Celtic manager Neil Lennon praises goal duo

Charlie Mulgrew
Mulgrew set up Celtic's first and scored the third - both from free-kicks

Celtic manager Neil Lennon singled out the performances of Charlie Mulgrew and Anthony Stokes in the 3-0 win against Dunfermline at East End Park.

Stokes fired in Celtic's first-half opener from distance and Mulgrew was provider for the second, then netted the third from a free-kick.

"Anthony is very instinctive and he always gets chances," said Lennon.

"Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't. But the moment it left his foot it was in the top corner."

Stokes' stylish strike from the edge of the Dunfermline penalty area gave Celtic a lead in the 18th minute, before Victor Wanyama volleyed in Mulgrew's free-kick at the back post.

Mulgrew turned scorer in the 69th minute with a curling free-kick that evaded Pars keeper Chris Smith to seal the win and Lennon was delighted with the performance from his players.

"The team was great, and there was some very good individual performances," said Lennon. "But to come away and win so well on the back of Wednesday, I was delighted.

"We had to be patient today, because Dunfermline got a lot of people behind the ball and that made all the difference. But a piece of individual brilliance from Anthony got us going and after that I thought we were in total control of the game.

"He's looked good in training and he's fresh after his little injury. For me, watching him over the last couple of days was a no-brainer to put him back in. He totally justified his selection today."

Mulgrew played a key role in the victory that allowed Celtic to retain their two-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League table, and Lennon remarked that the former Aberdeen defender was regaining some of the form he showed for Celtic last season.

"Charlie's delivery for the second goal was magnificent and it was another piece of individual brilliance," said Lennon.

"He hits the ball so well and put a bit of bend and dip on it - it's a great asset for us to have. I'm pleased with his overall performances this year - he's looking back to the performances he had last year."

The match was also marked by the return of defender Emilio Izaguirre who featured for the first team for the first time since breaking his ankle earlier in the season.

Lennon was delighted to see the Honduran take to the field and remarked that he had been itching to play since returning to training recently.

"What a huge boost it is - he's nearly there," said Lennon.

"To have him in the second half of the season - you can see it in the little cameo he had today what he brings to the team.

"He's been at me all week asking 'come on, gaffer, when am I playing?' but we don't want to rush him back to early and lose him again.

"We can see he's slowly but surely starting to get back to where he was last season."

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