TWO-GOAL Mohamed Elyounoussi blew away Hibs as Celtic marched into the Betfred League Cup Final next month with a storming 5-2 triumph at Hampden last night.
The on-loan Southampton forward produced an irresistible performance as he struck twice in the first-half to guide the Hoops to their THIRTIETH domestic Cup victory in a row.
Neil Lennon’s men are now 90 minutes away from claiming their TENTH successive trophy in a campaign where they hope to claim nine in a row in their pursuit of another title.
The Easter Road outfit were swept aside as Elyounoussi and Callum McGregor scored within four minutes of each other in the opening half. The Norwegian international netted a third just before the interval before skipper Scott Brown took the goalscoring spotlight with his first double since achieving the feat against St Mirren in December 2014.
It was a night the stars came out at the national stadium and Elyounoussi, who agreed a season-long temporary transfer in the summer, admitted he was enjoying life with his new team-mates.
The Moroccan-born forward, who cost the south coast club £16million from Swiss side Basel when he joined last year, told the Sunday Mail: “Jeremie Frimpong looks like he’s been in this team for a long time. He creates a lot of chances and is very good defensively.
“He has a lot of qualities and has confidence, too. We need to keep him working hard and progressing. He has been great for us, but he needs to be like that in every game.
“Odsonne Edouard didn’t score, but he set me up for the third goal. He’s unbelievably important for us up at the top end of the pitch, taking on defenders and creating chances for me and James Forrest.
“He does such an important job for the team.
JAUNTY JEREMIE…teenage right-back Jeremie Frimpong was a revelation against Hibs.
SUPER SCOTT…Celtic skipper Scott Brown slams the fifth goal past keeper Chris Maxwell.
OH SO CLOSE, ODSONNE…French ace Odsonne Edouard has a shot blocked by the Hibs defence.
“And I think Broony got in the box twice and scored two goals – so that’s good for him!
“I’m so happy for him, especially at the second goal which was very good. I hear it’s the first time he’s scored twice for five years.
“But he’s such a good player and an amazing person – I really enjoy playing alongside him.”
However, Elyounoussi admitted he wasn’t entirely satisfied with his Man of the Match performance.
He added: “I would say I’m getting towards 100 per cent with my performances now.
“If I’d been there already, I would probably have scored four goals out there. I should have scored four or five in the game.
“But I’m getting back to where I was a while ago. I’m feeling really good and the boys are playing me in to good positions.
“I enjoy playing in this team and we’re in a really good place.
“In the league, this Cup, the Europa League, we’re doing well so it’s a good time to be a Celtic player right now.
“But I’m frustrated at my missed chances. I’ve been close twice now to scoring a hat-trick, first in the league and now in the Cup.
“So, that frustrates me, of course. Because I’m hungry and I always want to score more goals.
“But I suppose I have to be happy that we achieved our goal to get to the Final. I’m here to score goals, but also to win titles.
“I set high standards for myself and as an attacking player, I always want more. But I’m happy to get the two along with Broony.”