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Monday 18 December 2017

Anthony Stokes: We will enjoy win over Rangers but I lack fitness

Anthony Stokes of Celtic and Fraser Aird of Rangers compete for the ball
Anthony Stokes of Celtic and Fraser Aird of Rangers compete for the ball

Anthony Stokes was delighted to help Celtic through to the final of the Scottish League Cup against Dundee United.

A 2-0 win over Rangers at Hampden yesterday, thanks to first half goals from Leigh Griffiths and Kris Commons was enough to book the Hoops place in the first final of the season.

Stokes missed last week's 1-0 win at Ross County as a precaution against injury but revelled in the atmosphere as Celtic saw off their neighbours in a one side affair.

"I think that we controlled the game, created plenty of chances, we were always comfortable," he said. "We kept them too very few chances, I don't remember a shot on target. Overall, it was a great performance.

TONE

"Scoring early is always nice, that sets the tone, I think we dominated from start to finish, they had a spell of maybe five or ten minutes with a bit of possession. The boys at the back were outstanding and we took our chances.

"I was ecstatic when Leigh scored his goal, it was the perfect way to start the match, you can't ask for more. After that we were very professional and controlled things.

"We could have scored a third when Stefan (Johansen) came close, if that had gone in it could have been four or five.

"We'll celebrate the victory, derby games are there to be won, we'll turn our focus to next week and another big cup tie at Dundee.

"I probably could have been sharper, I have been out for a month and only had 60 minutes against Motherwell but I was happy with the shift that I put in and obviously the result."

Griffiths gave Celtic the perfect start heading home a Stefan Johansen cross after just ten minutes.

That strike changed the course of the match forcing Rangers to come out and attack Celtic despite picking a side built for damage limitation.

On the half hour Commons fired home a spectacular 20 yard effort and with that goal the tie was over with Rangers unable to force a save out of Craig Gordon in the Celtic goal.

The noise, colour and atmosphere may have been a throw back to the old days but it looks like it'll be a long long time before the two Glasgow sides meet with anything other than a Celtic win expected."

ENDS

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