Celtic 4 - 0 Ross County (League)

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012, 3:00 PM at Celtic Park
Attendance: 49,428
Referee: Euan Norris
Celtic v Ross County, Dec 22nd 2012, Celtic Park
Celtic Ross County 

Goalscorers
Scott Brown (46)
Gary Hooper (53,64)
James Forrest (70)
None.

Starting Eleven
Fraser Forster
Emilio Izaguirre
Efetobore Ambrose Emuobo
Kelvin Wilson
Charlie Mulgrew
Scott Brown
Beram Kayal
Victor Wanyama
Georgios Samaras
Lassad Nouioui
Gary Hooper
Mark Brown
Marc Fitzpatrick
Mihael Kovacevic
Scott Boyd
Grant Munro
Rocco Quinn
Stuart Kettlewell
Richard Brittain
Iain Vigurs
Alex Cooper
Colin McMenamin

Bench
Lukasz Zaluska
Thomas Rogne
Patrick McCourt
John Herron
Dylan McGeouch
James Forrest
Tony Watt
Michael Fraser
Archie MacPhee
Ross Tokely
Mark Corcoran
Paul Lawson
Steven Ross
Gary Glen

Substitutions
James Forrest for Beram Kayal (57)
Tony Watt for Lassad Nouioui (74)
John Herron for Georgios Samaras (82)
Mark Corcoran for Alex Cooper (54)
Paul Lawson for Rocco Quinn (77)
Gary Glen for Stuart Kettlewell (88)

Bookings
None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Appearances & Goals To Date
Mark Brown (GK) 7 apps -
Grant Munro 62 apps3 goals
Mihael Kovacevic 14 apps -
Marc Fitzpatrick 56 apps -
Scott Boyd 208 apps11 goals
Iain Vigurs 144 apps20 goals
Richard Brittain 193 apps36 goals
Rocco Quinn 50 apps8 goals
Stuart Kettlewell 120 apps8 goals
Alex Cooper 10 apps -
Colin McMenamin 60 apps21 goals
Mark Corcoran (sub) 71 apps1 goal
Paul Lawson (sub) 171 apps15 goals
Gary Glen (sub) 13 apps1 goal

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Alex Cooper (21 years 54 days)
Oldest Player:Grant Munro (32 years 106 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 231 days

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Steven Ross (19 years 120 days)
Oldest Player:Ross Tokely (33 years 298 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 73 days

First Team Debuts

Milestones
Rocco Quinn played his 50th major competitive game for the Club.

Ross County missed two golden opportunities in a goalless first period and were punished ruthlessly after the break.

Mark Brown saved from a Lassad header and a Charlie Mulgrew shot before also reacting quickly to palm away a header from Hooper.

County began to come to terms with Celtic's narrow set-up, the midfield three and front three all playing in largely central areas, and created a couple of openings of their own, the most threatening of which ended with Rocco Quinn sending a fierce drive from outside the box just over Fraser Forster's bar.

Hooper, playing behind Samaras and Lassad, nonetheless looked Celtic's greatest threat and had two goal-bound shots blocked, first by Mihael Kovacevic and then Marc Fitzpatrick. Kayal, playing as industriously as ever, did bring a decent save out of Brown a few minutes before the break, but Celtic could just as easily have found themselves behind at the interval.

Quinn tamely passed the ball into the arms of Forster with the goal at his mercy and then Alex Cooper fired straight at the goalkeeper.

County were made to regret those misses not two minutes into the second half as Hooper slid the ball through for the onrushing Brown, who, from the angle of the six-yard box, fired under his namesake in the visitors' goal. Six minutes later, Hooper had a goal of his own as he glanced a Lassad cross past the keeper from all of six yards.

The third goal came from a Mulgrew corner, which was headed down by Victor Wanyama and nodded into the net by Hooper once more.

That came in 64 minutes and it was soon followed by a fourth - a wonderful run and finish by the substitute, Forrest, making his first appearance since October with his first goal of the season.

Hooper almost had his hat-trick with five minutes remaining, but his close-range lunge forced the ball against the woodwork.

Shortly afterwards, had a back-flick wound up in the net rather than in the arms of Brown, it would have been a fitting end to a splendid Celtic move.

Programme cover / Team sheet