Dons Brushed Aside by Buoyant Bhoys; Lennon's Rebuilt Celtic on Easy Street

Article excerpt

Byline: Fraser Mackie

ABERDEEN 1

Vernon (61)

CELTIC 4

commons (6), Mulgrew (10), rogne (21), stokes 34, (pen)

NEIL LENNON'S promise to rid his club of their semi-final soft-touch tag, made within minutes of the humiliating defeat by Ross County last April, was delivered in clinical fashion as his rebuilt Celtic did a demolition job on Aberdeen.

Scott Brown was the only starting survivor from the Scottish Cup disaster that left Lennon livid and lamenting sloppy, casual and nervous players he had inherited from previous manager Tony Mowbray.

None of those descriptions crept into the Celtic performance this time during an unforgiving first-half display that dealt Craig Brown's side four fatal blows and spread fears of another soul-destroying 9-0 knockout for the Dons - or worse.

Aberdeen were that awful early in this game as the veteran manager's famed miserly tactics had an off-day. However, that shouldn't cloud the fact Celtic are shaping up to be formidable opponents in the Co-Operative Insurance Cup Final for whoever wins today's other semi between Rangers and Motherwell. Lennon's men look capable of scoring goals from every department of the team.

Kris Commons, who signed a threeand-a-half year deal with the SPL leaders on Friday, conjured a debut strike within six minutes, defenders Charlie Mulgrew and Thomas Rogne weighed in with headed goals, and Anthony Stokes served one up for the strikers from the spot.

Celtic fans have already decided the identity of the team their heroes will face in the final on Sunday, March 20 with a chant of 'bring on the Rangers' as the second-half formalities dragged.

Fans had barely settled into their seats when Commons took advantage of an Aberdeen defence sitting off any apparent threat. Goalkeeper Jamie Langfield and his defenders anticipated a delivery into the heart of the area as Commons took up possession 20 yards out. …