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
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food