Celtic triumph in cup
Neil Lennon collected his first piece of silverware since becoming Celtic manager as his side romped to a 3-0 win over Motherwell in the Scottish Cup final at a rain-soaked Hampden today.
It was a record-extending 35th win in the competition for the Hoops - their first since 2007 - and ensured Celtic finished the season with a trophy after finishing runners-up in the League Cup and Scottish Premier League to Old Firm rivals Rangers.
And it meant Lennon, who has endured a torrid time off the pitch this term -- including death threats, parcel bombs and an attack from a fan -- could celebrate as Motherwell's 20-year wait for a Scottish Cup win continued.
South Korean international Ki Sung-Yeung gave Celtic the lead shortly after the half-hour mark with a superb shot. Gavin Gunning's 35 yard-shot, which hit the bar, nearly provided an equaliser for Motherwell, who kept things tight until Stephen Craigan's 76th minute own-goal. Charlie Mulgrew's angled free-kick sealed Celtic's victory two minutes from full-time.
Lennon, delighted by Celtic's success, said he was still uncertain if he would be in charge at Parkhead next season. "I will sit down with the board hopefully this week or next and discuss if I'm the man to take the club forward or not," he said on Sky Sports Two.
Lennon added: "This is the first trophy, I'm so proud of them today. (But) I want the big one (the SPL title) on the CV, the sooner the better."
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall had no complaints about the result. "We're deeply disappointed," he said. "We knew we had to be at our best today and we weren't...You can't take anything away from Celtic -- they were the better side."
Glenn Loovens, was a surprise starter for Celtic in the centre of defence, with Mulgrew moving to the left side of midfield. Celtic nearly got off to the perfect start just after the minute mark when Gary Hooper stretched to turn Kris Commons's chipped pass off the bar, but the flag was up for offside in any event.
Mulgrew's curling cross from the left was then cut out by Shaun Hutchinson before Hooper could get on the end of it as Well lived dangerously at the back. Some hefty challenges were made on a slippy pitch with Daniel Majstorovic, Keith Lasley, Scott Brown and Ki all booked.
But just a minute after being yellow-carded, Ki was celebrating after giving Celtic the lead with a fine long-range effort. He collected the ball 30 yards out and let fly with a low drive that flew past Darren Randolph and into the bottom right-hand corner of the net in the 32nd minute.
Gunning was then inches away from claiming a spectacular equaliser for Motherwell when his fierce strike from 35 yards crashed off the underside of the bar and bounced out.
Randolph had to be alert to stop Hooper's effort on the line just after the break before Chris Humphrey had Well's first effort on target when he volleyed Gunning's cross straight at Fraser Forster. Commons missed a great chance to give Celtic some breathing space as he knocked a shot past Randolph after racing into the box only for Hutchinson to clear his effort inches from the line.
The Hoops though got the goal their pressure merited in the 76th minute. Mark Wilson's strike in the box took a wicked deflection off Craigan and trickled in despite the desperate efforts of Hutchison. Mulgrew sealed the win in the 88th minute when Celtic won a free-kick on the edge of the box and he struck a fierce diagonal drive past Randolph.