Fired-up Celtic roar back

Dunfermline Athletic 0 Celtic 4
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The Independent Online

There was precious little evidence of a Celtic hangover at East End Park yesterday. The only sore heads belonged to Dunfermline, who found themselves paying for the sins of Valencia.

Martin O'Neill's side eased their pain after that traumatic Uefa Cup exit on penalties with a resounding victory which maintains their 12-point lead in the Scottish Premier League.

John Hartson, deputising for the injured Chris Sutton, scored twice for the second successive SPL game, sandwiched between an opener from Bobo Balde and a thumping volley from Alan Thompson.

Such was Celtic's hunger – they also struck the woodwork three times – that they could easily have scored seven.

"The players are still disappointed about going out to Valencia,'' O'Neill said, "but they know the only way we can get back to that level is by winning the title and returning to the Champions' League – and the way they played, showed they want it."

Goals: Balde (8) 1-0; Hartson (20) 2-0; Hartson (60) 3-0; Thompson (62) 4-0.

Dunfermline Athletic (3-5-2): Ruitenbeek; MacPherson (Skinner, h-t), Skerla, Thomson; Bullen, Nicholson, Mason (Dair, 61), Ferguson, Petrie (McGroarty, 71); Hampshire, Crawford. Substitutes not used: Harrower (gk), Nish.

Celtic (3-5-2): Douglas; Mjallby, Balde, Valgaeren; Petrov (Maloney, 73), Lambert (McNamara, h-t), Lennon (Sylla, 65), Thompson, Guppy; Hartson, Larsson. Substitutes not used: Gould (gk), Smith.

Referee: A Freeland.

Bookings: Dunfermline: Ferguson, Mason; Celtic: Balde, Maloney, Hartson.

Man of the match: Larsson.

Attendance: 8,207.

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