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Ten wins on the spin shows our hunger: Rodgers

Celtic 1 Hamilton 0

By Ronnie Esplin

Brendan Rodgers hailed his side's desire after a 1-0 victory over Hamilton at Parkhead gave Celtic a 10th league win on the trot and took them 11 points clear of second placed Rangers with two games in hand.

Striker Leigh Griffiths prised open a tight Accies defence in the 36th minute with his 11th goal of the season after being set up by strike partner Moussa Dembele.

"It certainly wasn't at the level we have been for most of the season, but the mentality of the players was very strong," said Rodgers.

"The pitch looks heavy and it affects the speed of our game, but give credit to Hamilton, they condensed the space in the middle of the park.

"When you are a winning team, you have to have drive and hunger and the players have that in spades," said the Ulsterman.

"We just failed with that last decision in the box, but they got the game done."

Hamilton Accies player-manager Martin Canning added: "I am pleased. I thought the boys were magnificent, they kept their shape well and held Celtic at bay.

"We put ourselves in a position to make it difficult for Celtic at the end.

"We have a big game in two days and we have to find our legs and get ready for Rangers."

Celtic's march to their sixth successive Ladbrokes Premiership title continued with the home side dominating for most of the game.

Griffiths, who had made a scoring return to the starting line-up in the 4-1 win at Partick Thistle on Friday, was among several Hoops players who missed opportunities to put a better sheen on the scoreline.

However, Rodgers' side remain unbeaten domestically.

Hamilton had been crushed 8-1 when they visited Celtic Park in January and although the game was one-sided, they will have to take some encouragement from the fact this defeat was not as damaging.

The hosts, who started with three at the back, took instant control but it was after the half-hour mark before much of note happened. In the 35th minute Accies skipper Massimo Donati, a former Hoop, weakly headed an Ali Crawford corner into the hands of keeper Craig Gordon, before Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic nodded a Patrick Roberts cross over the bar.

However, all the visiting side's good defensive work was undone when Dembele raced clear of the square Accies rearguard to pick up a Tom Rogic pass and as Hamilton keeper Gary Woods advanced, he unselfishly squared for Griffiths to knock into the net.

Moments later, it was Griffiths who scarpered clear of the Lanarkshire defence only to screw his shot wide of the far post and when he crossed on to the head of Dembele just before the break, the France Under-21 striker headed over from only a yard or two out.

The champions resumed their dominance and Griffiths skied a Roberts cut-back over the bar

Gary Mackay-Steven replaced Callum McGregor in the 58th minute and seconds later Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong poked a fine pass from Rogic past Woods but also the post.

As the chances mounted up, Dembele had a trundling effort saved by Woods before Mackay-Steven missed.

In the 75th minute Rogic flashed a 25-yard drive just past the post.

The final stages saw Accies open up a little and although the slimness of Celtic's lead led to a few nerves among the home fans, their 10th league win in succession was secured with little more fuss ahead of a home game with Dundee on Saturday.

Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Simunovic, Sviatchenko, Roberts, Rogic, Brown, Armstrong, McGregor (Mackay-Steven 58), Griffiths, Dembele (Bitton 83).

Subs not used: Toure, Izaguirre, Gamboa, Christie, De Vries.

Hamilton: Woods, Gillespie, Sarris, Donati, McMann, MacKinnon, Redmond (Longridge 80), Docherty, Crawford (Cunningham 88), Imrie, Bingham (Brophy 76).

Subs not used: D'Aco, McGregor, Hughes, Thomson

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