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  • Guidetti the hat-trick hero as Celts hit Jags for six

    Guidetti the hat-trick hero as Celts hit Jags for six

    By: Mark Henderson on 29 Oct, 2014 21:47

  • League Cup quarter-final
    Celtic Park, Glasgow
    Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    (Guidetti 30, 52, 56 Izaguirre 48, Griffiths 62, 68)


    GOAL-machine John Guidetti hammered in his first Celtic hat-trick as the Hoops thrashed 10-man Partick Thistle 6-0 in Paradise to book their place in the League Cup semi-final.

    The Swedish striker demonstrated his dead-ball dexterity with two fantastic free-kicks either side of half-time, and he claimed his treble from the penalty spot with just 56 minutes on the clock.

    By that stage, victory was already assured, with Emilio Izaguirre scoring his first goal in four years for the club to give the Scottish champions a three-goal cushion.

    Thistle's cause was not helped by Stuart Bannigan’s red card seconds before the interval for a crude challenge on Guidetti.

    And substitute Leigh Griffiths compounded the visitors’ misery with a late double to seal the Hoops' spot in the semi-finals, with the draw taking place on Saturday evening.  

    Anthony Stokes returned to the starting XI as Rony Deila made three changes from the team who defeated Kilmarnock 2-0 on Sunday.

    The striker replaced Stefan Scepovic, with Mikael Lustig and Charlie Mulgrew also restored to the side. Adam Matthews and Mubarak Wakaso dropped out.

    Clear chances were a rare commodity in the opening exchanges as both sides vied for supremacy, though former Celtic youngster Bannigan did give a signal of the visitors’ intent by firing over from 25 yards after intercepting Mulgrew’s clearance.

    Lustig had shown plenty of early enterprise down the right, and it was the Swede who carved out Celtic’s first opportunity in the 13th minute. His inviting cross was met by an unmarked Stokes at the far post but the Irishman couldn’t divert his header on target.

    The Jags replied with a flowing move down the right which culminated in James Craigen flashing a low effort narrowly wide for the post. Celtic had to up their game – and they did.

    After a spell of sustained pressure, Johansen picked out Lustig’s well-timed run into the box with a lovely ball and the defender’s header was blocked by Fox at his near post.  

    On the half-hour mark, the breakthrough arrived. Guidetti was fouled on the angle of the box and the striker picked himself up before finding the top corner from the free-kick, with a powerful, curling effort.  

    Buoyed by their opening goal, Celtic were now piecing together some slick passages of play but were wasteful with the final ball.

    That gave Alan Archibald’s side hope - Nathan Eccleston took aim from 20 yards but Craig Gordon was right behind his rasping effort and made a comfortable stop.

    However, a moment of madness from Bannigan on the stroke of half-time left the visitors with an uphill task. The midfielder recklessly slid in on Guidetti on the touchline and referee Kevin Glancy had no option other than to give him his marching orders.

    Guidetti looked in considerable pain but he was able to continue after treatment – and he would inflict further agony on the Maryhill side after the break.

    However, it would be an unlikely source who would plunder Celtic’s next goal – Emilio Izaguirre. The popular Honduran hadn’t found the net in four years but he fastened on to Stokes’ flick on and steered the ball under Fox with a superb right-foot finish. His delight was understandable and evident.

    Moments later, Guidetti effectively ended the contest with another stunning set-piece from 25 yards. This time Fox didn’t move as the ball whizzed past the keeper into the top corner.

    The 22-year-old could sense a first Celtic hat-trick was in the offing and only three minutes later he could lay claim to the match ball.

    Sent tumbling in the box by Abdul Osman, referee Glancy pointed immediately to the spot. There was only one candidate to take the penalty, and Guidetti made no mistake, thumping the ball emphatically into the corner.

    With progress now ensured, Stokes was replaced by Griffiths and it only took the former Hibs hit-man four minutes to make his mark.

    Johansen’s pass sent Izaguirre scampering clear down the left and his pinpoint cross was clinically finished by a Griffiths header.

    Guidetti then left the field to a rapturous reception and probably to Thistle’s relief. But despite the absence of the super Swede, Celtic continued to run amok and they quickly broke Thistle’s resistance again.

    Fox had already almost been disposed by Guidetti but he failed to heed that lesson in the 68th minute as Griffiths blocked his clearance and the ball trundled into the net.

    Mubarak Wakaso, Stefan Scepovic and Griffiths had further chances in the closing stages but Thistle were spared further humiliation as Celtic booked a semi-final spot at Hampden.

    CELTIC (4-3-3) Gordon; Lustig, Denayer, van Dijk, Izaguirre; Brown, Mulgrew, Johansen; McGregor (Wakaso 46), Guidetti (Scepovic 63),Stokes (Griffiths 58).
    Not Used: Zaluska, Matthews, Ambrose, Kayal

    PARTICK THISTLE (4-1-4-1) Fox; O’Donnell, Balatoni, Seabourne, McMillan; Elliot (Carroll 64), Craigan, Osman, Bannigan, Lawless (Higginbotham 57; Eccleston (Doolan 59).
    Not Used: Gallacher, Stevenson, Frans, Wilson

    Website Man of the Match: John Guidetti

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