Jorge Cadete, with two, Brian O'Neil and Pierre van Hooijdonk may have found their way on to the scoresheet, but it was the Italian who found his way into everyone's hearts. His bewitching runs and beguiling touches were at the core of every Celtic attack that rained down on the goalkeeper Jim Leighton.
"Paolo is a special player," Tommy Burns, the Celtic manager, said. His counterpart, Alex Miller, was even more eloquent: "Di Canio does things that ordinary players just can't do - and he has charisma as well," he said. "Celtic's movement was magnificent and I don't think a lot of teams would have survived with them today."
This display must have left Celtic's Uefa opponents Hamburg, who are here on Tuesday, apprehensive. The Hamburg coach, Felix Magath, left at the same time as most of the Hibs fans, when O'Neil's header made it 4-0 after 51 minutes.
They had gone ahead after just three minutes when their former player Pat McGinlay headed Andreas Thom's corner into his own net. His unhappy return was completed eight minutes from the end when he was sent off after receiving his second caution.
Cadete doubled the lead in the 14th minute when he soared to power in a header after Thom's pace had destroyed Hibs and then, in first-half injury time, the Portuguese striker took his tally for the season to nine. Di Canio raced away, slipped the ball to Thom and the German's cross was finished off at the back post by Cadete. O'Neil then stretched the lead further before finally Van Hooijdonk scored the fifth in 72 minutes, with a curling free-kick from 20 yards.
However, victory was obtained at a cost. The record signing Alan Stubbs went to hospital for an X-ray on his ankle after a dreadful tackle by Keith Wright. Hamburg must have wished the victim had been Di Canio.Reuse content