Lennon pledges to stay as Celtic strike a defiant tone
Celtic 4 Motherwell 0
Monday 16 May 2011
Neil Lennon appeared to commit his future to Celtic despite a troubled first season in charge at the club. Lennon has been targeted by death threats, parcel bombs and on Wednesday was attacked by a Hearts fan at Tynecastle.
Yesterday their hopes of overtaking Rangers at the top of the SPL were emphatically dashed by events at Rugby Park, but with the Scottish Cup final against Motherwell to come next weekend, Lennon struck an optimistic, and characteristically defiant, note.
Goals by Gary Hooper and Georgios Samaras had the game tied up by the interval before substitutes Shaun Maloney and Paddy McCourt added to the one-way nature of the afternoon as the game turned into something of a tribute to Lennon from the home support.
Afterwards the Celtic manager said: "This isn't the end, this is the beginning. The reason I took this job was to win silverware. We're disappointed but we've got one more piece of silver to win."
The Northern Irishman then pointed the finger at the Scottish game for the trials he has faced over the last few months. He said: "I think a lot of people in the game here need to have a good look at themselves in the mirror."
But he took time to praise Celtic's supporters and added: "They've been magnificent all season. We as a club have nothing to reproach ourselves for. Whether it be the board, the fans or the players. They've dealt with a lot of issues with great dignity."
News of an early goal for Rangers dampened the enthusiasm inside the stadium and it took half an hour for Celtic to break through as Hooper scored from close range. In the 40th minute Samaras then had the easy task to slide the ball home from 12 yards after being set up by Charlie Mulgrew.
Second-half strikes from the lively Maloney and McCourt completed a one-sided afternoon accompanied by persistent chanting from the home support in favour of Lennon.
Celtic (4-4-2) Forster; Wilson, Loovens, Majstorovic, Izaguirre (Maloney, h-t); Forrest (McCourt, 66), Brown, Sung-yeung, Mulgrew; Hooper, Samaras (Juarez, 75). Substitutes not used Zaluska (gk), Cha, Rogne, Murphy.
Motherwell (4-4-2) Hollis; Saunders, Hutchinson (Page, 66), Carswell, Hammell; Humphrey (McHugh, 71), Gunning, Hateley, Jones; Forbes, Jeffers (Casagolda, 74). Substitutes not used Randolph (gk), Jennings, Murphy, Pollock.
Referee A Muir
Booked: Celtic Forrest; Motherwell Carswell.
Man of the match: Hooper
Latest in Sport
Barbarians vs Samoa interrupted by sprinklers as fans criticise lack of Wi-Fi and poor seating at West Ham's Olympic Stadium
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger 'optimistic' of making signing, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Edinson Cavani linked
Liverpool vs West Ham match report: Philippe Coutinho sent-off as woeful Reds thrashed with goals by Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2: Jose Mourinho uses forward Kenedy at left-back as frustration with Chelsea defence grows
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2: Blues' Twitter account jumps the gun, seconds before Joel Ward goal seals Eagles' victory
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics