Hibernian

Hibernian slideshow

Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Double treble is on as Celtic crush Rangers 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi-final
Brendan Rodgers cited humility as a Celtic character trait in the build-up to this match but it was Rangers who were humbled yet again by an emphatic Old Firm derby defeat. Tempting as it is to declare that Celtic strode into the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month, the truth was that their progress was a stroll. For all of Graeme Murty’s talk of using the pain of defeat in last month’s derby at Ibrox as a motivational tool for this encounter, the Rangers manager was at an utter loss to explain why his players stood off a Celtic side who were visibly gratified to be allowed unwonted time and space to assert their domination. The cost to Murty of this setback will be the loss of his place on the shortlist of candidates when the Ibrox board considers who should be in charge next season but, despite the assertion by the Rangers chairman, Dave King that ‘immediate success’ is required, it will not be delivered by the club’s current squad. Only Celtic exceed them in financial clout in Scotland but a gulf remains and, for as long as the Hoops’ advantage is pressed by a manager as driven as Rodgers, Rangers will struggle to emerge as plausible contenders for domestic honours. This occasion presented them with their last chance to interfere with Celtic’s push towards a second clean sweep of the Scottish prizes but Murty’s players looked timid and apprehensive from the start. His deployment was a 4-2-3-1 match-up with Celtic, but Rangers’ advanced midfielder stood off their opposite numbers, a fatal error which permitted Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Tom Rogic to dominate the hearty of the pitch, with James Forrest and Callum McGregor allowed to roam the flanks, all to the advantage of Moussa Dembele, who demonstrated his predatory qualities after only five minutes, when he volleyed a lofted pass from Ntcham off the post. Bad day: Graeme Murty's tactics did not work Credit: PA In fact, the most significant interruption of Celtic’s rhythm was caused by an influx of dozens of balloons released by spectators, which blew about the pitch until Bobby Madden called a halt and instructed the players to burst them, a spectacle that resembled a mass trampling of grapes in a vineyard. It did not take long after the resumption of proceedings for Rangers’ hopes to be punctured. Dembele and Forrest combined to find Rogic in the Rangers’ box and the Australian spun Ross McCrorie off balance before shooting past Wes Foderingham with a rare use of his right foot for such a purpose. McCrorie had a chance of redemption when Craig Gordon slipped at a corner kick but, with the goalkeeper out of the equation, the Rangers defender headed wide of the mark. Celtic’s domination was so emphatic that when Russell Martin could do no better than turn a Kieran Tierney cross in the path of Callum McGregor, who promptly drove it beyond Foderingham, the notion of a Rangers comeback virtually defied the imagination. Murty reacted by replacing Andy Halliday with Josh Windass for what remained of the first half. Composure: Tom Rogic slots the first with a clam finish Credit: Reuters Halliday, on his 100th appearance for the club, responded by treating the Rangers bench to a volley of imprecations as he left the pitch. Whatever hope Murty retained of diverting fortune disappeared within five minutes of the restart when Dembele got goal-side of McCrorie who had three yanks at the striker’s jersey before finally toppling him inside the box. The outcome was McCrorie’s dismissal and a cool conversion from the spot. Rangers’ task was now the avoidance of humiliation, a prospect that loomed when Jason Holt fouled Patrick Roberts – who had replaced Forrest – for another penalty kick which was tucked away by Ntcham for Celtic’s fourth. Clear pen: Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic for a penalty and a red card Credit: Getty Between times, incredibly, Rangers might have scored three times, but Gordon produced spectacular one-armed blocks on headers from Alfredo Morelos and Bruno Alves. The goalkeeper was, however, beaten by a wild slice from his right-back, Mikael Lustig, which ricocheted from the crossbar. The rebound, though, fell to Morelos, who extended his impeccable record of missing gift chances in Old Firm derbies, by shooting straight at Gordon from six yards. Celtic’s devotion to humility was not evident in Brown’s response to victory, when the Parkhead captain was reminded that the Rangers had cheered the semi-final draw which paired them with the Bhoys. “I don’t think they’ll be cheering tonight,” he said. “We just knew as soon as we turned up that we’d win it.” Murty, meanwhile, was mired in frustration. “We just didn’t get close to anyone, it took half an hour to make a tackle,” he said. “I’ll apologise for the first half. It’s a lonely place out there, but we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “I won’t talk about my role at this time, it’s not about me.” For Rodgers, the focus is upon closing two imminent deals. “The important thing now is to close up the league,” he said “The final will be a tough game. You saw Motherwell yesterday [against Aberdeen]. They work hard and won’t make it easy.” 4:27PM We will have report and reaction ASAP Well done Celtic. Hard lines Rangers. FULL TIME: Celtic 4-0 Rangers (Rogic 22', McGregor 38', Dembele 52', Ntcham 78') pic.twitter.com/NzGFGgUScJ— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 4:23PM Full time: Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Graeme Murty, in all probability for the last time in an Old Firm match. This was a complete walloping, only one team ever in it, and it is Celtic who will face Motherwell in the final on May 19th. Not a great day out: a Rangers fan Credit: Sky Football 4:21PM 90 mins Alves is back on. Tavernier has had a booking. 4:19PM 89 mins Alves needs treatment. Aye, on his hair. Credit: Sky Rangers have used all three of their subs so are playing with nine men at the moment. 