Celtic 6-0 Inverness CT: Moussa Dembele hat-trick puts Celtic in Scottish Cup quarter-finals
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 11/02/17 2:23pm
Moussa Dembele scored his second successive hat-trick as Celtic cruised into the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup with a 6-0 rout of Inverness.
Dembele, who scored three of Celtic's goals in the 5-2 league win over St Johnstone last Sunday, played a starring role again as Brendan Rodgers' side completely dominated their Highland opponents at Celtic Park.
Their unbeaten run now stretches to 30 games and they have won every outing - a total of 13 - since the 1-1 Champions League draw with Manchester City in early December.
A mistake-ridden opening 20 minutes were soon forgotten by the home support when Mikael Lustig gave Celtic the lead with a terrific goal.
The right-back timed his run into the six-yard box to perfection and produced a superb piece of control to bring Nir Bitton's pass down before prodding the ball past Owain Fon Williams from close range.
Caley could not get going offensively and the game briefly became bad-tempered around the half-hour mark, with Carl Tremarco, Ross Draper and Iain Vigurs booked in quick succession for the visitors, the latter for a nasty tackle from behind on Scott Sinclair.
Celtic, in particular youngster Liam Henderson, were wasteful with their remaining chances of the opening half, with Fon Williams not tested regularly despite almost constant pressure.
But they did manage a second goal a minute before half-time when James Forrest ran into the box and fed Dembele, whose low shot squirmed under Fon Williams.
The game was over as a contest four minutes into the second period when Sinclair tumbled in the box but the ball fell for Dembele to slot low into the far corner of Fon Williams' net, that goal taking him to 25 in all competitions this season.
His 26th would come 10 minutes later with Celtic completely rampant, the French striker completing his third hat-trick of the season with a free header from Forrest's dinked cross.
Henri Anier had a rare Inverness shot well saved by Craig Gordon, but he was flagged for offside anyway, summing up the visitors' frustrating day.
Forrest dragged a clear chance wide of goal as Celtic pressed for a fifth while Caley substitute Larnell Cole's shot was deflected wide.
That fifth goal would arrive four minutes from time as Forrest capped an impressive display on the wing with another pinpoint cross, this time headed home by Kieran Tierney.
Sinclair was twice denied a sixth but Scott Brown made no mistake with the goal of the game in added time, when he fired an unstoppable 15-yard effort past a helpless Fon Williams to put the seal on a miserable day for Caley.