Mohamed Elyounoussi showing why he is £16m player, says Neil Lennon
The "outstanding" Mohamed Elyounoussi is showing why he is a £16m player, says Celtic manager Neil Lennon.
Elyounoussi's two first-half goals in a thrilling 5-2 demolition of Hibernian at Hampden helped Celtic into their fourth consecutive League Cup final.
It took the on-loan Southampton winger's haul to seven in 10 games, including four in the last three.
"What you're seeing now is the player Southampton spent £16m for," Lennon said of the Norway international.
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"That is his best performance since he's come in. His intelligence on the ball, link-up play and fitness levels are incredible.
"We're delighted he's making us better and we're delighted we're making him better."
Victory extended Celtic's winning streak in domestic cups to 30 matches and put them within one win of a 10th successive trophy.
Skipper Scott Brown passed a late fitness test to net his first double in almost five years and Callum McGregor was also on target for the holders.
"We were breathtaking today from start to finish," Lennon said. "We should have scored more - we hit the post twice, their keeper made some great saves. We were absolutely scintillating.
"The team is functioning so well and they're a joy to watc. It's a brilliant semi-final win. These fixtures aren't easy and the players have handled the scrutiny and expectation brilliantly."
With a place in the 8 December showpiece against either Hearts or Rangers now secured, Celtic switch their focus to the Europa League.
They face Lazio in Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Thursday, where victory could send the Scottish champions into the last 32 with two group games to spare.
"This will give us a huge psychological boost going into Thursday against a top side," Lennon said. "It's a game to savour and a great incentive for us."
'You can see why he's been brought to Celtic'
Former Scotland striker Billy Dodds on Sportsound
Elyounoussi is a classy player. With the players that Celtic have and the domination of possession, he's going to get on the ball.
He always hits the box, always gets himself into dangerous positions. He could have a hat-trick and you can see why he's been brought to Celtic.
He's going to be a big player for them in their defence of the title.