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Substitutes helped tired Celtic see off Hibernian, says Brown

Celtic 4 Hibernian 2

By Gavin McCafferty

Celtic captain Scott Brown saluted his team's strength in depth after three substitutes made a major impact in a 4-2 Betfred Cup semi-final over Hibernian.

Despite concerns from some fans over the effects of an energy-sapping 3-0 defeat by Bayern Munich in Germany on Wednesday night, Celtic cruised to a 2-0 half-time lead at Hampden with right-back Mikael Lustig hitting a double and the holders comfortably controlling possession throughout.

Hibs got back in it with the help of a double substitution at half-time and a generous penalty award from Kevin Clancy, which former Hoops frontman Anthony Stokes stepped up to convert, but Moussa Dembele also netted twice after replacing Leigh Griffiths.

James Forrest had a hand in both of Celtic's second-half goals, while fellow sub Tom Rogic played the killer pass for Dembele to wrap up the win - which stretched the Bhoys domestic unbeaten run to 60 games.

Brown said: "We got a day off on Thursday to chill and relax and let our legs feel normal again. We got back to understanding our shape in training on Friday. You are always going to feel a bit of fatigue but we got subs on that gave us a bit more momentum in the second half.

"Jamesy came on and Tom, who is always nice and relaxed on the ball and composed, and Moussa is always a goal threat. The size of him scares defenders and he holds the ball in and gives us a different way to play. Griff's pace in behind scares defenders so it's two totally different strikers that we've got."

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