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Celtic are ready to lift treble for Christie: McGregor

Aberdeen 0-3 Celtic

Happy Bhoys: Tom Rogic and James Forrest celebrate yesterday's victory
Happy Bhoys: Tom Rogic and James Forrest celebrate yesterday's victory
Pain game: Ryan Christie is stretchered off
Callum McGregor

By Andy Newport

Callum McGregor says Celtic are determined to complete their triple treble mission for stricken team-mate Ryan Christie.

The Hoops playmaker suffered a suspected broken eye socket after a horror clash of heads with Aberdeen's Dom Ball during their William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.

There were worrying scenes as the Scotland international had to be stretched from the field wearing a neck brace but Neil Lennon's side refused to let their concern for their colleague affect their focus as they secured a slot in the May 25 final against Hearts with a 3-0 win.

Now McGregor has revealed how the Celtic squad resolved at half-time to complete the job and make sure they could deliver a get-well soon gift to Christie in the shape of yet another trophy.

He said: "We mentioned it at half-time the fact that one of our players had put their body on the line for the cause. That's what every one of us would do.

"For Ryan to do that and then the boys to get into the final for him shows a real collective spirit as a team. We're doing this all for each other.

"Hopefully we can get Ryan back in time but if we can't we want to win it for him. He's been a massive player for us."

Ball collected a second yellow card for causing the 38th-minute collision and Celtic took advantage, with James Forrest smashing a sensational opener home in first-half stoppage-time.

Odsonne Edouard's penalty and a Tom Rogic goal wrapped up the job.

"Everyone gets a fright when you see the kind of thing that happened to Ryan," McGregor said.

"We didn't know how bad it was at the time.

"I thought the boys were excellent in that five-minute spell after the sending-off. We scored and could have got another. We hope he makes a quick recovery.

"I haven't seen him since the game finished but I heard he's doing okay, so that's a positive."

Celtic could be crowned Ladbrokes Premiership champions for the eighth year running if they beat Hibernian on Sunday and Rangers slip up at Hearts the day before.

But even with Hearts now the last remaining hurdle standing in their way of completing an unprecedented third domestic clean sweep in a row, McGregor is still not ready to open up on his side's next historic feat.

He said: "We are always reluctant to speak about that sort of thing. It's just about each game and ticking them off. We need to perform well and earn the right to win every game and then see where that takes you.

"We're in another final and we've got two massive games coming up to try and tie up the league."

ABERDEEN: Lewis, Considine, McKenna, Stewart (Gleeson, 70 mins), Cosgrove (Wilson, 85 mins), May (Devlin, 43 mins), Ferguson, Ball, Campbell, McLennan, Loew. Unused subs: Cerny, Gleeson, Halford, Ross, Virtanen.

CELTIC: Bain, Lustig, Simunovic, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, McGregor, Christie (Rogic, 43 mins), Hayes (Sinclair, 74 mins), Forrest (Weah, 74 mins), Edouard. Unused subs: De Vries, Toljan, Benkovic, Ntcham

Referee: Craig Thomson

Man of the match: James Forrest

Match rating: 8/10

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