Mulgrew on song for dominant Celtic
Dunfermline 0 Celtic 3: Celtic manager Neil Lennon was full of praise for the application of his players and the dead-ball talent of Charlie Mulgrew following their 3-0 win over Dunfermline.
The Hoops began life at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League in convincing fashion as Mulgrew scored one and helped set up the other two goals at East End Park.
The former Aberdeen defender's cross after a short corner led to a glorious 18th-minute opener from Anthony Stokes, who curled into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Victor Wanyama volleyed Mulgrew's 40th-minute free-kick in at the back post for 2-0 and the defender curled home a 30-yard free-kick in the 69th minute.
“He's having a great time of it at the minute,” Lennon said of Mulgrew. “I thought he had a great game on Wednesday.
“His delivery wasn't quite there for a couple of weeks but now he's found his range.
“The ball for the second goal was sublime and his free-kick was a piece of individual brilliance.”
Bottom club Dunfermline have not won at home all season but Lennon had warned against complacency after a weekend which saw Manchester United and Manchester City suffer shock defeats.
“It's hard winning games,” Lennon said. “I said to the players that Dunfermline would make life very difficult for us, which they did.
“You only have to look at some of the results in the (Barclays) Premier League this weekend to see what can happen when you take your eye off the ball. But thankfully we got the job done.
“We could have added more goals towards the end but I'm very, very happy with the performance.”
Celtic failed to follow up wins over Rangers last season and Lennon was determined to avoid another Old Firm hangover.
“You can drop points at any time but we just made sure the application was right,” he said. “We started really well, on the front foot. We could have passed it better but it was difficult to do that at the pace we want to play.
“Defensively we played very well, the full-backs played well and Samaras and Stokes in particular were very, very good going forward.”
Another major lift for Lennon was the return of Emilio Izaguirre. The left-back came off the bench in the 79th minute for his first appearance since breaking an ankle at Aberdeen in August.
“It's been a long slog for him,” Lennon said. “We were in a comfortable position where we were able to bring him on.”