4:16PM 86 mins Still all Celtic. McGregor and Tierney combine for a great move, nice movement, and the shot at the end is just a couple of feet too high. 4:14PM 84 mins Some seats now available in the Rangers end... 4:09PM 80 mins More good news for Rangers: Leigh Griffiths, who always scores against them, is coming on. Dembele the man who makes way. Dembele roasted the Rangers defence in the first half an hour, and the game was long over by half time. 4:07PM GOAL! Ntcahm (78p) and it's Celtic 4 Rangers 0 Perfect penalty! Keeper guessed correctly, but it was right in the corner. ���� pic.twitter.com/Zk4hIBy4Nn— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 4:06PM Another penalty Holt this time. Ridiculous swing of the leg upends Roberts in the area. Clear penalty, once again. Absolute humiliation this. Holt looked totally clueless there. Say what you like about Murty, but Jason Holt's already created a goal within just 7 minutes of the manager throwing him on— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 4:05PM 75 mins Sinclair bright as a button since coming on, stretching the shellshocked Rangers defence with his pace. 4:01PM 71 mins Forrest off, Roberts on. 71' SUB: Jason Holt comes on to replace Graham Dorrans. 0-3 pic.twitter.com/ZYheo8R6H0— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 3:59PM 70 mins Game meandering to a close already, I can only assume that Rangers fans are soon to be meandering out of Hampden. Not sure anyone could blame them. 3:58PM 68 mins I tried to have a bet before the match on total yellow cards but could not find a price. I make it five so far plus a red. 3:54PM Scott Brown involved in Old Firm argy-bargy shocker Credit: Sky Sticking up for McGregor after Morelos shoved the player. Booking for Morelos for that. Booking for Dorans as well, who tried to hack down Celtic runner McGregor. Booking for Scott Brown for being Scott Brown. 3:49PM 60 mins: Celtic 3 Rangers (ten men) 0 Scott Sinclair is coming on, Tom Rogic comes off. 59' - CLOSE! Ntcham threads a perfect ball through to Forrest inside the box but the Hoops winger stabs his effort just wide of the mark [3-0] #CELRAN— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:46PM 56 mins Suddenly it is all Rangers! A wild attempted clearance from Celtic's Lustig hits the bar and Morelos has bungled the chance from the rebound. 3:44PM 53 mins Suddenly, against the run of play, Rangers fashion a great chance. Tavernier from the right, superb cross. Morelos rises to meet it with a superb header. Brilliant save Craig Gordon. Somehow he tips it over. From the resultant corner, another good header. Another superb save from Gordon. Poor old Rangers. Not their day. Bruno Alves comes on to replace Daniel Candeias. 3:42PM GOAL! Dembele penalty And a great penalty it is too, a cheeky wee Paneka, beautifully done, and that will get right up the pipe of the Rangers players and supporters. And what is the point of an Old Firm game if not for that? MOUSSA WITH THE PANENKA! ������ pic.twitter.com/KMbf1PcDz6— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 3:41PM Red card for Ross McCrorie Dembele has the run on him down the left. McCrorie is pulling at his shirt the whole while. Two tugs at least, all of this outside the box but Dembele waits until he is into the area to haul him down. Penalty and a red card. Clear as day. 3:37PM 48 mins Corner cleared easily. Docherty has been booked for pulling back Callum McGregor 3:36PM 47 mins Still. They have an early corner. 3:35PM 46 mins Any hope for the blue team? I would not think so, no. 3:20PM Half time: Celtic 2 Rangers 0 Total mismatch. Rogic and McGregor the scorers. Celtic hardly off the bridle, Rangers just totally outplayed. We'll seriously have to rethink the term 'Old Firm' if there's a couple more seasons of this. Men against boys, this is. Packie Bonner on the BBC: "It's a big, big task and a huge half-time for Graeme Murty if he is going to save his job." 3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Celtic vs Rangers, Scottish Cup semi-final: live score updates
3:18PM 45 mins Wee moment from Rangers, Tavernier picks out Candeias and he crosses. No. Far too close to the keeper and that is the last action of an utterly one-sided first half. 3:15PM 40 mins Never fear, Rangers fans: Josh Windass is here. 3:14PM 39 mins Rangers manager Graeme Murty responds by taking off Andy Halliday. It's a bit like the England cricket team dropping a bowler after a batting collapse. Sure, Halliday has barely had a kick, but the defending has been terrible. Halliday is pure raging as he comes off. After May 2016's shameful scenes, it’s disappointing to see another fan running around aimlessly on the Hampden turf pic.twitter.com/DcU1DSUTCp— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) April 15, 2018 3:12PM GOAL! Celtic have the second. McGregor It's awful from Rangers, no more than Celtic deserve however. Candeias beaten way to easily, and Tierney has it all his own way as he delivers a ball from the left. Terrible bit of defending from Russell Martin, no athleticism at all as he slowly, clumsily sticks out a leg. Cushions the ball nicely into the path of Callum McGregor, who slots it home. Men against boys today I am afraid and this game is surely already over. Celtic 2 Rangers 0 (McGregor 38) 3:07PM Leigh Griffiths did not start Celtic fans Credit: Getty 3:06PM 34 mins: Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Candeias and Murphy, the nominal wide attackers for Rangers, have barely had a kick. The former now, though, tries a long lofted ball to the latter. Celtic, safety first, head it behind for a corner. From that corner, there is a brief moment of alarm for the Celts when Gordon lies on the turf... but he had been fouled. 3:04PM 32 mins Ntcham! Rogic tries a shot, it comes back off Dorrans, who is back defending as indeed is everyone else. The rebound drops for Ntcham, not a bad dig. 3:01PM 29 mins We are having our first yellow of the afternoon, somewhat later than one normally expects. Murphy gets the better of Lustig who sighs and hauls him back, already expecting the booking. 2:56PM 24 mins Oi oi though, here is Candeias on the break, totally out of the blue. And Rangers have a corner. 2:55PM 23 mins Rogic again! Desperate block. Rangers are getting a roasting. Only TWO PERCENT of the action in the Celtic half! 2:54PM 22 mins And Rogic has another chance! This one probably easier than the goal. Cannot place it properly. Celtic rampant, Dembele tearing Rangers apart. 