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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 September 2018

'It's never been done': Celtic complete 'double treble' with Scottish Cup win

Goals from Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham see off Motherwell in Scottish Cup final as Brendan Rodgers' side complete a domestic clean sweep of trophies for the fifth time

Celtic players celebrate with the Scottish FA Cup trophy afterbeating Motherwell 2-0 in the final at Hampden Park. Russell Cheyne / Reuters
Celtic players celebrate with the Scottish FA Cup trophy afterbeating Motherwell 2-0 in the final at Hampden Park. Russell Cheyne / Reuters

Celtic's dominance of Scottish football continued as they completed a treble of domestic trophies for the second consecutive season with a 2-0 victory over Motherwell in the Scottish Cup final on Saturday.

Stunning first-half strikes from Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham meant there was never much doubt of Celtic claiming a treble of Scottish Premiership, League Cup and Scottish Cup trophies for the fifth time.

However, after winning the treble without suffering a single domestic defeat last season, there was more history for Brendan Rodgers's men as they became the first side to retain all three trophies.

And the Celtic manager insisted the Glasgow giants could be even better next season as he hailed his side's achievement.

"I'm so happy for everyone involved, players, staff, supporters," Rodgers told BBC Scotland. "It's an incredible achievement by everyone. I thought we thoroughly deserved it. A mention for Motherwell, they have had a great season.

"I'm very lucky to get the chance to manage the club. You can only do your best and the last couple of seasons have been magical," the former Liverpool manager added.

"I said to the players before the game, 'this is a chance for you to make your own history, to win today, it's going to live with you, your families and the supporters forever'," the Northern Irishman explained.

"It's never been done, so big applause to the players. It's a great day for everyone.

"We can be better next year. We set out to win three trophies, but I need to push them even harder next year. There are improvements we can make. We'll go away, recover and come back with big motivation in the summer."

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Motherwell had posed Celtic problems previously this season, drawing two of their three league meetings.

Yet, as they often have this season, Celtic saved one of their best displays of the campaign for the big occasion to kill off hopes of an upset early on.

Tom Rogic was Celtic's cup final hero last year with a last-minute winner to down Aberdeen in torrential rain at Hampden.

The Australian penned a new five-year contract on Thursday and should have celebrated with a goal as he pulled the Scottish champions' first chance wide from the edge of the box.

McGregor was far more accurate as he pounced on a loose ball just outside the area before driving into the top corner on his weaker right foot after just 11 minutes.

Moussa Dembele may have been making his final Celtic appearance, with speculation continuing to link the highly-rated French Under 21 international with a big money move to the English Premier League.

Dembele came close to a second when he headed over from McGregor's corner.

A second goal seemed inevitable such was Celtic's pressure and it duly arrived on 25 minutes when Dembele's lay-off was driven low into the corner by his compatriot Ntcham.

Rogic should have made it 3-0 before half time when he shot straight at Trevor Carson.

Motherwell offered more resistance in the second half and could have got back into the game but for a fine save from Craig Gordon to turn over Curtis Main's effort two minutes after the break.

James Forrest slotted wide a great chance for Celtic's third on the break, and Carson made two fine saves in quick succession to deny Dembele once more.

At the other end, Gael Bigirimana curled a free-kick off the bar 11 minutes from time with Motherwell's best effort.

But Celtic saw the game out to lift a sixth trophy of Rodgers's two-year reign.

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