Celtic beat Hibernian 3-0 in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden to complete a domestic league and cup double.
The Hoops rode a difficult start to take the lead against the run of play when Gary Hooper finished Anthony Stokes’s cross.
The same combination saw the SPL champions double their lead and, while Hibs worked gamely to get back into the game, Celtic controlled the match to seal a 36th Scottish Cup title when Joe Ledley added a late third.
It also means Neil Lennon is the third Celtic coach to win the double both as a player and a manager.
Meanwhile, Hibs’ wait for a Scottish Cup stretched to 112 years after a second Hampden defeat in as many campaigns, having lost last season’s event to Edinburgh rivals Hearts.
Pat Fenlon’s side started well enough, pressing high up the pitch as top scorer Leigh Griffiths combined well with Eoin Doyle, the former possibly playing his last game for Hibs as his loan spell from Wolves comes to an end, the latter definitely so ahead of a move to Chesterfield.
Former Chelsea and Leeds midfielder Tom Taiwo hit one effort just over, while England hopeful Fraser Forster saved well from a Doyle header as Hibs bossed the opening exchanges.
But Celtic took the lead against the run of play, and from then on they were in charge.
The breakthrough came somewhat typically in the sense that Hibs have been vulnerable in wide positions all season. And it was a superb cross from Stokes – who should never have been allowed to deliver by Alan Maybury – that picked out Hooper, who hooked the ball past a confused Ben Williams at the far post.
Celtic suddenly stepped up a gear as they hunted a second, with Ben Williams saving well from Ledley after he scuttled through on goal.
Hooper completed his brace with a near-identical goal to his first, although this time he used his head to bury Stokes’s left-wing cross after more slack defending from Hibs.
That pretty much killed off any hopes of a fightback, although Griffiths did flash a low effort across the face of goal before half-time.
The second half was less open as Celtic dictated its tempo, Hibs looking well beaten as Griffiths and Doyle were both substituted after failing to make an impact.
Chances were rare though, with Stokes hitting a rasping drive just wide and Hooper shooting over as he searched for a hat-trick.
With 11 minutes remaining the Englishman had another chance to take home the match ball, but he was unable to convert Mikael Lustig’s fine low cross.
However, Ledley was on hand to guide home the loose ball as he entered double figures for the season, and Celtic put a gloss on a fine win that reinforces their dominance of Scottish football.
- Sports & Recreation
- Gary Hooper
- Joe Ledley
- Anthony Stokes
- Leigh Griffiths