BEAMING Neil Lennon hailed “world class” Fraser Forster after Celtic’s 1-0 Betfred League Cup Final triumph at Hampden today.
The keeper put in a defiant performance against Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit as the Hoops claimed an unprecedented TENTH successive domestic honour.
The towering Englishman was outstanding as he produced a Man-of-the-Match performance as the Hoops won their 31st consecutive Cup-tie, scoring 96 goals against 11 conceded while Lennon picked up his first League Cup as a manager.
Forster’s highlight was diving to his right to save an Alfredo Morelos penalty-kick only three minutes after Christopher Jullien had netted what proved to be the matchwinner on the hor mark.
Lennon, as reported in the Daily Record, said: “He’s world class, I have so much faith in him and he just keeps getting better and better.
UP IN ARMS…Hampden hero Fraser Forster salutes the Celtic fans at the end.
“In his first spell here he recorded some unbelievable performances and he’s done it again. He done it in Lazio, he’s done it along the way. We are so thankful to have him here and he is delighted to be here and you can see how much he wants to be here.
“He was awesome today and he had to be because first-half we were so flat.”
The delighted Hoops gaffer added: “I’m thrilled. I was disappointed with the way we played at times because that isn’t the standards we set ourselves, but there’s a resilience about the team and I told you before the game there’s a relentlessness about them.
“We had to rely on Fraser to make some unbelievable saves, but I thought Odsonne Edouard definitely sparked us. I thought we were missing him.
“It was that physical presence and quality and then when he comes on we get the goal and Mikey Johnston gets the chance for 2-0 and it could have been over.
“We had to ride our luck, there’s no question of that and they should be shaking the hands of the Rangers lads because they have made the Cup Final a brilliant spectacle.
FRENCH FANCY…Christopher Jullien celebrates his winning goal.
“But we have come through it again and we are an amazing team. To have won 10 trophies in a row that’s a hell of an effort when you think of all the pitfalls that are put in front of you.
“It’s a brilliant day and to go down to 10 men and show the resilience that we showed. We defended so well and I thought we were better with 10 men at times than we were with 11.
“We just looked really off it first-half. Rangers seemed to be on their game to start with and you have to give them credit for that, but we galvanised ourselves and shows a lot of mental strength and got a great foal.
“Mikey had the chance to make it two and that would have been game over, but we had to dig in a bit and before the end there were a lot of tired bodies out there.
“We will get players back from injury as we go along. This isn’t the end of the season. It doesn’t stop here and we have a lot of game between now and the end of the month to forge ahead in the league, but that’s the first trophy of the season in the cabinet – it’s brilliant.”
Jeremie Frimpong was red-carded for his challenge on Morelos and Celtic had to play more than a third of the confrontation with 10 men, but their incredible spirited and courage saw them through.
They are worthy of being called History Bhoys.