Five-star Celtic pick up prize

Date published: Sunday 24th May 2015 2:20

Stefan Scepovic scored twice with Stefan Johansen, Leigh Griffiths and Kris Commons also on target at Celtic Park, before former striker Harald Brattbakk presented the Hoops with the trophy they have won for the past four years.

The home side took just five minutes to open the scoring when Johansen delivered a free-kick to the back post and Virgil van Dijk nodded the ball down for Scepovic to touch over the line just ahead of Nir Bitton.

Celtic almost struck again within three minutes as Van Dijk rose to beat Gary Warren and the advancing Ryan Esson to an Emilio Izaguirre chip but Carl Tremarco headed the ball off the line.

Caley Thistle ‘keeper Esson then denied Scepovic a second when he got down and blocked a powerful first-time drive from 16 yards after Johansen stabbed the ball through to the Celtic striker.

But the goal was merely delayed until the 18th minute when Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong combined to release Izaguirre, who got between two Caley Thistle players and squared a pass for Johansen to shoot into the corner from 12 yards.

Josh Meekings was involved in a controversial hand-ball incident against the Hoops at Hampden last month and was left out of their travelling party but manager John Hughes appeared to find an able replacement in Danny Williams, who used his hand to keep out a Van Dijk header, and once again Celtic were denied the penalty.

Inverness finally managed a shot just four minutes before the break when James Vincent tried his luck from just outside the penalty area, but dragged the ball wide of Craig Gordon’s goal.

Celtic squandered another chance 10 minutes into the second half when James Forrest raced to the goal-line and cut the ball back to the penalty spot where Armstrong arrived to shoot over the bar.

Scepovic took his tally to six goals in as many starts when he burst forward and passed to Johansen, who flicked on to Forrest and he squared to the striker to place the ball into the net from six-yards with 20 minutes remaining.

The Hoops replaced Armstrong and Scepovic for Commons and Griffiths, and the substitutes combined on 80 minutes when the latter ran on to a threaded pass and crashed a low shot past Esson.

Commons completed the rout a minute from the end when Griffith dummied a cut-back from Izaguirre and the midfielder smashed home a low shot from 25 Yards.

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