Date: 2 p.m. July 31, 2011
Venue: Aviva Stadium
The Airtricity side started well and produced the first real chance of the game. Daniel Kearns (in his luminous yellow boots) whizzed down the left wing and added a few step-overs. The much sought after Dundalk midfielder then cut inside and let go a powerful shot to the right of Dom Cervi, which he stretched well to save. Celtic had their first opportunity soon after when Victor Wanyama collected a ball from Gary Hooper but his effort was well wide of Ger Doherty’s goal.
A perfectly placed ball from Ger Doherty to Jason Byrne allowed the Dundalk man to show what he’s capable of. He took a fantastic touch and struck the ball from outside the area which drifted wide. Owen Heary and Aidan Price together got in the way of a Celtic attack. There were calls for a handball from Heary but the referee took no notice and let play go ahead. Ger Doherty was forced to pull off a stunning save after Anthony Stokes drilled the ball him from a Celtic corner.
From there on Celtic got themselves on top. Neil Lennon’s men broke the deadlock in the 40th minute. Daryl Murphy flew down the left, spotted Anthony Stokes and crossed for the Irish man to strike it in to Ger Doherty’s net. The Hoops easily could’ve been awarded a penalty when Gary Hooper fell down in the box after Aiden Price and Ryan McBride combined to stop him getting anywhere. Once again referee Neil Doyle waved away the calls.
Victor Wanyama seemed fond of shooting long range efforts and the young Kenyan international tried his luck again at the beginning of the second half but didn’t trouble Barry Murphy, who replaced Ger Doherty at half time. The Airtricity XI gave Celtic a scare six minutes after the restart. Daniel Lafferty played the ball forward for Daniel Kearns, who returned the ball to Lafferty. The Derry City man saw his shot saved by Cervi in the Celtic goals, Daniel Kearns took the rebound and had a pop but Daniel Majstorovic got in the way with a fantastic block.
An excellent sliding challenge from Aidan Price prevented Anthony Stokes from causing danger to Barry Murphy’s goals after he found himself behind the Airtricity defence. Stokes delighted the Celtic support shortly after when he nutmegged Aidan Price and latched on to the ball straight after but his cross was well cleared.
Celtic doubled their lead in the 71st minute when Danny Ventre handled in the box. Ventre, who Sligo Rovers fans often compare to Pele, handled the ball which ironically came from the free which he gave away just seconds before hand. The former League of Ireland player Daryl Murphy calmly took the penalty, sent Barry Murphy the wrong way and gave Celtic a 2-0 lead.
Gary Hooper single-handedly dashed the hopes of the Airtricity side when he notched a brace for Celtic in the space of two minutes. His first goal came on the 84th minute when Kris Commons saw the surge forward of Hooper and played the ball to him. Hooper finished well to make it 3-0. Anthony Stokes’ run down the left wing ended in a pass across the box to Hooper which he slid in to the net. Stokes made it 5-0 to Celtic in the 88th minute after Paddy McCourt played the ball to Stokes who turned inside the box, and with a lovely finish, beat Barry Murphy in the Airtricity goals.
Airtricity XI: Ger Doherty (Barry Murphy, 46), Owen Heary, Aidan Price, Daniel Lafferty, Ryan McBride, Daniel Kearns (James McClean, 74), Joe Gamble, Danny Ventre (Daryl Kavanagh, 80), Dean Bennett (John Russell, 56), Gareth McGlynn (John Dillon, 32), Jason Byrne (Stephen McLaughlin, 70).
Subs not used : Danny Murphy, Ger O’Brien, Eamon Zayed, Ruaidhri Higgins, Barry Molloy, Shane McEleney.
Bookings: Danny Ventre.
Sendings Off: None
Celtic FC: Dom Cervi, Adam Mathews (Cha Du-Ri, 75), Daniel Majstorovic, Darren O’Dea, Filip Twardsik, Paddy McCourt, Victor Wanyama, Richard Towell (Kris Commons, 58), Anthony Stokes, Gary Hooper, Daryl Murphy (Shaun Maloney, 71). < br /> Subs not used: Lucas Zaluska, Glenn Loovens.
Sendings Off: None.
extratime.ie Man of the Match : Anthony Stokes.
Referee: Neil Doyle.