2:53PM GOAL! Rogic gives Celtic the lead! It's that man again. Rogic bursts into the box, great composure in the box, he twists away from his marker and slots it home. Celtic 1 Rangers 0 (Rogic 21) Dembele had done well with a knock down to Forrest, who picked out Rogic. He shifted the ball and struck a nice shot. Tom Rogic unaware of an approaching shark pic.twitter.com/4pwnBqRciv— Footballers with animals (@ftbllrswanimals) March 11, 2018 2:51PM 20 mins Corner for Celtic. Foderingham palms it away for another corner. Boyata! Arriving late, great movement but a poor header. 2:51PM 19 mins Rangers pinned back entirely. They cannot keep the ball. On the upside, Celtic have had few if any chances of note with the exception of Dembele hitting the post. 2:50PM 16 mins Bit of a delay while players from both sides stamp on some balloons. 2:43PM 11 mins Another nice move from Celtic sees Tierney, who I think will play for a top six English side within the next 18 months, deliver a hard low cross that is kept out, just. It's all hands to the pump for Rangers. 2:42PM 10 mins Ntcham with a powerful run, but the shot is disappointing to say the least. Celtic well on top in the first ten minutes, the men in Blue have scarcely been past halfway. 2:41PM 9 mins Rogic with a nice little prompting ball through to Dembele, who is starting to dominate the Rangers defence with his movement. Just about bundled clear. McCrorie the player who nipped in. 2:38PM 5 mins Good ball in from the right by Ntcham and Demebele meets it with a sweet contact! It hits the post with Foderingham well beaten. Really well struck snap effort, shades of offside I would suggest but it matters not. Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Simunovic, Roberts, Griffiths, Sinclair, Edouard, Bain, Eboue. Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, McCrorie, Martin, John, Docherty, Halliday, Candeias, Dorrans, Murphy, Morelos. Subs: Cummings, Miller, Windass, Hodson, Bruno Alves, Holt, Alnwick. Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland) 2:34PM 3 mins Credit: Sky Football Morellos has a run down the channel that is hampered by the presence of balloons. True of this fixture as a whole. 2:33PM 2 mins No football to speak of just yet. Credit: Reuters 2:31PM 1 mins: Celtic 0 Rangers 0 Various flares and smoke things go off. Celtic kick off. 2:30PM Rangers Credit: Sky Another specialist, Kenny Miller also on the bench. 2:29PM Celtic formation Credit: Sky Dembele has six in eight Old Firm games, but another specialist, Leigh Griffiths, sits on the bench. 2:27PM Rod! Credit: Sky Football 2:19PM Hampden looks pretty full I never enjoy going there for semis, think it spoils things, but I suppose a neutral ground is fair enough. Be quite cool if these could do a deal to go play in Old Trafford or Villa Park or something. Actually that is probably a terrible idea. 2:00PM Strong words from Lee McCulloch on the BBC "Rangers know they need to win this game to stop Celtic getting that treble. "That's all the motivation you need right there if you are a Rangers player. "That's what I would be saying in the dressing room. I don't want to be a Rangers player when Celtic win the double treble. There's lots of shame in that for me." 1:58PM Opportunities for pundits not called Kris are limited in Scotland. With these two again for a huge game today the Scottish Cup semi-final. We love each other’s company really �� @kcommons15@krisboydcharity@Celticfc v @RangersFC is LIVE on @SkyFootball from 2.15pm. pic.twitter.com/jbT9jwLpee— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) April 15, 2018 Boydy does not appear to have a snack to hand; that could be a problem. 1:44PM Rangers players �� #RangersFC have arrived at Hampden. pic.twitter.com/jSvzOtxeNo— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 Oh Jason. 1:39PM Here's the team sheet Official #CELRAN teamsheet. �� ➡️ https://t.co/scIhOWsyU7pic.twitter.com/Il4LUTeaen— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 1:32PM Here are the boys in blue ��TEAM NEWS: Graeme Murty has made one change to his side for today’s @ScottishCup semi-final at Hampden as Andy Halliday returns to the Gers starting eleven. ➡️ Full Team News: https://t.co/7RX4t0ztWGpic.twitter.com/oExGZNSYnC— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) April 15, 2018 1:27PM Well, Celtic's is Where is the Rangers team? ���� pic.twitter.com/EhlQE3e2q9— James Tavernier (@James_Tavernier) April 15, 2018 1:25PM Good afternoon Tyers here. British football's most hate-filled derby is here! What a Sunday treat! And now, the team news is here. �� Starting XI. #CELRANpic.twitter.com/K6WOxUTjGZ— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 15, 2018 Celtic team to play Rangers: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, McGregor, Dembele. Subs: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi, Edouard, Sinclair, Griffiths.— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) April 15, 2018 1:19PM Brendan Rodgers: We are looking no further than this game Brendan Rodgers insists his Celtic side are focused on today's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park as they look to rewrite history. The Hoops are one win away from clinching their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title and that could come at Hibernian in the first post-split fixture. And while both Celtic and Rangers sides of the past have reached nine in a row and won domestic trebles, a victory over their old rivals will take the Hoops to within a win of a second successive clean sweep which has yet to be done in Scottish football. Rodgers, who has won six out of six games at Hampden since taking over at the Glasgow club in 2016 and is unbeaten in nine Old Firm games, is aware of what could be achieved, but is looking no further than the weekend. "The history is enormous at this club and what we did last year was historic," said the Parkhead boss. Rodgers is chasing yet another title Credit: PA "But we want to keep writing our own history and that means being really focused on the next game. "They are always tough games. I have been involved in nine of them and they are always complicated in their different ways so this will be no different. "However, we go to Hampden with a team that have not only won there but played very well. "Obviously that gives us faith and confidence but not taking away from it being a tough game."
