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Page last updated at 20:32 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 21:32 UK

Celtic 4-0 Livingston

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Highlights: Co-op Insurance Cup round-up

Celtic booked a slot in the quarter-finals of the Co-op Insurance cup with a comfortable victory over Livingston.

Glenn Loovens nodded Celtic into the lead after 24 minutes and a fine header from Georgios Samaras doubled the tally 19 minutes after the break.

Scott Brown grabbed the third of the night after 81 minutes with a cool lob.

And Samaras completed the misery for Livi from the spot with six minutes remaining after David MacKay felled Shaun Maloney in the penalty area.

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan set out his intentions for the evening with a strong side that included starts for Aiden McGeady and Massimo Donati.

Roberto Landi's side included on-loan Celtic midfielder Rocco Quinn as the First Division side aimed to take an SPL scalp in front of a half-full Celtic Park.

The home side fired an early warning shot across Livingston's bow when Samaras delivered a cross to the feet of Scott McDonald, but the Australian's right-footed shot from 12 yards out flashed wide of the mark.

With 15 minutes gone, Donati warmed the hands of Livi goalkeeper McKenzie with a close-range effort and, less than a minute later, McGeady fired over the bar from 20 yards out.

The one-way traffic soon gave way to an opener for Celtic in the 24th minute when Paul Caddis dragged the ball across the face of goal and crossed in for Loovens to power down a header from six yards out.

It was almost 30 minutes before Livingston made an impact on the match when Jason Talbot fired in a left-footed shot from the edge of the Celtic penalty area, but Loovens blocked.

Moments later, Chris Innes sent in a low drive from the right-hand side of the box, but his effort drifted wide from close range.

The visitors picked up some pace as the half-time whistle approached, with a promising effort from Innes, but Stephen McManus got in the way.

McDonald could have doubled Celtic's lead with a powerful header before the break, but McKenzie held well.

Minutes after the restart, Samaras blasted in a right-footed shot from 18 yards out, but McKenzie punched it clear.

On the hour mark, Paul Hartley was denied by the crossbar with a blistering 25-yard free-kick.

Four minutes later, Samaras extended Celtic's lead with a fine header after Loovens' looping cross left McKenzie standing.

Loovens
Loovens celebrated his goal with team-mate Massimo Donati.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, McGeady's shot hit the Livingston post from the edge of the penalty area and a McKenzie save denied Samaras his second goal of the evening four minutes later.

Brown grabbed Celtic's third of the evening with a simple lob after Samaras had threaded him through with a one-two pass.

Samaras completed his brace with 10 minutes remaining after MacKay fouled Maloney in the penalty area.

The Greek striker stepped up and made no mistake from the spot as he notched up his ninth goal of the season, sending Celtic through to the fourth round in the process.


Celtic manager Gordon Strachan: "I think Samaras was unstoppable at times tonight - it's not often I say that about players.

"Aiden was the same, Aiden had a terrific game, but Georgios scored a couple of goals.

"I would have liked Aiden to score a couple because he had some chances. He should be pleased with his performance tonight.

"We didn't really have any bad players tonight."

Livingston manager Roberto Landi: "Our dream is finished, because for 85 per cent of my players it was a dream to play in Celtic Park against Celtic.

"The dream is finished, but I know we had very little chance to win this match, but this is a good experience for my players.

"I am just a little disappointed because I know it is very difficult for Livingston to play against Celtic and have a chance to win."


Celtic: Boruc, Hinkel, Loovens, McManus, Naylor, Caddis, Hartley, Donati (Scott Brown 65), McGeady, McDonald (Maloney 76), Samaras. Subs Not Used: Mark Brown, Caldwell, Vennegoor of Hesselink.

Goals: Loovens 24, Samaras 64, Scott Brown 81, Samaras 85 pen.

Livingston: McKenzie, MacKay, Fox (Giarrizzo 59), Innes, Talbot (Miller 72), Davidson, McPake, McParland, Quinn, Hamill, Elliot (Cuenca 53). Subs Not Used: Martini, MacDonald.

Att: 23,569

Ref: W Collum


see also
Co-op Cup photo gallery
23 Sep 08 |  Scottish Cups


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