Moussa Dembele stakes his claim for Celtic starting spot after hat-trick

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Moussa Dembele staked his claim for a starting spot against Ross County this weekend with a hat-trick on international duty.

The striker, who has struggled with injury this season, scored three times in 11 minutes as France Under-21s came from behind to beat their Slovenian counterparts.

After slotting a 34th minute penalty, Dembele volleyed in smartly at the far post before a stunning curling effort on the brink of half-time secured the win for France and a treble before the break.

It was a welcome return to form for the striker, who earlier in the month missed the cut from Didier Deschamps’ final national squad for friendlies with Wales and Germany this week.

Dembele has suffered with injury problems so far in his second season at Parkhead and has only made 12 appearances in all competitions, scoring six goals.

However his hat-trick could see him edge Leigh Griffiths to a starting spot this weekend and against Paris St Germain next week in the Champions League.

Defender Mikael Lustig was also in action on Monday night, helping Sweden keep a second successive clean sheet to book a place in next year’s World Cup by edging Italy 1-0 over two legs.

Lustig posted jubilant videos of him and his team-mates celebrating the victory in the changing rooms in Milan, and captioned a picture with “(I can) find no words”.