Troubled year for Celtic's Lennon ends in cup win

Troubled year for Celtic's Lennon ends in cup win

Published May. 21, 2011 5:42 p.m. ET

Neil Lennon ended a troubled first full season as Celtic manager with glory in the Scottish Cup after his side beat Motherwell 3-0 on Saturday.

Ki Sung-yueng and Charlie Mulgrew scored either side of Stephen Craigan's own goal at Hampden Park.

''It's an unbelievable performance from all the boys,'' Ki said. ''We are a little bit disappointed because we didn't win the league, but before the game we said we would play for the fans and play for ourselves so we finish the season with a big trophy

''We believed in ourselves and knew our quality was much stronger than Motherwell's.''


Lennon has faced death threats, had parcel bombs sent to him and been attacked by a fan on a touchline in recent months.

The Northern Irishman took charge of Celtic in March 2010 and has now produced the Glasgow club's first trophy since the 2009 Scottish League Cup.

But in the Scottish Premier League, Celtic finished one point behind Glasgow rival Rangers, which won a third straight title.

''I want the big one on the CV, the sooner the better,'' Lennon said.

There is no certainty, however, that Lennon will be Celtic manager next season.

''I will sit down with the board hopefully this week or next and discuss if I'm the man to take the club forward or not,'' Lennon said.

But midfielder Kris Commons said: ''I've heard rumors that he's getting a long-term deal.''

Commons set up the 32nd-minute opener, passing to Ki 30 meters (yards) from goal and the South Korea midfielder drilled a powerful shot past helpless goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster had barely touched the ball but he was rescued by the crossbar when Gavin Gunning's shot from 25 meters (yards) out smacked off it and away to safety.

Commons should have doubled Celtic's lead in the 66th when Brown sent him clear on goal. But when Commons poked the ball past Randolph from 10 meters (yards), backtracking defender Shaun Hutchinson cleared off the line.

The second goal did come in the 76th when Commons set up Mark Wilson, whose low drive took a deflection off Craigan to send Randolph the wrong way before the ball crept over the line.

In the 88th, after Craigan had fouled Hooper at the edge of the box, Mulgrew's left foot powered the resulting free kick high past Randolph.