Celtic beat Dundee United in Scottish League Cup final
Last Updated: 15/03/15 7:07pm
James Forrest's first goal of the season and a first-half Kris Commons strike gave Celtic a 2-0 victory, and boss Ronny Deila his first trophy, at the expense of 10-man Dundee United following an incident-packed Hampden Park encounter.
Playmaker Commons struck after 28 minutes, from an Anthony Stokes cross, despite the best efforts of United keeper Radoslaw Cierzniek.
And substitute Forrest made the game safe with a composed finish 11 minutes from time after United skipper Sean Dillon had received a 56th-minute straight red card.
Cierzniek denied Forrest from an even later penalty, the winger winning the spot-kick from Paul Dixon's foul, but the Hoops cruised afterwards to their first silverware under the stewardship of Norwegian manager Deila at Scotland's national stadium.
Leigh Griffiths almost pounced on an early misplaced United pass to round Cierzniek to put the Premiership leaders ahead but the Scotland forward failed to finish from a tight angle.
The Tangerines threatened to break the deadlock after 19 minutes when John Rankin pounced on an Efe Ambrose error but the Nigeria defender was saved embarrassment when Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon smothered the midfielder's attempt from point-blank range.
Deila's side were beginning to get on top when Cierzniek reacted brilliantly to push Commons' deflected strike on to the post just before the half hour. The former Scotland forward was first to the loose ball though, and lashed it right-footed beyond the Pole's reach (28).
Cierzniek wonderfully prevented Commons from doubling the Hoops' advantage almost immediately by repelling with a strong hand.
But it was United who felt aggrieved ahead of the break when midfielder Ryan Dow went down heavily from a physical Scott Brown challenge, referee Bobby Madden waving away their loud penalty appeals.
Captain Dillon, who had been off having lengthy treatment as Common fired Celtic in front, was then sent off 11 minutes after the restart for a horribly high and clumsy challenge on Hoops left-back Emilio Izaguirre.
Forrest and John Guidetti, replaced goalscorer Commons and Griffiths midway through the second half, and the Scotland winger was on hand to apply a cool finish after Stefan Johansen and Swede Guidetti had set him up (79).
Chris Erskine snatched at a chance to haul the 10-man Terrors back into the game before Forrest concluded his cameo by winning, after being floored by Dixon, and then missing a spot-kick, being denied bravely by Cierzniek's legs.