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  • On This Day… a league and cup double for Neil Lennon’s Hoops

    On This Day… a league and cup double for Neil Lennon’s Hoops

    By: Joe Donnelly on 26 May, 2020 18:01

  • IN a season where Celtic toppled the mighty Barcelona 2-1 at Paradise, a 1-1 home draw with Arbroath marked a pretty inauspicious start to their Scottish Cup campaign of 2012/13.

    An Adam Matthews strike on 18 minutes saw the Hoops win the replay at Gayfield Park two weeks later, before Neil Lennon’s men won back-to-back away wins against Raith Rovers (3-0) and St Mirren (2-1) in the months which followed. A thrilling 4-3 win over Dundee United in the tournament’s semi-final came after that – with Anthony Stokes hitting an extra-time winner – before the final showdown with Hibernian on May 26, 2013.

    On that afternoon, seven years ago today, the recently-crowed two-in-a-row league champions ran out 3-0 winners, with Gary Hooper scoring two in the opening half-hour and Joe Ledley sealing the deal with 10 minutes of normal time to go.

    "The season has been brilliant with the last 16 of the Champions League and winning the league title – and the Scottish Cup was a good way to round it all off,” Hooper told the Celtic View at Hampden. "Hibs are a good team and they did well to come from 3-0 down to beat Falkirk in the semi-final, but I thought we handled it well and got the goals at good times.

    "Once we found our feet we settled in. They were definitely on top in the first 10 minutes, but once Stoksey put that great ball in that settled us down. We were on top after that for the rest of the game.

    "It was great to have him playing next to me. He's a great striker and he works his socks off. He showed again how good he is at setting up goals but he was looking for one himself towards the end. He put the two crosses in for me and I'm glad he got the Man of the Match award because he worked his socks off.

    "My goals came from two great balls from him, one right foot and one left foot. I had a chance for a third but I completely missed it. Joe Ledley was there, though, and he scored. I hurt myself somehow when I missed the ball but Joe closed his eyes and thumped it! I’m joking, of course. It was a good shot.

    "It was a great win in the end and we're delighted with the double. This, getting to the last 16, winning the league, and scoring 31 goals, I'm at the top of my career.”

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