Friday 24 November 2017

Mulgrew thunderbolt keeps Celtic title cruise ticking over

Celtic 2 Dunfermline 0

Ronnie Esplin

Charlie Mulgrew and James Forrest sent Celtic 20 points clear of beleaguered rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League as the Hoops strolled to victory against Dunfermline at Parkhead.

Mulgrew, celebrating his first squad inclusion at national level for Scotland's friendly in Slovenia next week, fired a brilliant 30-yard strike past Chris Smith to break the deadlock.

And Forrest rattled home from close range with 16 minutes to go to ensure a 13th win in a row in all competitions for Neil Lennon's men -- equalling a feat achieved by Martin O'Neill's Bhoys side in 2004.

It soon became clear that the Pars would get 10 men behind the ball and leave Liam Buchanan to forage on his own in attack.

Cha Du-ri led the Celtic charge down the right flank; in the eighth minute his South Korea team-mate Ki Sung-yueng tested Smith with a drive from distance.

It was one-way traffic and Smith made another decent save, this time from Anthony Stokes' drive, before Kris Commons fired over the bar.

The breakthrough eventually came in the 33rd minute when defender Mulgrew struck a thunderbolt from 30 yards which gave Smith no chance.

After the break there was no let-up. In the 50th minute Stokes had a great chance to make it 2-0 when eight yards out with plenty of time and under no pressure, but he slid the ball past the post.

That miss seemed to unsettle the home side and moments later at the other end, Buchanan headed Paddy Boyle's cross past the near post to give the home fans a fright.

Just after the hour mark Ryan Thomson's goalbound header from a Paul Willis corner was headed off the line by Emilio Izaguirre.

But that was as close as the visitors came and Forrest wrapped up the points on 74 minutes, drilling to the bottom corner from six yards out. Commons and Mulgrew spurned further chances,but the result was never in doubt as the Bhoys' incredible run of victories continued.

Irish Independent

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