Lennon names four Celtic players who were 'outstanding' against Hearts; hails 22-year-old

Neil Lennon, manager of Celtic looks on ahead of the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Ross County at Celtic Park on January 25, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Celtic battered Hearts in the Scottish Premiership with Odsonne Edouard, Christopher Jullien, Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie and Jozo Simunovic scoring.

Celtic's Scottish midfielder Michael Johnston (L) celebrates with Celtic's Scottish defender Greg Taylor (C) and Celtic's French defender Christopher Jullien (R) after  scoring their third...

Neil Lennon singled out left-back Greg Taylor for praise during Celtic’s 5-0 thrashing of Hearts on Wednesday night, in an interview with the Daily Record, while paying tribute to another ‘outstanding’ midfield display.

Just six weeks ago, Celtic’s crown appeared to be slipping after a 2-1 home defeat to bitter rivals and potential usurpers Rangers, with Steven Gerrard's charges outplaying and out-thinking the champions in their own back yard.

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Flash forward to the present day, however, and the Hoops are now cruising to a ninth straight Scottish Premiership title.

Celtic have stepped up in style since the winter break and, after Rangers’ dropped the ball again in 2020 to lose away at Kilmarnock, a battering of Hearts moved the green-clad Glasgow giants ten points clear.

 

Celtic were at their scintillating best against Daniel Stendel’s side. Taylor was exceptional at both ends of the pitch, producing two assists from left-back, while McGregor, Brown and Ntcham dominated proceedings in the centre of the park.

“I thought Greg Taylor had an outstanding game tonight. I’m thrilled with his performance,” Lennon said after a game in which Ntcham, McGregor, Odsonne Edouard, Jozo Simunovic and Ryan Christie found the net.

Neil Lennon, manager of Celtic looks on ahead of the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Ross County at Celtic Park on January 25, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland.

“They’re playing brilliantly. People take it for granted but I don’t, I know how difficult that can be. There’s a relentlessness about them and the midfield three in particular were outstanding.

“Callum McGregor’s goal was excellent and I’m delighted for Ryan (Christie), said he was due a goal. Pleased with Simunovic as well who has made a great comeback.”

A long-mooted switch to 3-5-2 appears to have got the very best out of arguably Celtic’s strongest squad of players in a decade, with the likes of Leigh Griffiths and Taylor thriving in new roles.

With the title looking all-but secure already, the Hoops can focus now on balancing domestic duties with a Europa League run.

Leigh Griffiths of Celtic during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Ross County at Celtic Park on January 25, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland.

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