Celtic took the first step towards successive domestic trebles with a 2-0 Betfred Cup final win over 10-man Motherwell at Hampden Park.
Hoops winger James Forrest curled in the opener in the 49th minute before striker Moussa Dembele fired in a contentious penalty on the hour mark, after Well defender Cedric Kipre was sent off for conceding the spot-kick for a foul on Scott Sinclair with the winger appearing to go down rather easily.
There was no way back for the Steelmen after that and Brendan Rodgers’ side cruised to the final whistle and the first trophy of the season.
Tweet of the match
Former Motherwell captain Stephen Craigan sums up the feelings of emotion before 14-year-old Luc O’Donnell paraded the trophy ahead of kick-off, almost 10 years after his father’s death.
Putting rivalries aside today we all get the chance to remember the great Phil O’Donnell who served both @MotherwellFC and @celticfc with great distinction. A super human being and a fantastic footballer🙌🙌❤️ pic.twitter.com/OryBxHI17M
— Stephen Craigan (@stephencraigan) November 26, 2017
Moment of the match
Craig Gordon pulled off a world-class save to stop Louis Moult equalising moments after Forrest’s opener. Given Motherwell had been well in the game before the opener, a goal could really have set the final alight.
View from the bench
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson lined up with a flat back four and a midfield diamond after ditching their normal 3-5-2 formation before last week’s 2-0 victory at Aberdeen and gave as
good as they got in a tight first half. Rodgers inspired his side with a half-time team-talk as Forrest struck early in the second half and there was little Robinson could do to get back in the game after losing Kipre and a second goal.
Craig Thomson was under added scrutiny after Rodgers expressed concerns over Steven McLean’s performance and the approach of Motherwell striker Ryan Bowman during the Steelmen’s semi-final win over Rangers. Kipre escaped punishment for going over the top on Dembele, who was soon booked for a near-identical challenge on Carl McHugh, while the only sign of an elbow came when Jozo Simunovic caught Bowman with Thomson content to award a free-kick. The referee made a major intervention with a very harsh decision to send off Kipre, although the French defender had given Sinclair the vaguest of invitations to go down by moving his arm towards the winger.
Motherwell: Trevor Carson 8, Richard Tait 7, Charles Dunne 6, Cedrick Kipre 6, Peter Hartley 6, Carl McHugh 7, Liam Grimshaw 6, Andy Rose 6, Chris Cadden 6, Ryan Bowman 6, Louis Moult 7. Subs: Craig Tanner (for Grimshaw, 51) 6, Allan Campbell (for Bowman, 64) 5, Elliott Frear (for Rose, 70) 5.
Celtic: Craig Gordon 8, Mikael Lustig 6, Kieran Tierney 7, Jozo Simunovic 6, Dedryck Boyata 6, Scott Brown 7, Stuart Armstrong 6, James Forrest 8, Callum McGregor 7, Scott Sinclair 6, Moussa Dembele 6. Subs: Leigh Griffiths (for Dembele, 64) 6, Tom Rogic 4 (for McGregor, 89).
Who’s up next?
Motherwell v Celtic, Ladbrokes Premiership (Wednesday, November 29)
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