Hoops cruise past Livingston

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Georgios Samaras took his goal tally to nine in six games as Celtic eased into the quarter-finals of the Co-operative Insurance Cup by brushing aside Livingston 4-0 at Parkhead.

A Glenn Loovens header gave the Hoops a first-half lead against the Irn-Bru First Division leaders and Greece international Samaras showed why he has established himself Celtic's as number one striker this season when he added a second just after the hour mark.

Samaras then turned provider for Scott Brown to grab the third and there was still time for the Greek to score his second from the spot.

Celtic gradually got the upper hand after a competitive start and in 23rd minute they eventually took the lead through Loovens. Paul Caddis' delivery came into a packed penalty area, where former Cardiff player Loovens rose highest to head past the helpless Roddy McKenzie.

Samaras took a searching pass from skipper Stephen McManus and blasted a powerful shot at McKenzie three minutes after the break, adding to the feeling that the home side were well in control.

In the 61st minute, after Aiden McGeady was brought down by David Mackay, Paul Hartley curled the resulting free-kick against the bar but the home side were not to be denied, keeping the pressure on until McGeady crossed for Loovens to knock back to the unmarked Samaras to head into an empty net.

It was easy street for Celtic and in the 70th minute McGeady ended a driving run by crashing a shot from 16 yards off the post, the ball bouncing back in to McKenzie's hands.

Celtic cruised to the final whistle and in the 80th minute Samaras played a one-two with Brown, allowing the former Hibernian midfielder to flick the ball over McKenzie for number three.

Shaun Maloney then won a penalty in the 84th minute when he was tripped by Mackay and Samaras made no mistake from the spot.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

Shaun Maloney
Stephen McManus
Cardiff City
Glenn Loovens
Queens Park Rangers
Scott Brown
Scott Brown
Paul Hartley
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