Shane Duffy thundered residence a header on his debut as Celtic thrashed Ross County to remain in contact on the prime of the Scottish Premiership.
Striker Albian Ajeti marked his first begin by including to Odsonne Edouard’s early penalty opener.
Second-half objectives from Duffy, fellow centre-back Kristoffer Ajer, and substitute Patryk Klimala accomplished Celtic’s greatest win of the season.
They stay six factors behind leaders Rangers with two video games in hand.
County, with round 300 residence followers watching on in a check occasion for the return of supporters, hit the publish both facet of half-time however had no reply to Celtic’s attacking energy.
Celtic’s change to a again three allowed them to play to their strengths and pair Edouard and Ajeti up entrance for the primary time. The impact was devastating, though it got here with a few nervy moments on the different finish.
County could not take benefit, with Celtic goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas impressing. The Greek bought the faintest of fingertips to an Iain Vigurs free-kick, sending it on to the upright, and saved well from a near-post Ross Stewart header.
Duffy, in the meantime, was relived to see the offside flag raised after being blindsided by Billy Mckay, who latched on to an extended ball. But by the point County striker Oli Shaw struck the woodwork within the second half, the hosts had been obliterated.
Celtic have been 2-0 up inside 20 minutes, with each objectives a present. Coll Donaldson clipped Edouard, permitting the striker to ship Ross Laidlaw the improper approach from the spot, after which Ajeti lashed in from six yards after the hosts made a multitude of making an attempt to clear a free-kick. It’s now three objectives in three league outings for the Swiss worldwide.
Vasilis once more denied Stewart at first of the second half, earlier than Neil Lennon’s facet turned on the afterburners. Duffy’s thumping header from a Callum McGregor nook put the consequence past doubt on the hour and Ajer quickly made it 4 from Olivier Ntcham’s low supply.
Klimala, having didn’t convert from shut vary after great build-up play from Edouard, made amends by rounding off the champions’ third straight league win after a botched Vigurs backpass.
Man of the match – Odsonne Edouard
What did we study?
Celtic want to stay with a 3-5-2. Neil Lennon admitted pre-match it’s his favoured formation, with solely his strikers’ lack of health stopping him deploying it till now. Edouard dovetailed properly with Ajeti, whose predatory instincts once more got here to the fore.
And whereas it could actually depart them weak in defence, significantly down the flanks the place Jeremie Frimping and James Forrest marauded ahead, it’s a trade-off value taking. Duffy slotted in seamlessly to the again three, gave discover of his purpose menace, and can solely enhance when his match health is as much as scratch.
County, in the meantime, should eradicate the lapses on the again. They stay within the prime six, however have the league’s second worst defensive file with 11 objectives conceded.
Stuart Kettlewell’s facet provided loads of enterprising ahead play, solely to have it undermined by shedding gentle objectives.
What did they are saying?
Ross County supervisor Stuart Kettlewell: “It was a crazy game. We were the dominant team in the first half and created the best opportunities by far in open play. We got done by a free-kick and penalty.
“The large variations got here within the 18-yard containers, we did not defend properly sufficient. Outwith that, we created so many probabilities and needed to be extra ruthless.”
Celtic supervisor Neil Lennon: “First half we have been a bit bit off it, which was to be anticipated with a couple of adjustments and totally different system. As the sport went on we seemed much more highly effective.
“Our goalkeeper made some great saves as well – which is something we’ll have to look at – but I’m delighted for him and it was an all-round good team performance in the end.”
Celtic will likely be eyeing one other win after they journey to coronavirus-hit St Mirren on Wednesday, whereas Ross County are away to St Johnstone on Saturday.
- 11VigursSubstituted forKellyat 80′minutes
- 7GardyneSubstituted forCharles-Cookat 79′minutes
- 22TillsonBooked at 56minsSubstituted forDraperat 65′minutes
- 9MckaySubstituted forShawat 32′minutes
- 35AjerBooked at 13mins
- 8BrownSubstituted forTurnbullat 77′minutes
- 21NtchamSubstituted forElyounoussiat 71′minutes
- 42McGregorSubstituted forSoroat 78′minutes
- 10AjetiSubstituted forKlimalaat 62′minutes
- 22EdouardSubstituted forChristieat 71′minutes
- Andrew Dallas
Match ends, Ross County 0, Celtic 5.
Second Half ends, Ross County 0, Celtic 5.
David Turnbull (Celtic) wins a free kick within the attacking half.
Foul by Oli Shaw (Ross County).
Attempt missed. Ryan Christie (Celtic) proper footed shot from exterior the field is shut, however misses to the left. Assisted by James Forrest.
Foul by Patryk Klimala (Celtic).
Josh Reid (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Shane Duffy.
Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Foul by Ross Draper (Ross County).
Attempt missed. Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic) proper footed shot from very shut vary is just too excessive. Assisted by Ryan Christie with a cross following a set piece scenario.
Jeremie Frimpong (Celtic) wins a free kick within the attacking half.
Foul by Josh Reid (Ross County).
Attempt saved. Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic) proper footed shot from exterior the field is saved within the backside left nook. Assisted by David Turnbull.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Alex Iacovitti.
Patryk Klimala (Celtic) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Foul by Ross Draper (Ross County).
Oli Shaw (Ross County) hits the precise publish with a proper footed shot from exterior the field from a direct free kick.
Substitution, Ross County. Stephen Kelly replaces Iain Vigurs.
Substitution, Ross County. Regan Charles-Cook replaces Michael Gardyne.