Accies suffered a heavy defeat on a cold and wet lunchtime at Celtic Park. It was goalless at the interval, but the league leaders showed their class after half time and were well worth their four goal haul. For Martin Canning, that search for his first win as Accies player manager continues.
Celtic 4 Hamilton Accies 0
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Sunday, 22nd February 2015
Martin Canning made three changes for this game, with Nigel Hasselbaink, Dougie Imrie and Michael Devlin replacing Jason Scotland, Danny Redmond and the suspended Jesus Garcia Tena. The hosts made four changes to the team that had fought out a thrilling 6 goal draw against Internationale on Thursday, but were still able to bring in top class replacements.
Michael McGovern was called into action in the 8th minute when he made a fine save from a close range header from Nir Bitton. McGovern was forced to make another goalline save in the 11th minute when he saved well from a Kris Commons shot from an Efe Ambrose cross. The Accies goal was fortunate again in the 14th minute when a shot by Scott Brown was deflected for a corner kick. The Accies goal was leading a bit of a charmed life in the early stages.
Accies almost got into a good position in the 22nd minute when Nigel Hasselbaink broke clear, but Scott Brown muscled him off the ball and the chance was lost. Then Guidetti went down too easily in the penalty area and the half hearted appeals were denied. Ziggy Gordon had his name taken for a foul on Kris Commons in the 24th minute.
The chances kept coming for Celtic and McGovern saved comfortably from a Van Dijk header in the 29th minute. He then saved a shot by Guidetti in the 36th minute. The referee added a further two minutes but the game remained goalless at the break despite Celtic's almost total domination.
The game restarted with the injured Ziggy Gordon replaced by Louis Longridge. Celtic replaced Denayer with Adam Matthews as well. Grant Gillespie took over from Ziggy at right back and was soon struggling too after a collision on the touchline with James Forrest. He was replaced in the 55th minute with Darren Lyon coming on.
It was still all Celtic and they got the opening goal in the 57th minute when Van Dijk ran forward through the midfield before passing to Kris Commons, who drove the ball past McGovern. John Guidetti had a good chance to double the lead soon afterwards but again McGovern saved well. There was a let off for Accies in the 65th minute when a low shot by Johansen struck the base of the post and bounced clear. But it was only a temporary respite after McGovern could only parry a long range shot by Van Dijk and Johansen scored from close range.
Michael McGovern was a busy man and he made terrific saves within a few seconds to deny Van Dijk and Matthews. Accies created a rare chance in the 76th minute when Michael Devlin headed an Ali Crawford corner kick over the crossbar. The third goal duly arrived in the 78th minute when John Guidetti headed an Izaguirre cross home from very close range. The fourth goal followed in the 82nd minute when Commons scored from close range. Straight after the goal, Lucas Tagliapietra replaced Martin Canning to make his Accies debut.
So it was a fairly heavy defeat and not completely unexpected. The only crumb of comfort is that we don't have to come to Celtic Park again this season! It's hard to take much from the game for Accies, although skipper Michael McGovern was again superb in goals. The lads never stopped trying, but Celtic were just too strong for them.
Accies; McGovern, Gordon (Longridge 46), Canning (Tagliapietra (83), Devlin, Hendrie, Gillespie (Lyon 55), Imrie, Crawford, Routledge, MacKinnon, Hasselbaink
Unused substitutes; Hill, Scotland, Brophy, Redmond
Cautions; Gordon, Longridge
Celtic; Gordon, Ambrose, Denayer (Matthews 46), Van Dijk, Izaguirre, Brown, Bitton, Forrest (Armstrong 59), Commons, Johansen (Henderson 79) & Guidetti
Unused substitutes; Zaluska, Mackay-Steven, Griffiths & Wakaso
Goals; Commons (57, 82), Johansen (64), Guidetti (79)
Referee; Brian Colvin
Assistants; Michael Banks, Andy Milne & Calum Murray