MOVE over, Pierre. There's a new kid on the block.

Van Hooydonk scored two of Celtic's five goals, but Jorge Cadete last night confirmed his arrival in Scottish football with a delicately-executed goal, and sent Celtic's supporters into raptures. Until 9.35pm, they had continued to wonder whether or not he was really theirs to cherish and adore.

The Portuguese internationalist, whose route to Paradise had been tortuous and protracted, was introduced as a substitute in 73 minutes when he took over from Andreas Thom, but wasted no time in declaring his presence.

Three minutes after having trotted on to the pitch with the applause of 35,000 Celtic fans ringing in his ears, Cadete sprinted on to a sweet pass played through the middle by Tosh McKinlay, who was outstanding. Aberdeen's keeper Michael Watt rushed from his goal but Cadete, despite his lack of match practice, waited until the precise moment, and chipped the ball over the keeper and into the net.

The celebrations threatened to bring down Celtic Park's new stand. This is what the supporters had waited for since first sighting the striker several weeks ago when he was paraded before a match against Partick Thistle.

Of course, it should be pointed out that Aberdeen's defence had been softened up before he was sprung from the dug-out.

Simon Donelly and van Hooydonk had scored two goals each, and a fifth strike merely underlined Celtic's dominance over an Aberdeen side which offered nothing, even though their manager, Roy Aitken, had called for a win to bolster confidence before Saturday's Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts at Hampden.

Perhaps it was all a ruse, given that yesterday was April 1, and maybe Aberdeen were simply trying to lull the Tyncastle side into a false sense of security. If, indeed, that was the intention, Aitken's players carried off their parts to perfection because they were truly dreadful. In fact, they were as formidable as a bag of marshmallows, offering little resistance in defence, no flair at all in midfield, and an absence of threat up front.

On the other hand Celtic, who are still pursuing Rangers for the premier-division championship, must believe they can beat Rangers in the second semi-final on Sunday. They are five points behind in the league and Sunday's tie now offers them their best opportunity of success this season and with players like Donnelly, Peter Grant snarling in midfield, and McKinlay rampaging on the left flank, they could be up for the cup.