Dunfermline 0 Celtic 4

Zurawski double fulfils promise
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The Independent Football

The 28-year-old Polish international, signed for £2.3m from Wisla Krakow in the summer, had failed to find the net in four previous matches this season, and more worryingly, had looked leaden-footed and low on confidence. Hardly the "Magic" his nickname suggested.

Yesterday he opened the scoring by dashing on to a pass from Mo Camara and rifling past Bryn Halliwell. He created Celtic's third goal by supplying Shunsuke Nakamura with a pinpoint pass, which the Japanese playmaker swept left-footed for his own first goal in a Celtic shirt. Zurawski made Celtic's fourth with a burst of pace to beat the last defender and finished it with a low, tucked shot.

Halliwell gifted Celtic their second goal with a howler, passing a clearance directly to John Hartson, who had no problem hitting an empty net.

Celtic's manager, Gordon Strachan, insisted that the difference between Zurawski's previous matches and yesterday's display was a simple case of asking his man for a big performance. He denied that the Pole had been spurred on by being dropped for last weekend's Old Firm derby. If management is that simple, maybe Celtic will thrive this season after all.

It was a timely return to form just when Celtic needed it, even against opponents lacking quality. Celtic were without Neil Lennon and Alan Thompson as a result of red cards against Rangers. Short on like-for-like options, Strachan played his new centre-half, Adam Virgo, in Lennon's holding midfield role, and his Scotland striker, Craig Beattie, wide on the right. Nakamura roamed to the left, with positive results, while yesterday's stand-in captain, Stilian Petrov, was returned to his favoured central role, where he made his side tick.

"If I had a picture of what I would want a [perfect] player to be, on and off the pitch, it would be Petrov," Strachan said, praising his Bulgarian maestro, who has been the subject of a bid from Fulham.

Petrov said that he would like to explore his options in either Spain or the Premiership at some unspecified time in the future. But he said he would be wary of taking "a step back" to any club that did not match the size or potential of Celtic.

For all Celtic's dominance, Strachan was unhappy with his defenders for allowing Dunfermline too many crosses. He was probably not referring to Virgo, who conceded a penalty that was superbly saved by Artur Boruc, diving at full stretch.

Celtic lie second this morning, five points behind Hearts, who maintained their perfect start by beating Motherwell 2-1 on Saturday. Hearts' manager, George Burley, celebrated with a pint with the fans in a pub near Tynecastle. It will take a few more wins yet for Strachan to feel similarly inclined.

Goals: Zurawski (5) 0-1; Hartson (10) 0-2; Nakamura (57) 0-3; Zurawski (74) 0-4.

Dunfermline (4-4-2): Halliwell; Ross, Tod, S Wilson, Thomson (Horsted, 77); Makel, Darren Young, Mason (Derek Young, 20), Campbell; Burchill (Hunt, 73), Tarachulski. Substitutes not used: Murdoch, Donnelly, C Wilson, Phinn.

Celtic (4-1-3-2): Boruc; Telfer, Balde, McManus, Camara; Virgo (Lawson, 58); Beattie, Petrov, Nakamura; Hartson, Zurawski (McGeady, 90). Substitutes not used: Marshall, Pearson, Odea, Wallace, Varga.

Referee: Kenny Clark (Scotland).

Booked: Dunfermline: Campbell.

Attendance: 9,244.

Man of the match: Zurawski.

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