The Hoops on course for an­other ti­tle

The Citizen (KZN) - - Phakaaathi -

Glas­gow – Rangers were boosted by a late win­ner from the son of Ro­ma­nian leg­end Ghe­o­rghe Hagi, but Celtic re­main on course for a ninth suc­ces­sive ti­tle af­ter crush­ing Mother­well 4-0 on Wed­nes­day.

In-form Celtic striker Od­sonne Edouard scored af­ter nine min­utes at Fir Park and Leigh Grif­fiths prod­ded in num­ber two in the 51st minute.

Cal­lum Mc­Gre­gor added a third with a thun­der­ous vol­ley, then Edouard curled in a won­der­ful free-kick, his sec­ond set-piece goal in two matches, for his 24th goal of the sea­son.

It was Celtic’s sixth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory since they lost to Old Firm ri­vals Rangers at the end of last year.

The Hoops re­main seven points ahead of Rangers at the top of the ta­ble, al­beit Steven Ger­rard’s men have a game in hand.

“The qual­ity of our play and the mo­ti­va­tion, hunger and de­sire and qual­ity of the goals was spec­tac­u­lar,” Celtic man­ager Neil Len­non said.

“Od­sonne’s just spe­cial. When he’s on that form he’s a joy to watch. It was a great fin­ish for the first goal. His link-up play with Leigh was very cre­ative and good to watch.”

Ia­nis Hagi, 21, showed some of his leg­endary fa­ther’s qual­ity to keep Rangers in the hunt as his first goal for Ger­rard’s side sealed a 2-1 win over Hiber­nian at Ibrox.

Paul Han­lon fired Hiber­nian in front mid­way through the first half.

But Ge­orge Ed­mund­son – back in the start­ing line-up for the first time since Oc­to­ber – slammed home his first goal since join­ing from Old­ham in the sum­mer to level just be­fore half-time.

Rangers, who had dropped five points in their first four games af­ter the win­ter break, com­pleted their come­back with just six min­utes left.

On-loan Genk star Hagi (above) opened his Rangers ac­count with a su­perb fin­ish from Scott Ar­field’s header.

“Ia­nis is a top tal­ent. I said that when he ar­rived,” Ger­rard said.

“I thought his per­for­mance grew as the game wore on. In the first half he was get­ting used to the game in Scotland, peo­ple knock­ing him about.

“But he’s a brave player. Even if he makes a mis­take, he won’t shy away.

“His sec­ond-half per­for­mance de­served to win the match. It’s his dad’s birth­day as well so it’s a nice mo­ment for him.” – AFP

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