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Try stopping us now! Neil Lennon laps it up as Celtic hit back

© Craig Williamson/ SNS GroupCeltic's Mohammed Elyounoussi celebrates with Boli Bolignoli after scoring to make it 6-0
Celtic's Mohammed Elyounoussi celebrates with Boli Bolignoli after scoring to make it 6-0

Just like Thursday night’s visitors Lazio, Neil Lennon’s side played in a game blessed by half a dozen goals yesterday.

The big difference, though, was that while the Romans shared them evenly with Serie A rivals Atalanta, here their Europa League rivals hogged them all for themselves.

And in a domestic context that was enough to both bury the memory of the loss to Livingston and hoist Celtic back – however briefly – to the summit of the Premiership table.

“It is nice to be back at top with the kind of performance we want from the team,” said the Celtic manager.

“That was probably the most complete display in my second spell and maybe amongst the best in my time here over the two spells.

“So we can enjoy our night. It is going to and fro for a while but if we play like that for the majority of games, it’ll take a lot to stop us.

“We played some spectacular football – it was exhilarating, there was athleticism, an appetite and an intensity to win the game.

“Then we threw down the challenge at half-time – we can be a nice team and play good football and give the other team oxygen to stay in the game or be ruthless.

“They answered in spades. We have a good team, and there’s more to come from them.”

It had been over six years since Celtic lost back-to-back league games, a run stretching back into the days of Neil Lennon’s first spell in charge of the club. They took the possibility at least part of the way off the table with a near-instant opener, as slick as it was quick.

Jeremie Frimpong, the teenage Dutch defender making his Premiership debut, started if off with a precise pass up the pitch to Odsonne Edouard.

The latter flicked the ball to Callum McGregor, who quickly worked it wide left to Mohamed Elyounoussi. He slipped the ball past Marcus Fraser and cut inside and into the box.

His intention was clear and when his first shot was blocked and came back to him, he didn’t hesitate before curling a second effort into the far corner of the Ross County net. It was a terrific team goal, and a manager’s dream in that it provided immediate vindication of his selections.

With headers from Edouard and Christopher Jullien cleared off the goal line and McGregor hitting the base of the post when left one-on-one with County keeper Ross Laidlaw, 1-0 at half time was not a fair reflection of the play. It was to be corrected, however, by an even more dramatic start to the second period that saw Celtic hitting three goals in the space of five minutes.

Key to the scoring burst was the irrepressible Edouard.

The French star scored the first of the clutch, with a confident finish after being put through by countryman Jullien.

He then turned provider when taking advantage of confusion in the Staggies back line to release McGregor, who made up for his earlier miss by shooting past Laidlaw.

For the fourth, he was on the mark again with Liam Fontaine’s desperate attempt at a clearance not enough to keep his goalbound header out of the net.

Even then it wasn’t over with Celtic, their tails right up by now, adding a fifth and then a sixth to keep giving their fans fresh cause to celebrate.

James Forrest, from a Frimpong cut-back, and Elyounoussi, who cleverly diverted a shot from Boli Bolingoli, were the men who got to take the bows.

The game long since won, Lennon had the luxury of being able to turn to his bench to give brief run-outs to Vakoun Bayo, Nir Bitton and the lesser-spotted Marian Shved.

“The biggest disappointment was the body language from the players after we conceded the second goal,” said County’s co-manager Stuart Kettlewell, of a defeat which brought his side’s four game unbeaten run to a shuddering halt.

“It’s something we’ve not seen from our group. When you concede goals you need a strength of character.

“But we didn’t show that at any point and Celtic grew in confidence. To lose 6-0, all our players are disappointed. We need to use it as a learning tool.

“We said we wouldn’t be judged on what we did here but we judge ourselves as pros and one goal is to acquit yourself well coming to places like this.

“You can’t just talk about it, you need to act it out.”