Celtic 6-0 Ross County: Hoops return to top of Scottish Premiership
Celtic back top of the Scottish Premiership, with Rangers at Hearts on Sunday
By Press Association Sport
Last Updated: 20/10/19 10:38pm
Champions Celtic returned to winning ways in the Scottish Premiership with an emphatic 6-0 victory over Ross County at Parkhead.
Forward Mohamed Elyounoussi fired the home side ahead from 16 yards in the fourth minute and the champions pummelled their opponents for the rest of the half but somehow failed to add to their lead.
However, four goals in 10 minutes at the start of the second half from Odsonne Edouard, midfielder Callum McGregor and a header from the French striker which went in off County defender Liam Fontaine, blew away the Staggies.
Hoops winger James Forrest scooped in a fifth in the 54th minute with Elyounoussi making it six from close range in the 72nd minute to leave the men from Dingwall devastated.
The Hoops had taken only one point from their previous six before the international break to trail Old Firm rivals Rangers by two points but this was Neil Lennon's side back to their best, albeit Steven Gerrard's men get their chance to go back to the summit when they face Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.
Jeremie Frimpong, the 18-year-old Dutch full-back, started his first league game - Tom Rogic was in for the suspended Ryan Christie - as the champions began the match in whirlwind fashion.
Elyounoussi had already had a drive saved by County keeper Ross Laidlaw when, following another slick move, he guided the ball in to the far corner of the net.
Laidlaw made saves from Edouard and James Forrest before a low drive from the French striker following a McGregor corner was cleared off the line by former Rangers defender Richard Foster.
Edouard was again denied by Laidlaw after he barged his way into the Highlanders' box, with Elyounoussi missing the target from the rebound.
From another Celtic corner, Foster cleared a header from defender Christopher Jullien off the line and the Highlanders breathed again.
Moments later, a flowing move involving Edouard, Boli Bolingoli and Elyounoussi ended with McGregor smacking the post with a shot and Edouard knocking the loose ball wide, before he again tested the over-worked Laidlaw with an effort.
However, Celtic made sure there would be no nervy second half as they blitzed County from the beginning. Within a minute Edouard took advantage of a mistake by County defender Keith Watson to slip in his 10th of the season before he set up McGregor to run through and confidently knock in a third moments later.
Then, in the 50th minute Edouard's header from Forrest's cross hit Fontaine on its way in and the crowd was still catching its breath when Frimpong's cut-back was lifted high into the net by Forrest from six yards.
Vakoun Issouf Bayo replaced Edouard in the 65th minute and from his cross Bolingoli's shot was redirected in by Elyounoussi to complete a sparkling performance, with it taking another good save by Laidlaw to stop Bayo making it seven when he broke clear late in the match.
Aberdeen beat Motherwell, Hibs go eight without win
Elsewhere on Saturday, Sam Cosgrove maintained his fine scoring run as he helped fire Aberdeen to a 3-0 win at Motherwell.
St Johnstone remain rock bottom as their winless start to the league season continued with a 2-0 defeat at St Mirren.
Gary Dicker and Rory McKenzie scored as Kilmarnock beat Livingston 2-1 at Rugby Park, with Lee Miller replying with six minutes remaining.
And Hibernian have now gone eight without a win after Ross Cunningham's 59th-minute penalty for Hamilton cancelled out Stevie Mallan's opener in a 1-1 draw.