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
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils