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Celtic beat motherwell to lift 35th Scottish Cup

London, May 22 (Agencies)
Published on 23 May. 2011 12:07 AM IST
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Celtic claimed their 35th Scottish Cup with a comfortable victory against Motherwell at a rain-soaked Hampden. Ki Sung-Yeung struck from distance in the 32nd minute for a sensational opener, then Gavin Gunning shook the Celtic crossbar moments later.
Motherwell captain Stephen Craigan deflected in a Mark Wilson shot in the 76th minute for Celtic’s second.
Charlie Mulgrew completed the win with five minutes remaining, confidently striking a free-kick from 20 yards out.
The trophy marks the first silverware for Neil Lennon in his inaugural season as Celtic manager, closing a turbulent season for the Northern Irishman. Kris Commons was drafted back into the Celtic side to face Motherwell, with Anthony Stokes named on the bench having previously been dropped over a disciplinary matter.
Motherwell welcomed back goalkeeper Darren Randolph and Steve Jennings for their first Cup final since lifting the trophy 20 years ago. With just two minutes played at Hampden, Gary Hooper volleyed a Commons ball off the Motherwell crossbar, but the assistant referee had already flagged for offside.
Moments later, Gunning sent in a cross at the other end, but Daniel Majstorovic made the clearance. The big Swede was subsequently booked for a rough challenge on John Sutton. Keith Lasley joined him in the referee’s book for a similar challenge on Loovens that could have easily been a red.
Celtic celebrate their Scottish Cup win over Motherwell. The tone of the game was matched by the miserable weather with neither goalkeeper significantly tested in the opening 20 minutes.
A well-worked Celtic move into the Motherwell penalty area ended with a feeble header from Georgios Samaras under pressure from Shaun Hutchinson. Scott Brown broke free to pounce onto a Commons through ball on the 18-yard line, but Steven Jennings cleared the danger.
Majstorovic needed to be at full stretch to keep pace with Chris Humphrey’s darting run down the right wing, then Ki was carded for a sliding tackle on Lasley before opening the scoring with a sensational strike from 30 yards out.
The deadlock was broken in the 32nd minute when the South Korean international latched on to a Commons square ball and blasted a left-footed cannonball shot past Randolph and into the corner of the net. Three minutes later, Gunning had the Celtic crossbar shuddering in the wind with a blistering shot from 35 yards out that almost restored parity.
Motherwell defender Shaun Hutchinson Majstorovic was lucky to escape a second yellow card when he appeared to deliberately handle the ball on the edge of the Celtic penalty area, but referee Calum Murray saw fit to let him away with a sternly-worded warning and Gunning’s free-kick was cleared. As half-time approached, Craigan similarly handled the ball on the edge of the Motherwell box and Murray waved play on.
After the restart a lengthy spell of possession for Celtic around the Motherwell penalty area ended with Emilio Izaguire’s cross being deflected out, then a Hooper back-heel was cleared by keeper Randolph.
Humphrey tested Celtic keeper Fraser Forster in the 54th minute with a volleyed effort from wide on the right, then Gunning’s cross was thwarted on the left wing by Commons. Samaras should have netted Celtic’s second when he drove into the Motherwell penalty area and went to ground too easily under pressure, then Mulgrew’s shot was blocked by Tom Hateley.
Commons should have done better with a close-range effort in the 65th minute that he toe-poked past Randolph, but Hutchinson was on hand to clear, then the former Derby man fired in a shot that Randolph easily smothered.
Wilson claimed Celtic’s second goal of the afternoon when he blasted in a right-footed shot from the 18-yard line that deflected off Craigan into the back of the Motherwell net in the 76th minute.
Five minutes from full-time, Mulgrew stepped up and hammered in an inch-perfect free-kick that evaded Randolph and sealed Celtic’s win.

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