Dundee United vs. Celtic  3 - 4

Article

Lennon: Scottish football alive and well

14 April 2013 18:30

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hit out at critics of Scottish football after his side's thrilling 4-3 win over Dundee United in the Scottish Cup.

Both cup semi-finals finished with 4-3 scorelines after extra-time, with Hibs coming from 3-0 down to defeat Falkirk on Saturday.

Celtic, meanwhile, needed an extra-time goal from Anthony Stokes to seal their place in the final, after Dundee United twice came from behind to force extra time on Sunday.

Lennon was pleased not only with the victory, but also with the quality on display, and he took a swipe at those critical of football in Scotland.

"It was brilliant and both teams covered themselves in glory," Lennon told the BBC.

"What's the problem? It's not caused by clubs like Dundee United or ourselves, it's people on the outside wanting to batter the game all the time."

"It's great to talk about the football.

"Everyone wants to talk about all the other problems but we don't create them. There's a lot of good people who want to do things right for the game.

"People say the quality of football isn't great. I go down the road and watch English games and there's far better players playing here, trust me."

Celtic look on track for a domestic double - needing just one point to lift their second successive Scottish Premier League title - and facing a May showdown with Hibs for the cup.

Lennon said he would give the payers time off to freshen up ahead of the final.

"We can really kick back and enjoy the next few weeks. It's been a pivotal season, a monumental season in a lot of ways for the club," he said.

"What I will do is give some players time off between now and the cup final because we'll need to give them some rest."

Article

Scottish Cup: Dundee United 3 Celtic 4 (AET)

14 April 2013 16:56

An extra time goal from Anthony Stokes earned Celtic a 4-3 victory over Dundee United and a place in the Scottish Cup Final.

The Irish striker stepped off the bench to net a 104th-minute winner in Saturday's semi-final and keep Celtic's double hopes alive as they booked a showdown with Hibernian in May.

A double from Kris Commons, along with a Victor Wanyama header gave Celtic a 3-1 lead on the hour mark before Jon Daly's second goal sent the match to extra-time at Hampden Park.

It took just over a minute for the Glasgow outfit to gain the advantage, as Commons picked up possession in the middle of the Dundee United half and strode forward unchallenged before placing the ball beyond goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak.

United were given a golden opportunity to equalise after Fraser Forster picked up a pass back from Charlie Mulgrew, which led to referee Craig Thomson awarding an indirect free kick inside the box, but John Rankin's effort cannoned off the wall and was eventually cleared.

Jackie McNamara's men managed to find a leveller on 24 minutes after a counter-attack found Daly, who held the ball up for Gary Mackay-Steven to curl beyond Forster.

And six minutes later United took a surprise lead when Barry Douglas whipped in a free kick from the right wing, picking out Daly, who had got beyond Mulgrew to power his effort into the net.

A minute later however, Celtic were on level terms after Wanyama headed the ball home comfortably.

Just before the hour mark Celtic regained the lead as Emilio Izaguirre played a cross into the box that seemed to deflect off Commons and into the net.

After almost going two goals behind United restored parity 11 minutes later after a superb cross was met at the back post by Daly, who bulleted his header beyond Forster to set-up an extra half-hour.

Celtic gained the edge in extra-time as substitute Stokes found the back of the net, which proved to be the decisive goal in the club's quest for a domestic double.

Premiership table

# Team MP D P
2 0 +0 0
3 0 +0 0
4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0
6 0 +0 0

Premiership table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
3 0 +0 0
4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0