Celtic start Premiership title defence in style

Celtic began their Ladbrokes Premiership title defence in style with a convincing 3-1 victory over Livingston at Parkhead.

Goals from returning midfielder Tom Rogic and striker Odsonne Edouard secured a comfortable interval lead as Celtic began their quest for an eighth successive domestic title.

French midfielder Olivier Ntcham added a third with a penalty five minutes after the break, rendering Scott Robinson’s added time goal a mere consolation.

Celtic were ahead inside eight minutes when Jonny Hayes, making his first competitive appearance in more than eight months after recovering from injury, crossed for Rogic to head home.

Rogic was the architect of the second after 26 minutes as he led a counter-attack and Ntcham’s cut-back was finished by Edouard.

Livingston’s problems increased when Declan Gallagher was adjudged to have fouled Callum McGregor inside the box and Ntcham slotted the ball past Kelly.

Robinson’s consolation gave Livingston some cheer as Celtic move on to their Champions League qualifier against AEK Athens on Wednesday night.

Hearts also strolled to an opening-day win as summer signing Peter Haring scored twice in a 4-1 success at Hamilton.

Mickel Miller put Hamilton ahead in the 17th but Hearts – who started with Rangers target Kyle Lafferty on the bench after his preparation for the game was interrupted by the birth of his daughter on Thursday – soon levelled through Haring’s header.

Scotland international Steven Naismith converted from the penalty spot before Haring – an Austrian centre-back who lined up in midfield – sidefooted his second.

Steven MacLean wrapped up victory on Hamilton’s newly-laid artificial pitch with a fine finish.

St Mirren marked their return to the top flight after a three-year absence with a 2-1 win over Dundee.

Danny Mullen put the Ladbrokes Championship winners ahead after eight minutes but Elton Ngwatala levelled up almost immediately.

Dundee blew their chance to take the lead after the break when Sofien Moussa failed to convert from the penalty spot.

And Dundee were punished when a mistake from goalkeeper Jack Hamilton allowed Mullen to fire home seven minutes from time to give new Buddies boss Alan Stubbs a winning start.

Kilmarnock won on the opening weekend of the Premiership season for the first time since 2009 by beating St Johnstone 2-0 at Rugby Park.

Goals from Scott Boyd and on-loan Bournemouth forward Mikael Ndjoli rewarded a vastly-improved second-half showing from Steve Clarke’s men.

Kilmarnock took a 58th-minute lead when Boyd slotted into an open goal from inside the six-yard box before substitute Ndjoli produced a wonderful 22-yard strike late on.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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