ibrox-stadium Rangers' Ianis Hagi celebrates scoring the winner at Ibrox. Source: PA

At Ibrox, it was another fine goal which ensured Rangers remained in touch with their neighbours, as Ianis Hagi — son of Romanian great Gheorge, on loan from Genk — rifled home on the bounce in the 84th minute to seal victory over Hibs.

George Edmundson levelled on the stroke of half-time for the hosts after Paul Hanlon had volleyed the Edinburgh club in front 10 minutes prior.

Rangers turned the screw in the second half, however, and their pressure paid off by way of Hagi’s arrowed, first-time finish.

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