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Celtic lift the 2011 Scottish Cup

Saturday, 21 May 2011


The Scottish Cup Final

Motherwell 0-3 Celtic

Hampden Park, Glasgow

 

Ki 32, Craigan o.g. 75, Mulgrew 87

 

Celtic lifted the Scottish Cup for the first time since 2007 after seeing off Motherwell in a hard-fought encounter inside a packed Hampden Park.

 

There was to be no fairytale ending for the Steelmen who made their first final appearance since they won the Scottish Cup 20 years ago. They produced some decent football in spells but never really threatened goalkeeper Fraser Forster and were punished by a Celtic side who were clinical in front of goal when it mattered.

 

A lovely individual strike from Ki Sung Yueng gave the Parkhead side the lead at the break and just when it looked like Motherwell were going to make a game of it, Stephen Craigan turned the ball into his own net. A late Charlie Mulgrew free-kick made sure of a first trophy for Neil Lennon as Celtic manager.

 

Both sides set out their stall in a positive manner. 'Well boss Stuart McCall sent out Chris Humphrey and Jamie Murphy to provide the threat in the wide areas, supporting front man John Sutton.

 

It was a conventional 4-4-2 for Celtic, with Georgios Samaras partnering Gary Hooper up front.

 

It was a scrappy opening to the match with both sides struggling to settle and guilty of surrendering possession.

 

The htorrential rain played a part and there were some heavy challenges flying in early on as referee Callum Murray booked three players in the opening 20 minutes.

 

Scott Brown almost found himself clean through on goal but Steve Jennings was on hand to produce a marvelous last-ditch tackle to clear the danger as Celtic began to turn the screw.

 

Just as Motherwell looked to have weathered the storm, they found themselves a goal down on the half-hour mark. Ki Sung Yueng picked up the ball about 25 yards from goal and the Well defenders stood off him as he unleashed a vicious low drive that nestled in the bottom corner.

 

However, moments later Gavin Gunning almost fired his side level with a stunning strike from 30 yards that smacked off the underside of the bar.

 

The Steelmen finished the half the stronger of the sides without really creating much in the final third and that would have to change if they were to find a way back into this final.

 

It was Motherwell's attractive brand of football that got them to this stage but it was missing today as they struggled to gain any fluency to their play.

 

However, the first real chance of the second half fell to Motherwell, but Humphrey's powerful effort was well saved by Forster. The game sparked into life after the restart, swinging from end to end as both sides got forward in numbers.

 

Motherwell were almost punished for committing too many men forward when Samaras broke away on the left and drove towards goal, but Steven Hammell produced another last-ditch tackle to stop the Greek striker from laying it on a plate for Hooper.

 

Celtic almost doubled their lead on 66 minutes when Brown played a deadly through ball to Kris Commons, but he was denied by the left foot of Shaun Hutchison who raced back to clear off the line and keep his side in this match.

 

Stuart McCall shuffled his pack with 20 minutes remaining, Hammell making way for ex-Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers as they switched to a straight 4-4-2.

 

Just as his side were adjusting to the new formation they were left with a mountain to climb.

 

Commons looked stranded in the corner but managed to pick out the on-rushing Wilson whose shot found the back of the net with the help of a wicked deflection off Well captain Craigan.

 

The 16,000-strong Motherwell faithful headed for the exits with a few minutes remaining when Mulgrew put some gloss on the score-line with a fantastic strike from a free-kick.

 

His powerful drive flew past Randolph into the corner to put the result beyond any doubt.
 

 

Motherwell

Randolph, Gunning, Hammell (Jeffers), Hutchison, Craigan, Hateley, Humphrey, Jennings, Murphy (Jones), Lasley, Sutton.

Unused subs - Hollis, Saunders, Forbes

 

Celtic

Forster, Izaguirre, Majstorovic, Brown, Samaras (Stokes), Wilson, Commons (Forrest), Yueng, Mulgrew, Loovens, Hooper (McCourt)

Unused subs - Zaluska, Cha.

 

Man of the match: Ki Sung Yueng

 

Referee: Calum Murray

 

Attendance: 49,618

 


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