Like the cherry blossom of Japan, which also appears at this time of year, the announcement of the Scottish Premiership post-split fixture list is attended by an unfailing ritual. In the SPFL’s case, the custom is for pundits to revile the schedule and, bang on cue, the former Hibs winger, Ivan Sproule, obliged by accusing the governing body of ‘disrespect’ to his old club. According to Sproule, this lack of regard was demonstrated by the pairing of Hibernian and Celtic on April 21, when a victory for Brendan Rodgers’ players would guarantee a seventh successive Scottish title for the Hoops. Sproule added that the SPFL think that ‘Celtic could easily roll up to Easter Road and win the league’, so that the title clincher would not occur at the Old Firm derby the following week. A pause for reflection might have suggested that a more likely way for Celtic to acquire their next honour before the visit of Rangers on April 29 would be to start their post-split schedule with a home game against Aberdeen, whom the champions have beaten 10 times in succession. Alternatively, to guarantee that one or both of Celtic’s nominal title rivals would drop points, the opening fixture for Rangers would have been against Aberdeen at Pittodrie. Matters, though, are rarely so simple, because the schedule has to accommodate several competing interests. Meanwhile, on the other side of Edinburgh, Hearts were grumpy about their trip to Ibrox on April 22, which means that their season will feature three games away to Rangers and only one at home. A club statement denounced the arrangement but took the trouble to explain the reasoning behind it and finished with the imperishable declaration that ‘while unacceptable, it is felt to be the least unacceptable.’ What clubs never mention during the annual condemnation is that they all voted for the system when it was put in place for the 2000/01 season when the SPL, as it was then, adopted a 12-team structure. The prior Scottish Premier Division had also contained a dozen teams for part of its existence, but the home-and-away format meant a total of 44 fixture cards, which proved to be too long to accommodate the cup competitions and European fixtures. The solution, borrowed from a Swiss model, was to split the league into top and bottom sixes for the climax of the season. The inevitable consequence was that inequities occurred in the home-and-away arrangements, plus the frequent anomaly that clubs in the lower six could finish the season with more points than clubs in the top half of the division. The imbalance, however, is designed to affect only those clubs who are not still in contention for the title or European places, or those trying to avoid relegation or the play-off place. “That is the reason why Motherwell have got an extra home game and Hearts have lost one,” said Neil Doncaster, the SPFL chief executive. Of Hearts’ ‘least unacceptable’ description, Doncaster said: “That is a good way of putting it because the split creates imbalances as a mathematical certainty. You can’t create the perfect set of fixtures post-split. “It is about trying to reconcile all the competing interests - and clearly some of them are public security interests - while others are the clubs’ requirements and some are the broadcast requirements. Given the different picks that each broadcaster has, coming up with a fixture list which is as balanced as it can possibly be is the name of the game. “You work with the broadcasters, with the clubs, with the police to try to get everything into position. Even as late as Wednesday afternoon, things were changing to meet everyone’s different demands. “An awful lot of work goes on in a short period. Clearly people want the fixtures as quickly as possible and that is what we want too but these things take time because there are so many moving parts and so many people to deal with.” And, it turns out, there are some who envy the Scottish model. “We had a seminar with the European leagues in Edinburgh last week and the chief executive from Denmark was talking about his league, which has recently gone to 14 teams from 12 teams. “They played three rounds of fixtures but have now moved to a 6-8 split which creates 36 or 40 fixtures, depending upon which part of the split you are in. His regret is that they didn’t go to a 12-team league and split into 6. I’ll leave you with that. “The split creates tight finishes top and bottom and sometimes that means helicopter finishes on the last day of the season. Ultimately the hallmarks of our game are passion, drama and excitement and the split creates that.”
