RODGERS HAILS CELTIC

Be­come the first un­beaten Scot­tish team to com­plete tre­ble

New Straits Times - - Sport -

CELTIC man­ager Brendan Rodgers praised the brav­ery of his play­ers as they cre­ated history by de­feat­ing Aberdeen 2-1 to lift the Scot­tish Cup and end the en­tire sea­son un­beaten.

The Hoops fell be­hind to an early Jonny Hayes strike be­fore Stuart Arm­strong’s lev­eller and Tom Rogic’s dra­matic stop­page time strike sealed only the fourth do­mes­tic tre­ble in the club’s 129year history.

“The play­ers showed re­mark­able courage to go and play and get the re­sult,” Rodgers said after his side sealed their first clean sweep since 2001. “It was a very tough game and to win it the way we did was spe­cial.

“We had to re­ally re­spond and show why we are cham­pi­ons, to come from be­hind to play the way we did in the sec­ond half. It is a fantastic achieve­ment and it will take a few days to sink in.”

A record-ex­tend­ing 37th Scot­tish Cup win was the cap on a re­mark­able sea­son as the Glas­gow giants be­come the first Scot­tish team to land all three honours and end an en­tire sea­son un­beaten do­mes­ti­cally.

“It is a mon­u­men­tal achieve­ment and the play­ers have made history,” Rodgers said. “Com­ing in my job was to try and im­pose an iden­tity in how we play.

“We have cre­ated that. Over the course of the sea­son, our work, our game model and now we can build on that.

“In ev­ery game we have found a solution. That’s 47 games do­mes­ti­cally un­beaten — it’s an in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment by them. Thank­fully I took over a group of play­ers who were very keen, hun­gry, coach­able and will­ing to learn.”

Rodgers now joins leg­endary man­ager Jock Stein and Martin O’Neill as only the third Celtic man­ager to lead the Glas­gow giants to a clean sweep in the week the club cel­e­brated the 50th an­niver­sary of their Euro­pean Cup win.

It was a dis­ap­point­ing end to the sea­son for Aberdeen, who fin­ished as run­ners-up to Celtic in all com­pe­ti­tions. AFP

REUTERS PIC

Celtic’s To­mas Rogic (front) cel­e­brates scor­ing their sec­ond goal against Aberdeen at Ham­p­den Park on Satur­day.

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