Wednesday 18 October 2017

Deila departs in style as Celtic bag seven in rout

Celtic 7 Motherwell 0

Celtic's Scott Brown lifts the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership trophy with team mates following the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA
Celtic's Scott Brown lifts the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership trophy with team mates following the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA
Celtic manager Ronny Deila with the trophy in his last game following the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA
Ryan Christie celebrates scoring the sixth goal for Celtic. Photo: Russell Cheyne/Reuters
Celtic's Jack Aitchison celebrates scoring their seventh goal. Photo: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Roddy Forsyth

Bathed in delectable sunshine with football to match, the home crowd at Celtic Park were treated at last to the style of play the fans had craved on so many lacklustre occasions this season.

For Ronny Deila the occasion saw him granted a heartfelt salute by many who had previously directed jeers in his direction despite adding two Scottish titles to the three acquired under Neil Lennon.

Of course, it helped that Motherwell were already snoozing on their beach loungers, but Celtic were without four regulars in Nir Bitton, Scott Brown, Charlie Mulgrew and Leigh Griffiths and still managed seven goals from as many scorers, with the last falling to the youngest player to appear for the club in a competitive game.

At the age of 16 years and 71 days, Jack Aitchison was granted his debut and had not been two minutes on the field when he coolly drilled his shot beyond Connor Ripley.

"It's just brilliant - an amazing feeling," the teenager said. "I've been dreaming of this since I was a wee boy."

The chance had been set up by Ryan Christie, on his sixth appearance since arriving from Inverness in January, who also scored his first goal in green and white. The unfortunate Ripley was also beaten by Kieran Tierney, Tom Rogic, Mikael Lustig, Stuart Armstrong and Patrick Roberts.

Celtic's haul might easily have run to double figures had it not been for Ripley's impressive early interventions.

"It's an emotional day, a fantastic day in every way," Deila said, clearly emotional amid the tumult. "We played very, very well with a very young team, and scored seven goals.

"There is so much talent here and it is great to let these guys have the opportunity. They can be great in the future.

"The academy is a very important part of this club - they have done a very good job. It is so good to get the youngsters on the pitch and for them to perform so well.

"These two years have been special to me. It is a tough day and hard to speak about. I have had two fantastic years but I am going to enjoy my new life now."

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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