SPFL chief defends league split from yearly round of abuse
Like the cherry blossom of Japan, which also appears at this time of year, the announcement of the Scottish Premiership post-split fixture list is attended by an unfailing ritual. In the SPFL’s case, the custom is for pundits to revile the schedule and, bang on cue, the former Hibs winger, Ivan Sproule, obliged by accusing the governing body of ‘disrespect’ to his old club. According to Sproule, this lack of regard was demonstrated by the pairing of Hibernian and Celtic on April 21, when a victory for Brendan Rodgers’ players would guarantee a seventh successive Scottish title for the Hoops. Sproule added that the SPFL think that ‘Celtic could easily roll up to Easter Road and win the league’, so that the title clincher would not occur at the Old Firm derby the following week. A pause for reflection might have suggested that a more likely way for Celtic to acquire their next honour before the visit of Rangers on April 29 would be to start their post-split schedule with a home game against Aberdeen, whom the champions have beaten 10 times in succession. Alternatively, to guarantee that one or both of Celtic’s nominal title rivals would drop points, the opening fixture for Rangers would have been against Aberdeen at Pittodrie. Matters, though, are rarely so simple, because the schedule has to accommodate several competing interests. Meanwhile, on the other side of Edinburgh, Hearts were grumpy about their trip to Ibrox on April 22, which means that their season will feature three games away to Rangers and only one at home. A club statement denounced the arrangement but took the trouble to explain the reasoning behind it and finished with the imperishable declaration that ‘while unacceptable, it is felt to be the least unacceptable.’ What clubs never mention during the annual condemnation is that they all voted for the system when it was put in place for the 2000/01 season when the SPL, as it was then, adopted a 12-team structure. The prior Scottish Premier Division had also contained a dozen teams for part of its existence, but the home-and-away format meant a total of 44 fixture cards, which proved to be too long to accommodate the cup competitions and European fixtures. The solution, borrowed from a Swiss model, was to split the league into top and bottom sixes for the climax of the season. The inevitable consequence was that inequities occurred in the home-and-away arrangements, plus the frequent anomaly that clubs in the lower six could finish the season with more points than clubs in the top half of the division. The imbalance, however, is designed to affect only those clubs who are not still in contention for the title or European places, or those trying to avoid relegation or the play-off place. “That is the reason why Motherwell have got an extra home game and Hearts have lost one,” said Neil Doncaster, the SPFL chief executive. Of Hearts’ ‘least unacceptable’ description, Doncaster said: “That is a good way of putting it because the split creates imbalances as a mathematical certainty. You can’t create the perfect set of fixtures post-split. “It is about trying to reconcile all the competing interests - and clearly some of them are public security interests - while others are the clubs’ requirements and some are the broadcast requirements. Given the different picks that each broadcaster has, coming up with a fixture list which is as balanced as it can possibly be is the name of the game. “You work with the broadcasters, with the clubs, with the police to try to get everything into position. Even as late as Wednesday afternoon, things were changing to meet everyone’s different demands. “An awful lot of work goes on in a short period. Clearly people want the fixtures as quickly as possible and that is what we want too but these things take time because there are so many moving parts and so many people to deal with.” And, it turns out, there are some who envy the Scottish model. “We had a seminar with the European leagues in Edinburgh last week and the chief executive from Denmark was talking about his league, which has recently gone to 14 teams from 12 teams. “They played three rounds of fixtures but have now moved to a 6-8 split which creates 36 or 40 fixtures, depending upon which part of the split you are in. His regret is that they didn’t go to a 12-team league and split into 6. I’ll leave you with that. “The split creates tight finishes top and bottom and sometimes that means helicopter finishes on the last day of the season. Ultimately the hallmarks of our game are passion, drama and excitement and the split creates that.”
Celtic are now within one victory of a seventh successive Scottish title, courtesy of their domination of a drab contest in Lanarkshire. The champions looked wholly untroubled throughout their outing, even when Kris Ajer was ambushed against the run of play by Rakish Bingham for Hamilton’s goal. Although the home team’s name is derived from a venerable educational institution, Martin Canning’s players were impervious to learning. Having survived an alarm within seconds of the start, Accies were still dozing when Callum McGregor put Celtic ahead after three minutes and they failed to take heed of that example at the beginning of the second half, when Leigh Griffiths netted Celtic’s second with his first touch of the ball as a substitute. Between times, Darren Lyon delivered a masterclass in heedlessness when he was cautioned for an agricultural challenge on Kieran Tierney and then fouled the same player a minute later to the same effect, thus depriving his colleagues of almost any chance to eke reward from the afternoon. Andrew Dallas might have exercised discretion and taken the view that the encounter between the pair was a case of six and half-a-dozen, but Lyon was foolish to have presented him with the option. Celtic will now have a break from league business, when they meet Rangers in the semi-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup at Hampden Park next Sunday. It was with an eye on the Old Firm derby that Brendan Rodgers deployed his squad strength. Brendan Rodgers made five changes ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers Credit: PA Scott Bain, ineligible for the midweek match against Dundee, from whom he is on loan, was back in goal because Rodgers was unwilling to risk Craig Gordon, his first choice for the position, on the artificial surface at the SuperSeal Stadium. The manager made four other changes, with Tierney, Ajer, Patrick Roberts and Olivier Ntcham in for Tom Rogic, James Forrest, Mikael Lustig and Stuart Armstrong. From Accies’ perspective, Saturday’s results were favourable, with Dundee and Partick Thistle losing and Ross County drawing at home with Hibernian to ease the pressure on Hamilton to take something from a fixture they had not won in 23 meetings since 1989. That, though, did not excuse the absence of defensive rigour which set the home team on to the back foot straight from kick-off with Shaun Want’s poor attempt at a pass back to his goalkeeper. Moussa Dembele fastened on to the stray pass but drove straight at Ryan Fulton when a touch of composure would likely have brought the opening goal. Not that Celtic were made to wait much longer to take the lead. Again, negligence opened the door, this time when Roberts was allowed to hold on to the ball on the edge of the home penalty area until he could feed McGregor, who had ambled forward unchecked into a position to shoot, equally unhindered, off Fulton’s left-hand post and into the net. McGregor fires home for Celtic Credit: PA Having been presented with such a gift, Celtic reacted by denying Hamilton use of the ball for long spells, but the ease with which they kept possession lulled the visitors into carelessness, punished by Bingham when he muscled Ajer off the ball and steered his finish wide of Bain for an unanticipated equaliser. The interval entertainment included a rendition of the theme from The Flintstones, a musical choice explained by the announcer as dedication to Neil Lennon, who had described Hamilton’s tackling as ‘caveman’ in style – all the way back in November. The PA man then muddled his substitution announcement but it was clarified within seconds of the restart when Scott Sinclair delivered a cross for Griffiths to head decisively beyond Fulton. Unlike their opponents, Celtic did not repeat their first-half drop in concentration and their almost machine-like relentlessness secured another stride towards the title and perhaps also a second successive clean sweep of the domestic honours.
