Hibernian 2-5 Celtic: Scott Brown scores twice as Hoops reach Scottish League Cup final

Celtic remain on course for fourth straight League Cup title

Celtic's Scott Brown celebrates after scoring to make it 5-2
Image: Celtic captain Scott Brown celebrates after scoring against Hibernian

Scott Brown and Mohamed Elyounoussi both scored twice as Celtic beat Hibernian 5-2 to reach the Scottish League Cup final at Hampden Park.

The defending champions will face either Old Firm rivals Rangers or second Edinburgh side Hearts - who face each other on Sunday - ahead of the final on December 2 as Celtic look to win their fourth straight League Cup title.

Elyounoussi headed Celtic's opener (17) before Callum McGregor's tap-in (21) as Celtic's early domination paid off, but Hibs scored with their first shot on target when Melker Hallberg (36) slotted into the far corner.

Elyounoussi restored Celtic's two-goal lead on the verge of half-time and they started where they left off after the break, hitting the post twice after six second-half minutes, before Scott Brown (56) made it 4-1.

The game was not over there and Hibs super sub Florian Kamberi pegged Celtic back when he headed home from a long ball (58) but veteran Celtic midfielder Brown wrapped it up late on (90) to spark wild scenes at Hampden and make it 30 consecutive domestic cup wins for the Hoops.

How Celtic reached League Cup final

Celtic's Scott Brown celebrates after scoring to make it 4-1
Image: Brown rolled back the years with two goals

Celtic dominated the early stages but it was Hibs who spurred the first big chance when Daryl Horgan's curling shot from 25 yards flew just high, with Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster jumping for it.

But their domination was always going to pay off at some point, and they got the breakthrough when Odsonne Edouard found James Forrest on the right, who crossed for Elyounoussi to head home.

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Celtic made it two just moments later with a long ball over the top to Edouard - who appeared to be offside - ran forward and squared it across to McGregor to tap in at the far post.

Player ratings

Hibernian: Maxwell (6), James (6), Jackson (6), Hanlon (6), Stevenson (6), Hallberg (7), Vela (6), Mallan (6), Allan (6), Horgan (6), Doidge (6)

Subs used: Kamberi (7), Slivka (6), Boyle (6)

Celtic: Forster (7), Frimpong (7), Jullien (7), Ajer (7), Bolingoli (7), Brown (9), McGregor (7), Forrest (8), Rogic (8), Elyonoussi (9), Edouard (8)

Subs used: Hayes (7), Elhamed (7), Christie (n/a)

Man of the match: Scott Brown

Elyounoussi should have added a third after working himself into a good position inside the Hibs box but his shot was deflected off defender Tom James.

Hibs got themselves back in the game with their first shot on target when Hallberg benefited from Boli Bolingoli's error on the edge of the box, who slotted past Forster from 10 yards.

Celtic's Callum McGregor celebrates with Odsonne Edouard after he makes it 2-0
Image: Callum McGregor celebrates with Odsonne Edouard

However, Elyounoussi made it 3-1 just before the break, when he finished past Hibs 'keeper Chris Maxwell from six yards after a ball from Edouard.

Six minutes into the second half and Celtic could have found themselves 5-1 up only to be denied by the woodwork twice in the space of 90 seconds, first denying Elyonoussi and then Forrest.

Celtic then put one foot into the final when Maxwell dropped the ball from a Celtic corner, allowing Brown to fumble to ball over the line to make it 4-1.

Team news

Both sides made two changes going into the match; Hibs saw Adam Jackson and Josh Vela come in for Ryan Porteous and Glenn Middleton while Celtic swapped Moritz Bauer and Greg Taylor for Jeremie Frimpong and Boli Bolingoli.

The three-goal cushion lasted just two minutes though; Hibs substitute Kamberi fired a header past Forster from a long ball as the Celtic defence was caught sleeping.

Hibs then spurred three chances to make it 4-3. Stevie Mallan's volley on the edge of the box went narrowly over the bar, Christian Doidge failed to connect onto a low cross and Adam Jackson fired wide from inside the box.

It was then up to Celtic captain Brown to wrap up the win when he burst forward, played a one-two with Elyonoussi, saw a shot saved by Maxwell and then slotted home the rebound to make it 5-2 and secure Celtic's spot in the League Cup final.

Lennon: Elyounoussi's best performance

Celtic's Northern Irish head coach Neil Lennon gestures at the end of the UEFA Europa League Group E football match between Rennes (stade Rennais FC) and Celtic Glasgow (Celtic FC) at the Roazhon Park stadium in Rennes on September 19, 2019
Image: Neil Lennon heaped praise on Mohamed Elyounoussi, on loan from Southampton

Celtic boss Neil Lennon said: "[Elyounoussi was] brilliant. That's his best performance since he's come here. I thought he was just magnificent. His game intelligence, his intelligence on the ball, his finishing, his link up with other players, he's been a great bonus for us.

"He's got six or seven already so it's a massive contribution and the good thing is he's getting better as he goes along. You're seeing the player he was when Southampton paid the money they did for him."

Lennon added that Bolingoli, who was forced off at half-time with an injury, is now doubtful for Thursday's Europa League trip to Lazio.

"He tweaked his hamstring so we'll have to assess him and see how he is," he said. "He may be a doubt for Thursday now."

What's next?

Celtic return to Europa League action on Thursday night with a trip to Italian side Lazio, then face Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday. Hibernian travel to St Johnstone in the top flight on Saturday.

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