Noel Whelan insisted Celtic captain Scott Brown was right to claim the first half against Aberdeen was the club’s best performance in 18 months.

The former Aberdeen and Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, hailed the Hoops’ defensive performance in which they produced a “massive” clean sheet.

First half goals from Ryan Christie and Mohamed Elyounoussi were enough to book Neil Lennon’s side a place in the Scottish Cup final on Sunday.

After the 2-0 win, Scott Brown claimed that the Bhoys’ performance in the opening 45 minutes was ‘their best for a year and a half’.

Whelan was blown away by the Scottish Premiership champions display at Hampden Park.

“I would agree that it was their best performance in 18 months,” he told Football Insider.

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“They needed that game. They needed that performance, for sure. There has been a lot of doubt creeping in, even though they are Celtic.

“With no wins in three it had to come. Neil Lennon needed that performance and those goals to come back into the side.

“A clean sheet as well. That was massive. For me, that was the biggest thing. Keeping a clean sheet was crucial because they have been leaking far too many goals.

“It was a collective effort against a great Aberdeen side. They all needed that. They got everything right on the day. Hopefully it will kick them on in the league.”

In other news, Celtic have been told how much it will cost to sign Diego Laxalt permanently.