Celtic move within one win of seventh successive Scottish title after easing past ten-man Hamilton
Celtic are now within one victory of a seventh successive Scottish title, courtesy of their domination of a drab contest in Lanarkshire. The champions looked wholly untroubled throughout their outing, even when Kris Ajer was ambushed against the run of play by Rakish Bingham for Hamilton’s goal. Although the home team’s name is derived from a venerable educational institution, Martin Canning’s players were impervious to learning. Having survived an alarm within seconds of the start, Accies were still dozing when Callum McGregor put Celtic ahead after three minutes and they failed to take heed of that example at the beginning of the second half, when Leigh Griffiths netted Celtic’s second with his first touch of the ball as a substitute. Between times, Darren Lyon delivered a masterclass in heedlessness when he was cautioned for an agricultural challenge on Kieran Tierney and then fouled the same player a minute later to the same effect, thus depriving his colleagues of almost any chance to eke reward from the afternoon. Andrew Dallas might have exercised discretion and taken the view that the encounter between the pair was a case of six and half-a-dozen, but Lyon was foolish to have presented him with the option. Celtic will now have a break from league business, when they meet Rangers in the semi-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup at Hampden Park next Sunday. It was with an eye on the Old Firm derby that Brendan Rodgers deployed his squad strength. Brendan Rodgers made five changes ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers Credit: PA Scott Bain, ineligible for the midweek match against Dundee, from whom he is on loan, was back in goal because Rodgers was unwilling to risk Craig Gordon, his first choice for the position, on the artificial surface at the SuperSeal Stadium. The manager made four other changes, with Tierney, Ajer, Patrick Roberts and Olivier Ntcham in for Tom Rogic, James Forrest, Mikael Lustig and Stuart Armstrong. From Accies’ perspective, Saturday’s results were favourable, with Dundee and Partick Thistle losing and Ross County drawing at home with Hibernian to ease the pressure on Hamilton to take something from a fixture they had not won in 23 meetings since 1989. That, though, did not excuse the absence of defensive rigour which set the home team on to the back foot straight from kick-off with Shaun Want’s poor attempt at a pass back to his goalkeeper. Moussa Dembele fastened on to the stray pass but drove straight at Ryan Fulton when a touch of composure would likely have brought the opening goal. Not that Celtic were made to wait much longer to take the lead. Again, negligence opened the door, this time when Roberts was allowed to hold on to the ball on the edge of the home penalty area until he could feed McGregor, who had ambled forward unchecked into a position to shoot, equally unhindered, off Fulton’s left-hand post and into the net. McGregor fires home for Celtic Credit: PA Having been presented with such a gift, Celtic reacted by denying Hamilton use of the ball for long spells, but the ease with which they kept possession lulled the visitors into carelessness, punished by Bingham when he muscled Ajer off the ball and steered his finish wide of Bain for an unanticipated equaliser. The interval entertainment included a rendition of the theme from The Flintstones, a musical choice explained by the announcer as dedication to Neil Lennon, who had described Hamilton’s tackling as ‘caveman’ in style – all the way back in November. The PA man then muddled his substitution announcement but it was clarified within seconds of the restart when Scott Sinclair delivered a cross for Griffiths to head decisively beyond Fulton. Unlike their opponents, Celtic did not repeat their first-half drop in concentration and their almost machine-like relentlessness secured another stride towards the title and perhaps also a second successive clean sweep of the domestic honours.
