Celtic paid their own tribute to Jimmy Johnstone by lifting the CIS Insurance Cup with victory over Dunfermline at Hampden Park yesterday. The Hoops picked themselves up after the death of the man voted the greatest Celtic player to secure the first silverware of the season and hand Gordon Strachan his first trophy as Celtic manager.
"Some of the football was excellent today, which the wee man would have liked," Strachan said. "It is the first trophy I have won and the first as a new group so, hopefully, there will be more. When the second goal went away, I knew that was us on the way."
The result never looked in doubt even before Maciej Zurawski pounced on a collision between Allan McGregor and Aaron Labonte. Shaun Maloney scored a goal fitting of Johnstone before Dion Dublin hit his first Celtic goal late on.
The crossbar saved the Pars in the eighth minute when Zurawski got on the end of Shunsuke Nakamura's corner but watched his header come back off the underside of the bar from five yards. Ross Wallace, in for the cup-tied Mark Wilson, was seeing plenty of the ball down the left flank and Maloney sent him on another dangerous run moments later. The converted full-back held off Labonte and burst into the area but fired low at McGregor.
Maloney was also beginning to make an impact and Greg Shields prevented him from testing McGregor by deflecting his stinging shot wide. Celtic continued to pressure and McGregor had to be alert to punch clear Wallace's cross from Roy Keane's through-ball. Keane then went close, arriving in the box to meet Nakamura's cross but the goalkeeper pushed his header past the upright.
Zurawski broke the deadlock in the 44th minute. The Pole played a one-two with Keane but McGregor came out to flip the ball against Labonte before colliding with his team-mate, leaving Zurawski alone to steer the ball over the line.
Keane's afternoon ended on the hour after he pulled up holding his hamstring. Strachan replaced him with another former Manchester United man, Dublin, with Petrov reverting to a more comfortable midfield role.
Dublin looked short of action as he volleyed a Maloney cross high over the crossbar. Maloney then curled a right-foot free-kick into the bottom corner from 19 yards. But there was time for Dublin to get in on the act by steering Telfer's cross home to cap the victory.
Goals: Zurawski 43 (0-1); Maloney 76 (0-2); Dublin 90 (0-3).
Dunfermline: McGregor, Shields, Scott Wilson, Ross (Donnelly 77), Andy Campbell (Derek Young 62), Mason, Thomson, Daquin (Tarachulski 84), Labonte, Makel, Burchill. Substitutes not used: Halliwell (gk), Tod.
Celtic: Boruc, Telfer, Balde, McManus, Wallace, Nakamura, Keane (Dublin 61), Lennon, Maloney, Zurawski, Petrov. Substitutes not used: Marshall (gk), Thompson, Pearson, Varga.
Referee: S Dougal (Scotland).
Booked: Dunfermline Mason, Makel, Daquin.
Man of the match: Maloney
Attendance: 50,090.Reuse content