Champions Cup: Dundalk 6-0 Linfield (7-1 on aggregate)

Dundalk
Dundalk lifted both the League of Ireland and the EA Sports Cup this season

League of Ireland champions Dundalk overpowered Linfield to claim a 7-1 aggregate victory and lift the inaugural Champions Cup.

After the first leg finished 1-1, the Lilywhites scored six unanswered goals in a one-sided contest at Oriel Park.

Goals from Georgie Kelly, Brian Gartland and Jamie McGrath put the hosts three up by half-time.

Robbie Benson, Kelly and Pat Hoban found the back of the net after the break as Dundalk strolled to victory.

Without first leg goalscorer Shayne Lavery, Linfield offered very little going forward with lone striker Andy Waterworth starved of service for most of the match.

By contrast, Dundalk looked a constant threat when in possession as they flexed their muscles to outclass the Irish Premiership champions.

Having been denied a historic treble by Shamrock Rovers in the FAI Cup final, the hosts used the fixture to ensure that they finished their 2019 season in style.

Dundalk take control early

It took just seven minutes for Kelly to put the home side ahead after Michael Duffy led a rapid counter-attack down the left.

Eight minutes later the lead was doubled when Gartland was left totally unmarked to head home from a corner before McGrath drove an effort beyond Rohan Ferguson from the edge of the area after the Linfield keeper cheaply gave away possession.

Dundalk could have added more to their first half total while the Blues were restricted to half-chances, with Chris Casement's low free-kick the only effort to ask questions of Aaron McCarey.

Having advanced to the final round of Europa League qualification before falling to Qarabag, Linfield have played three games fewer than the three sides above them in the Irish Premiership but will turn their attentions back the league against Institute on Saturday.

After standing toe-to-toe with Dundalk at Windsor Park on Friday, the Blues were unable to keep up with their opponents in the second leg as the Lilywhites continued to dominate after the beak.

Benson drove through the heart of the Linfield defence before dinking over Ferguson to make it four before Kelly headed in from close range with 15 minutes remaining.

Hoban rounded off the scoring five minutes before the end with another unmarked header to complete an emphatic Dundalk victory.