2015 has seen Celtic transform their season and their playing style. As we get down to the serious part of the season Celtic are hitting form at just the right time.
Still involved in all competitions they entered at the start of the season it could be a year for a major trophy haul. Celtic have only conceded one goal in the league this year. The only concern before facing Hamilton today all revolved around Inter Milan. One concern will be the after effects of Thursday night and the other will be focus going adrift to next Thursdays showdown in the San Siro.
Celtic made some changes for today’s clash with Kris Commons back in the fold after injury. James Forrest also started with Efe Ambrose. John Guidetti earned himself a start after his heroic 94th minute equaliser against Milan.
In the first ten minutes Celtic showed no signs of tiredness or a lack of focus as they produced 3 good chances in front of goal in the first 20 minutes. After that Celtic enjoyed plenty of possession without creating too many real goal scoring chances.
With 5 minutes before the half-time whistle both James Forrest and John Guidetti had half chances but neither connected with the ball in a way to trouble the Accies keeper. The major plus from the first half was that Hamilton didn’t produce a single shot at goal.
Coming back out of the tunnel at half time Celtic lost Jason Denayer and Adam Matthews came on while Ambrose slotted into centre back.
On the 56th minute Virgil Van Dijk power housed himself from his own half up to the edge of the Hamilton box before he set up Kris Commons to slot the ball home and send Celtic one up.
Two minutes later Van Dijk nearly got his second assist as he sent a long ball forward into the box that was met by Johansen but he could only generate enough power to give the keeper a comfortable save.
As per usual once Celtic manage to breakdown it’s SPFL opposition and stick a goal past them gaps start to open and Celtic start to turn the screw. John Guidetti managed to get one on one with the Hamilton keeper only for the ball to be smothered by the on rushing McGovern.
Just after the hour mark it was the turn of Johansen as he snapped a shot that came crashing back off the post. He only had to wait a full two minutes to get his second chance as big Van Dijk made another burst into the box and unleashed a shot only for the rebound to fall for Johansen to tap the ball home for Celtic’s second.
Izaguirre has spent most of this season in the opposition half and with just over ten minutes left he put the ball on a plate for John Guidetti to head in Celtic’s 3rd goal and put to game to bed.
Another run by Virgil on the 80th minute caused all kinds of problems again for Accies and some interplay between Matthews and Kris Commons led to Celtic’s fourth goal and Commons second.
Celtic can fly to Milan on the back of a confident win with more players like Commons and James Forrest getting some game time, while others like Armstrong, Mackay-Steven and Adam Matthews managed to get some rest before Thursday.
Celts Are Here Man of the Match: Virgil Van Dijk
Gordon; Ambrose, Denayer, Van Dijk, Izaguirre; Brown, Bitton; Commons, Johansen, Forrest; Guidetti
Substitutes: Zaluska, Matthews, Armstrong, Mackay-Steven, Griffiths, Wakaso, Henderson