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Celtic and Rangers jag Christmas eve wins

Press Association logoPress Association 24/12/2016

Celtic's march to the Scottish premiership continued with a 3-0 win over Hamilton despite playing most of the second half with 10 men.

Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers had said he had never witnessed a good game on an artificial surface, which awaited his side at the SuperSeal Stadium on a wet, windy and generally miserable day in Lanarkshire.

But Rodgers was happy to see returning striker Leigh Griffiths open the scoring four minutes from the break with his 13th goal of the season.

Midfielder Callum McGregor was sent packing by referee Willie Collum in the 47th minute for picking up the second of two bookings for a foul on Scott McMann before Stuart Armstrong drove in a glorious second from distance and Moussa Dembele, on for Griffiths at the start of the second half, fired in a third.

The champions extended their domestic unbeaten run to 22 games and remain 14 points clear of Rangers at the top with a game in hand over the Ibrox men.

Hamilton, who had lost 1-0 at Celtic Park less than two weeks ago, held their own in the first half but Armstrong's impressive strike effectively finished them off with the third goal simply angering the Accies support who booed and jeered boss Martin Canning at the final whistle.

Griffiths was one of four changes in the Hoops starting line-up with Armstrong and defenders Emilio Izaguirre and Erik Sviatchenko also coming in.

Meanwhile second-placed Rangers were less emphatic, recording a 1-0 win over Inverness.

A 13th-minute own goal from Caley Thistle defender Brad McKay provided some festive cheer on a day when Mark Warburton's team were largely off key.

The win restores Gers' lead over third-place Aberdeen to seven points, although they have played a game more. Richie Foran's Highlanders, however, now sit bottom after their ninth defeat of the campaign.

Martyn Waghorn drove to byline before firing a cross into the box which seemed to be aimed at no one in particular.

But it proved useful as McKay found himself unable to get out its path and watched in horror as the ball fired off his thigh before bouncing into this net.

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