IT may be a stretch to describe Celtic’s win over Hamilton yesterday as the perfect warm-up for their must-win Europa League tie against Rosenborg in Norway on Thursday for the simple fact that they barely broke sweat.

That’s not the concern of their manager Brendan Rodgers though, who could hardly have hoped for plainer sailing as his men came through the trip to Lanarkshire entirely unscathed. There were no worries for example about Craig Gordon making his return from injury on Hamilton’s artificial surface, given that he didn’t actually have to make a dive during the entire match.

In the end, goals from Ryan Christie, Scott Sinclair and the returning Leigh Griffiths off the bench got the job done for the champions, with the final member of that triumvirate particularly relishing his return to the scoresheet.

“It was great to see Leigh scoring, that's important for strikers,” said his manager, Rodgers.

“At 25 yards in, he's as good as anyone. He's always a threat to the goal when he's on the pitch.

“Leigh's a brilliant striker of the ball and he placed it perfectly in the corner. I'm delighted for him because he's been out a long time.

“We were questioning whether to involve him on the Astro but he wanted to play and he got his goal."

Celtic were at Hamilton from the off, and Christie should have done better than place his side-foot effort wide from the edge of the area after robbing Mikel Miller.

Almost the entire match was essentially attack versus defence, with Hamilton’s back five camped so deep they were almost holding up the self-service queue in the Sainsbury’s behind the goal. It was no surprise when the visitors hit the front quarter of an hour in, as a well-worked corner between Callum McGregor and Odsonne Edouard saw the latter release the former in the area with a cheeky backheel, and the midfielder got his head up to pick out the arriving Christie who made no mistake this time as he placed his shot high into the net.

Sinclair had been quiet, but he should have moved Celtic further ahead after a delightful dink by Olivier Ntcham sent him through on Gary Woods, but the Hamilton keeper was able to turn away the winger’s low effort.

The scarcity of Hamilton’s opportunities made it all the more frustrating for the home side when Rakish Bingham completely wasted the one they did have in the first half, ballooning a free-kick over the bar from a great position on the edge of the area.

His wastefulness was almost compounded moments later as an Edoaurd shot on the turn was deflected inches wide, but Accies managed to hang on in there until the break with just the one goal to claw back.

That deficit was almost doubled soon after the restart though, as Ntcham broke into the onto Edouard’s lay-off and fired high into the side-netting.

The match settled back into its familiar pattern of Celtic completely dominating possession, but they were finding it more difficult to pick holes in the massed ranks of the home defence despite the amount of ball that they were having.

They finally managed to remove the scintilla of doubt about the destination of the points with a little over 20 minutes to go, although there was a touch of fortune about the goal when it came.

A deep cross from Mikael Lustig found Sinclair in the area, with his header back across goal coming off the luckless Scott Martin and finding the far corner.

That was the cue for Rodgers to protect some of his key men with the trip to Norway in mind, with Edouard and Kieran Tierney taking a well-earned rest and Griffiths and Emilio Izaguirre getting some welcome game-time.

Griffiths in particular looked determined to make up for the time he had lost to injury since his last involvement seven weeks ago at St Johnstone, and he took just eight minutes to make his mark on proceedings.

Sinclair was fouled on the edge of the box, and the striker strolled up to the dead ball and smacked it low past Woods into the bottom left-hand corner.

It was no more than Celtic, and indeed Hamilton, deserved for their afternoon’s work.

“It’s always going to be difficult when you’re playing Celtic and the plan for us was to frustrate Celtic and keep us in the game for as long as we could,” said Hamilton boss Martin Canning.

“We lost two goals from set-pieces which from our point of view is disappointing because it was stuff we’d spoken about and it shouldn’t have happened.

“The second one from a free-kick is a cheap one from our point of view, but Scott Sinclair scores from a header which he’s not renowned for and which I wouldn’t have expected with (Delphin) Tshiembe and (Aaron) McGowan at the back post. I’d expect them to go and deal with that, so the goals are disappointing.”