Celtic are now within one victory of a seventh successive Scottish title, courtesy of their domination of a drab contest in Lanarkshire. The champions looked wholly untroubled throughout their outing, even when Kris Ajer was ambushed against the run of play by Rakish Bingham for Hamilton’s goal. Although the home team’s name is derived from a venerable educational institution, Martin Canning’s players were impervious to learning. Having survived an alarm within seconds of the start, Accies were still dozing when Callum McGregor put Celtic ahead after three minutes and they failed to take heed of that example at the beginning of the second half, when Leigh Griffiths netted Celtic’s second with his first touch of the ball as a substitute. Between times, Darren Lyon delivered a masterclass in heedlessness when he was cautioned for an agricultural challenge on Kieran Tierney and then fouled the same player a minute later to the same effect, thus depriving his colleagues of almost any chance to eke reward from the afternoon. Andrew Dallas might have exercised discretion and taken the view that the encounter between the pair was a case of six and half-a-dozen, but Lyon was foolish to have presented him with the option. Celtic will now have a break from league business, when they meet Rangers in the semi-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup at Hampden Park next Sunday. It was with an eye on the Old Firm derby that Brendan Rodgers deployed his squad strength. Brendan Rodgers made five changes ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers Credit: PA Scott Bain, ineligible for the midweek match against Dundee, from whom he is on loan, was back in goal because Rodgers was unwilling to risk Craig Gordon, his first choice for the position, on the artificial surface at the SuperSeal Stadium. The manager made four other changes, with Tierney, Ajer, Patrick Roberts and Olivier Ntcham in for Tom Rogic, James Forrest, Mikael Lustig and Stuart Armstrong. From Accies’ perspective, Saturday’s results were favourable, with Dundee and Partick Thistle losing and Ross County drawing at home with Hibernian to ease the pressure on Hamilton to take something from a fixture they had not won in 23 meetings since 1989. That, though, did not excuse the absence of defensive rigour which set the home team on to the back foot straight from kick-off with Shaun Want’s poor attempt at a pass back to his goalkeeper. Moussa Dembele fastened on to the stray pass but drove straight at Ryan Fulton when a touch of composure would likely have brought the opening goal. Not that Celtic were made to wait much longer to take the lead. Again, negligence opened the door, this time when Roberts was allowed to hold on to the ball on the edge of the home penalty area until he could feed McGregor, who had ambled forward unchecked into a position to shoot, equally unhindered, off Fulton’s left-hand post and into the net. McGregor fires home for Celtic Credit: PA Having been presented with such a gift, Celtic reacted by denying Hamilton use of the ball for long spells, but the ease with which they kept possession lulled the visitors into carelessness, punished by Bingham when he muscled Ajer off the ball and steered his finish wide of Bain for an unanticipated equaliser. The interval entertainment included a rendition of the theme from The Flintstones, a musical choice explained by the announcer as dedication to Neil Lennon, who had described Hamilton’s tackling as ‘caveman’ in style – all the way back in November. The PA man then muddled his substitution announcement but it was clarified within seconds of the restart when Scott Sinclair delivered a cross for Griffiths to head decisively beyond Fulton. Unlike their opponents, Celtic did not repeat their first-half drop in concentration and their almost machine-like relentlessness secured another stride towards the title and perhaps also a second successive clean sweep of the domestic honours.
Celtic move within one win of seventh successive Scottish title after easing past ten-man Hamilton
Celtic are now within one victory of a seventh successive Scottish title, courtesy of their domination of a drab contest in Lanarkshire. The champions looked wholly untroubled throughout their outing, even when Kris Ajer was ambushed against the run of play by Rakish Bingham for Hamilton’s goal. Although the home team’s name is derived from a venerable educational institution, Martin Canning’s players were impervious to learning. Having survived an alarm within seconds of the start, Accies were still dozing when Callum McGregor put Celtic ahead after three minutes and they failed to take heed of that example at the beginning of the second half, when Leigh Griffiths netted Celtic’s second with his first touch of the ball as a substitute. Between times, Darren Lyon delivered a masterclass in heedlessness when he was cautioned for an agricultural challenge on Kieran Tierney and then fouled the same player a minute later to the same effect, thus depriving his colleagues of almost any chance to eke reward from the afternoon. Andrew Dallas might have exercised discretion and taken the view that the encounter between the pair was a case of six and half-a-dozen, but Lyon was foolish to have presented him with the option. Celtic will now have a break from league business, when they meet Rangers in the semi-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup at Hampden Park next Sunday. It was with an eye on the Old Firm derby that Brendan Rodgers deployed his squad strength. Brendan Rodgers made five changes ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers Credit: PA Scott Bain, ineligible for the midweek match against Dundee, from whom he is on loan, was back in goal because Rodgers was unwilling to risk Craig Gordon, his first choice for the position, on the artificial surface at the SuperSeal Stadium. The manager made four other changes, with Tierney, Ajer, Patrick Roberts and Olivier Ntcham in for Tom Rogic, James Forrest, Mikael Lustig and Stuart Armstrong. From Accies’ perspective, Saturday’s results were favourable, with Dundee and Partick Thistle losing and Ross County drawing at home with Hibernian to ease the pressure on Hamilton to take something from a fixture they had not won in 23 meetings since 1989. That, though, did not excuse the absence of defensive rigour which set the home team on to the back foot straight from kick-off with Shaun Want’s poor attempt at a pass back to his goalkeeper. Moussa Dembele fastened on to the stray pass but drove straight at Ryan Fulton when a touch of composure would likely have brought the opening goal. Not that Celtic were made to wait much longer to take the lead. Again, negligence opened the door, this time when Roberts was allowed to hold on to the ball on the edge of the home penalty area until he could feed McGregor, who had ambled forward unchecked into a position to shoot, equally unhindered, off Fulton’s left-hand post and into the net. McGregor fires home for Celtic Credit: PA Having been presented with such a gift, Celtic reacted by denying Hamilton use of the ball for long spells, but the ease with which they kept possession lulled the visitors into carelessness, punished by Bingham when he muscled Ajer off the ball and steered his finish wide of Bain for an unanticipated equaliser. The interval entertainment included a rendition of the theme from The Flintstones, a musical choice explained by the announcer as dedication to Neil Lennon, who had described Hamilton’s tackling as ‘caveman’ in style – all the way back in November. The PA man then muddled his substitution announcement but it was clarified within seconds of the restart when Scott Sinclair delivered a cross for Griffiths to head decisively beyond Fulton. Unlike their opponents, Celtic did not repeat their first-half drop in concentration and their almost machine-like relentlessness secured another stride towards the title and perhaps also a second successive clean sweep of the domestic honours.
