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  • Magnificent seven send-off for Ronny Deila

    Magnificent seven send-off for Ronny Deila

    By: Martin Dalziel on 15 May, 2016 14:19

  • SPFL Scottish Premiership
    Celtic Park
    Sunday May 15, 2016

    (Tierney 21, Rogic 26, Lustig 28, Armstrong 50, Roberts 54, Christie 59, Aitchison 77)


    RONNY Deila was given a sensational seven-goal send-off at Paradise as his side ripped apart Motherwell on the final day of the season.

    The Norwegian’s side dazzled in the sunshine in front of a packed and expectant Celtic Park and gave the out-going manager a fitting goodbye as he departs the club after two years, two league titles and a League Cup.

    The incredible tally of goals started with Kieran Tierney’s first strike for the club and was followed up by goals from Tom Rogic and Mikael Lustig in the first-half. Only five minutes had lapsed in the second-half when Stuart Armstrong burst the net with a sensational volley before Patrick Roberts added a fifth and Ryan Christie capped off an excellent afternoon upfront with his first goal for the Celts.

    Second-half substitute Jack Aitchison, 16, then made history by becoming the club’s youngest debutant and he celebrated in style, scoring with his first touch to make it 7-0 to the Celts.

    The result was the perfect way for the club to celebrate their fifth SPFL Premiership title in a row and will no doubt allow the manager to return to his homeland with fond memories from his time in Glasgow.

    Five changes were made for the boss of the Bhoys’ final match in charge following the 2-1 loss to St Johnstone midweek. Logan Bailly, Saidy Janko, Emilio Izaguirre, Scott Allan and the suspended Leigh Griffiths all dropped out while Craig Gordon, Lustig, Tierney, Rogic and Armstrong returned.

    Welcomed on to the pitch by a guard of honour from the Motherwell players, the Hoops started the match like champions and could have taken an early lead but Conor Ripley did well to deny Rogic, Armstrong and Christie inside the first 20 minutes.

    The Celts soon had their opener, however, after their incessant pressure and it came from the ever-industrious Tierney, who dispatched a clinical finish past Ripley after driving inside from the left flank.

    It was the full-back’s first strike for the club and the significance of the goal to the youngster was clear to see as he was smothered by his delighted team-mates.

    Patience and perseverance then paid off Rogic as he doubled Celtic’s lead five minutes later. Armstrong played a clever one-two with Christie to break into the box and although his curling shot came off the post with Ripley beaten, Rogic was on hand to poke the ball home and put the Celts two to the good with the Australian’s 10th goal for the club.

    Only 27 minutes had gone but the Hoops faithful were already in heaven, with Paradise united in the Huddle. And as the celebrations got underway Celtic won another corner which led to their third of the afternoon with Lustig ghosting in at the back post to head Armstrong’s set-piece through the legs of Gomis and put the champions firmly in control.

    Motherwell ripped up their match plan at half-time and came out for the restart with two changes – Kieran Kennedy replacing Luke Watt and Joe Chalmers replacing Lionel Ainsworth.

    Mark McGhee’s men looked more organised for a brief spell but it took just five minutes for Celtic to reassert their dominance after the interval, with Armstrong finally finding the back of the net with a thumping volley that angled into the corner of the goal from inside the box.

    Motherwell’s defence were being run ragged and the goals continued to come for the Celts as Roberts added a fifth, gathering McGregor’s pass 20 yards out before shifting onto his left and curling an exquisite finish past Ripley.

    Emilio Izaguirre’s introduction for Tierney as Celtic’s first sub kept the noise levels through the roof at Paradise as the home fans showed their appreciation for the Honduran left-back but they soon had even more to shout about when Christie finally scored his first goal for the club on the hour mark after brilliant hold-up play from Rogic.

    The Australian danced past two challenges on the edge of the box and slipped in a perfect pass for Christie, allowing the attacker to shoot first-time past Ripley with his left.

    History was then made as 16-year-old Jack Aitchison came on for Rogic, making him the youngest ever Celtic debutant and he took little time in writing his name further into the history books by scoring with his first touch.

    The teenager darted into the box after reading a deflected pass to perfection and he showed great composure to slot the ball past Ripley to make it a magnificent 7-0 to Celtic.

    It was a sensational way to conclude an emotionally-charged and entertaining afternoon at Paradise and gave departing manager Ronny Deila a host of happy memories to take with him back to Norway after two years at Celtic.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Lustig, Ambrose, Sviatchenko, Tierney (Izaguirre 55); McGregor, Johansen; Roberts, Rogic (Aitchison 75), Armstrong (Janko 84); Christie

    Not used: Bailly, Bitton, Allan, Forrest

    MOTHERWELL (4-4-2) Ripley; Watt, McManus, Hall, Watt (Kennedy 46); Cadden, Gomis, Pearson, Ainsworth (Chalmers 46); Moult, McDonald

    Not used: Samson, Laing, Leitch, Thomas, Turnbull

    Website man of the match: Stuart Armstrong

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