Friday 24 November 2017

Commons hails impact of 'world-class' striker Hooper

Kris Commons believes Celtic team-mate Gary Hooper has limitless potential after the striker marked his first Champions League start with a goal in a famous victory.

Hooper's first-time finish set Celtic on their way to a 3-2 win against Spartak Moscow on Tuesday, their first away victory in the group stages of the competition.

Georgios Samaras made his first start since recovering from an elbow injury sustained on Greece duty last month and scored a late winner.

Manager Neil Lennon, glad to see his seemingly endless faith in Samaras vindicated, described Hooper's performance as "world class" after the striker had opened the scoring with his seventh goal in four games.

Hooper set up the second goal and his movement and alertness to receive a short free-kick paved the way for Emilio Izaguirre to cross for Samaras' winner.

The former Scunthorpe striker's pace also drew a red card for Juan Insaurralde with Spartak 2-1 ahead.

And Commons did not disagree with Lennon's rather bold assessment. "When he (Gary) puts his mind to it, he can be anything," he said.

"He has great movement, he is a natural goalscorer, he leads the line well and he is so strong. Even if his marker is quicker than him, he puts his body in positions and gets away from him and he has vision as well.

"Not many strikers have got great vision but he always seems to set me up for goals as well, which is good."

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport