Sinclair double gives Celtic boost ahead of PSG

Glasgow: Scott Sinclair grabbed a brace as Celtic returned to the top of the Scottish Premiership with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Hamilton on Friday. The manner of victory will boost the confidence of the Scottish champions ahead of their Champions League opener against French giants Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday at Parkhead. Stuart Armstrong’s composed finish gave Celtic a 17th-minute lead before Sinclair doubled their advantage with a curling effort 12 minutes later.
Sinclair — who has enjoyed a new lease of life to his career since joining Celtic before last season — added another three minutes before the break for his eighth of the season as the visitors ran rampant.
French forward Odosonne Edouard then marked a dream debut following his loan switch from Paris Saint-Germain with a 65th-minute strike before Alex Gogic headed home an 87th-minute consolation for Hamilton.
The win moves Celtic one point clear of Aberdeen — who visit Hearts on Saturday — at the top of the table as they extend their unbeaten domestic run to 54 matches.
“I thought technically the boys were brilliant, we played our shape really well and scored some wonderful goals,” said Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers.
“The composure and quality we played with was absolutely outstanding.”
For his Hamilton counterpart Martin Canning it was a salutary lesson in the chasm in resources and class between the two sides.
“In the first half it was probably as good as I’ve seen Celtic and I think a lot of teams will struggle to cope with them in that form,” said Canning.
Despite the visit of PSG looming on the horizon, Rodgers resisted the temptation to rest his top players as he fielded a strong side.
Armstrong carried on the excellent form he showed while on international duty with Scotland as he fired Celtic ahead.
The midfielder gathered the ball wide on the left after Callum McGregor’s shot was blocked and played a one-two with his team-mate before cutting into the box and curling a shot into the bottom right-hand corner.
Edouard’s power and pace helped set up Celtic’s second.
The French forward latched on to Simunovic’s through ball and brushed off two Hamilton defenders to reach the edge of the box where his run was halted by Scott McMann’s sliding challenge.
However, the ball broke to Sinclair, who took a touch and curled the ball past Gary Woods. — AFP