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Edouard double cuts gap in Celts' mission impossible

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Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard

Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard

PA

Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard

Odsonne Edouard grabbed a second-half double as Celtic enjoyed a comfortable 4-0 win over managerless Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Hoops skipper Scott Brown, returning from a two-game suspension, headed the reigning Scottish Premiership champions ahead in the 29th minute.

Edouard converted a penalty in the 51st minute and the French striker added his second 10 minutes later with an accomplished finish before fellow forward Albian Ajeti added a fourth with three minutes remaining.

Boss Neil Lennon had asked for a response from his players following the damaging 2-1 home defeat to St Mirren on Saturday which he admitted was a new low for him.

There was clear improvement although whether that is enough to appease the Ulsterman's critics is another thing as the Parkhead men languish 20 points behind league leaders Rangers with a game in hand.

Killie's head of football operations James Fowler and assistant Andy Millen were in the home dugout after Alex Dyer had left following the defeat by St Johnstone at the weekend.

The home side were asked to defend studiously in the early stages as Celtic came at them from left, right and centre and there was an ignored penalty claim when Edouard went down in a packed penalty box.

Killie almost took the lead, however, in the 11th minute when a terrific cross from Rory McKenzie found Chris Burke in the six-yard box but under pressure from former Killie left-back Greg Taylor, he seemed to get the ball stuck under his feet.

Celtic's pressure paid off after Ajeti won a corner on the right and David Turnbull's delivery saw Brown escape marker Alan Power and head the ball home.

Edouard had the ball in the Killie net early in the second half but Christie was well offside although he was soon to get on the scoresheet.

Kevin Clancy pointed to the spot after Ajeti tumbled when challenged by Doyle and Edouard slotted the spot-kick only just past the Killie keeper.

In the 61st minute Edouard ran onto a Turnbull pass - there was a hint of offside - and knocked the ball home.

Ajeti rifled in a fourth from inside the box in the closing minutes after taking a Brown pass.

Belfast Telegraph


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