Celtic beat Glory 2-0

Celtic have effortlessly outclassed Perth Glory in a 2-0 result for the Scottish giants at nib Stadium on Saturday evening.

Celtic have effortlessly outclassed Perth Glory in a 2-0 result for the Scottish giants at nib Stadium on Saturday evening.

As the bagpipers belted out 'Scotland the Brave', there was more than a hint of Caledonia in the air, although the chilly Perth winter's evening was probably more akin to a Scottish summer night.

And, comfortable with the conditions and the slightly heavy pitch, Celtic showed their class through goals to Gary Hooper in the 16th minute and Charlie Mulgrew six minutes after the break.

The Glory had a few late opportunities but were generally out of their depth against a Celtic side that were unrelenting in their pressure on the ball carrier throughout an impressive evening's work.

Glory coach Ian Ferguson, a Rangers legend, will obviously be disappointed but his side showed plenty of positive signs, while Hoops' coach Neil Lennon will be pleased with his side's solid form ahead of Celtic's opening-round Scottish Premiership clash with Hibernian on July 24.

Right from the outset, though, Celtic showed their intent, applying some intense pressure and not allowing the Glory any chance to get comfortable in possession.

Attacking down the left time and time again, Celtic didn't waste any time threatening the Glory goal as Anthony Stokes swung a fourth-minute free kick over the bar before Hoops' skipper Scott Brown nodded a corner straight at Danny Vukovic.

Glory right defender Scott Neville appeared somewhat nervous and Celtic were taking full toll as another attack down the left ended with a corner that saw Hoops' defender Mark Wilson fire a bullet-header at goal that Vukovic did well to tip over.

But the dam eventually broke in the 16th minute as a long ball from Glen Loovens allowed Gary Hooper to bust the offside trap, the forward taking advantage of some miscommunication between Bas van den Brink and Josh Mitchell to race in at goal and comfortably slot the one-on-one past Vukovic.

It took the Glory until the 20th minute before they produced their first real attack through Todd Howarth, but just two minutes later, Celtic came close to doubling the lead as Kris Commons saw his free kick deflect wide of the upright, the playmaker remarkably generating plenty of power as he slipped on a loose piece of turf.

In the 25th minute, Glory boom recruit Liam Miller, fresh from three seasons in the Scottish Premiership with Hibernian, curved a superb free kick around the wall for Shane Smeltz, who failed to control the ball from two metres out.

The match was also starting to find some niggle just before the half hour as Perth's Adam Hughes challenged Bayram Kayal for a high ball and caught the Israeli international with an elbow to the nose.

Kayal was none too happy leaving the field either as blood poured from his nostrils and despite being consoled by coach Neil Lennon, the midfielder booted away a sound-effects microphone in anger as he left the pitch.

That was the cue for the game to lose its friendly lustre as Glory skipper Jacob Burns engaged his opponents in a series of running battles while Miller continued to show his prowess as Perth finally threatened.

Indeed, Miller showed exceptional skill eight minutes before the break, taking on two defenders before unleashing an unstoppable half volley that only just cleared the bar.

That was pretty much the last chance for Miller to show his class however, as he was subbed off at the break, his place taken by another former Scottish Premiership player in Steve McGarry, who once plied his trade with Motherwell.

But it was a Celtic substitute that did the damage in the 51st minute as Ki Sung Yung, who had just replaced Commons, swung in a free kick from the left side of the penalty area that pinpointed Mulgrew, who powerfully nodded home the second.

From there both sides seemed to put the cue in the rack, content to see out the contest, although Joe Ledley came close to adding a third for Celtic when he struck his effort wide 16 minutes from time.

Perth Glory 0 Celtic 2 (Hooper 16, Mulgrew 51)