Celtic keep treble bid alive

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:33

Celtic keep treble bid alive

Jason Denayer, Leigh Griffiths, Kris Commons and Virgil van Dijk scored as Celtic set up a semi-final with Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Ronny Deila’s Celtic remain on target for a domestic treble after their Scottish League Cup final victory over Jackie McNamara’s United side at Hampden Park on Sunday.
This was the third meeting between the clubs in 11 days – the fourth comes in the Scottish Premiership at Celtic Park on Sunday.
Defender Denayer headed Celtic into a 17th-minute lead from Anthony Stokes’ free-kick and striker Griffiths added a second 12 minutes into the second half as Celtic knocked out last season’s runners-up.
Commons’ shot in the 79th minute beat United ‘keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak for the home side’s third goal before Van Dijk claimed a fourth in stoppage time.
Just before that final goal, tempers again flared between the sides, with Stokes sent off for violent conduct in the 87th minute after an incident involving Paul Paton, meaning he will miss the semi-final against Caley Thistle.
United also finished with 10 men after Ryan McGowan was dismissed for a foul on Celtic substitute Liam Henderson.
Griffiths’ leveller on March 8 had secured the replay, with United having Paton and Paul Dixon sent off in the fiery first game while Celtic defender van Dijk was also dismissed at Tannadice.
Paton, as well as Van Dijk, played in the replay after their clubs successfully appealed against those red cards.
United’s Nadir Ciftci returned from a cup final ban and having escaped a two-match suspension for the replay after his club successfully appealed the punishment for an alleged kick at Celtic captain Scott Brown in the first match of the tie.
Deila made one enforced change to his side with winger James Forrest replacing suspended midfielder Stefan Johansen.
Within a minute of kick-off, Cierzniak had been booked for fouling Griffiths outside the box – the home support looking for referee Calum Murray to produce a red card, although there were back-tracking United players.
But Celtic hardly needed a one-man advantage for the majority of the match.
Denayer powered his header just under the bar for his fifth goal of the season for the opener as Celtic led 1-0 at the interval.
And Griffiths volleyed a lofted pass from Brown past Cierzniak, before he was immediately replaced by John Guidetti.
Substitute Guidetti was the provider for Celtic’s third, setting up Commons to drive his shot high into the net from 10 yards.
After the two red cards, there was still time for Van Dijk to provide a simple finish from a Denayer pass.
Celtic will play Caley Thistle in the semi-final at Hampden Park on the weekend of April 18 and 19.

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