Mulgrew punishes poor Pars

PA Sport
Charlie Mulgrew

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Charlie Mulgrew

Charlie Mulgrew celebrated his first Scotland call-up with a wonderful strike in a 2-0 victory over Dunfermline at Parkhead which helped take Celtic 20 points clear of Rangers at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

In the 33rd minute of one of the most one-sided games of the season, Mulgrew, in Craig Levein's squad for the friendly against Slovenia next week, fired high past Chris Smith from 30 yards for the opener.

The Fifers goalkeeper saved the defensive-minded Pars from more suffering until the 76th minute when substitute James Forrest, on for Emilio Izaguirre, made it number two from close range.

It was Celtic's 13th consecutive win in all competitions, equalling a feat achieved by Martin O'Neill's side in 2004, and it confirmed, if needed, that Neil Lennon's men certainly have the title all but sewn up, with a treble in their sights.

Celtic dominated from start to finish and it soon became clear the Pars would get 10 men behind the ball and leave Liam Buchanan to forage on his own in attack.

And the breakthrough eventually came in the 33rd minute when Mulgrew fired in a left-footed drive from 30 yards which gave Smith no chance.

In the 50th minute Anthony Stokes had a great chance to make it 2-0 when Izaguirre's cross from wide on the left ended up at his feet eight yards out but with plenty of time and under no pressure, he slid the ball past the post.

In the 76th minute substitute Forrest stabbed in Gary Hooper's cross at the back post for number two.

The turkey-shoot continued with Kris Commons flashing a shot from the edge of the box over the bar before Smith fumbled his low drive from similar distance before the ball was eventually cleared to safety.

There was time for the luckless Smith to make another two saves from Hooper and the final whistle came as a relief to the battered visitors as Celtic march on.

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