Celtic are now within one victory of a seventh successive Scottish title, courtesy of their domination of a drab contest in Lanarkshire. The champions looked wholly untroubled throughout their outing, even when Kris Ajer was ambushed against the run of play by Rakish Bingham for Hamilton’s goal. Although the home team’s name is derived from a venerable educational institution, Martin Canning’s players were impervious to learning. Having survived an alarm within seconds of the start, Accies were still dozing when Callum McGregor put Celtic ahead after three minutes and they failed to take heed of that example at the beginning of the second half, when Leigh Griffiths netted Celtic’s second with his first touch of the ball as a substitute. Between times, Darren Lyon delivered a masterclass in heedlessness when he was cautioned for an agricultural challenge on Kieran Tierney and then fouled the same player a minute later to the same effect, thus depriving his colleagues of almost any chance to eke reward from the afternoon. Andrew Dallas might have exercised discretion and taken the view that the encounter between the pair was a case of six and half-a-dozen, but Lyon was foolish to have presented him with the option. Celtic will now have a break from league business, when they meet Rangers in the semi-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup at Hampden Park next Sunday. It was with an eye on the Old Firm derby that Brendan Rodgers deployed his squad strength. Brendan Rodgers made five changes ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers Credit: PA Scott Bain, ineligible for the midweek match against Dundee, from whom he is on loan, was back in goal because Rodgers was unwilling to risk Craig Gordon, his first choice for the position, on the artificial surface at the SuperSeal Stadium. The manager made four other changes, with Tierney, Ajer, Patrick Roberts and Olivier Ntcham in for Tom Rogic, James Forrest, Mikael Lustig and Stuart Armstrong. From Accies’ perspective, Saturday’s results were favourable, with Dundee and Partick Thistle losing and Ross County drawing at home with Hibernian to ease the pressure on Hamilton to take something from a fixture they had not won in 23 meetings since 1989. That, though, did not excuse the absence of defensive rigour which set the home team on to the back foot straight from kick-off with Shaun Want’s poor attempt at a pass back to his goalkeeper. Moussa Dembele fastened on to the stray pass but drove straight at Ryan Fulton when a touch of composure would likely have brought the opening goal. Not that Celtic were made to wait much longer to take the lead. Again, negligence opened the door, this time when Roberts was allowed to hold on to the ball on the edge of the home penalty area until he could feed McGregor, who had ambled forward unchecked into a position to shoot, equally unhindered, off Fulton’s left-hand post and into the net. McGregor fires home for Celtic Credit: PA Having been presented with such a gift, Celtic reacted by denying Hamilton use of the ball for long spells, but the ease with which they kept possession lulled the visitors into carelessness, punished by Bingham when he muscled Ajer off the ball and steered his finish wide of Bain for an unanticipated equaliser. The interval entertainment included a rendition of the theme from The Flintstones, a musical choice explained by the announcer as dedication to Neil Lennon, who had described Hamilton’s tackling as ‘caveman’ in style – all the way back in November. The PA man then muddled his substitution announcement but it was clarified within seconds of the restart when Scott Sinclair delivered a cross for Griffiths to head decisively beyond Fulton. Unlike their opponents, Celtic did not repeat their first-half drop in concentration and their almost machine-like relentlessness secured another stride towards the title and perhaps also a second successive clean sweep of the domestic honours.
Celtic move within one win of seventh successive Scottish title after easing past ten-man Hamilton
Celtic are now within one victory of a seventh successive Scottish title, courtesy of their domination of a drab contest in Lanarkshire. The champions looked wholly untroubled throughout their outing, even when Kris Ajer was ambushed against the run of play by Rakish Bingham for Hamilton’s goal. Although the home team’s name is derived from a venerable educational institution, Martin Canning’s players were impervious to learning. Having survived an alarm within seconds of the start, Accies were still dozing when Callum McGregor put Celtic ahead after three minutes and they failed to take heed of that example at the beginning of the second half, when Leigh Griffiths netted Celtic’s second with his first touch of the ball as a substitute. Between times, Darren Lyon delivered a masterclass in heedlessness when he was cautioned for an agricultural challenge on Kieran Tierney and then fouled the same player a minute later to the same effect, thus depriving his colleagues of almost any chance to eke reward from the afternoon. Andrew Dallas might have exercised discretion and taken the view that the encounter between the pair was a case of six and half-a-dozen, but Lyon was foolish to have presented him with the option. Celtic will now have a break from league business, when they meet Rangers in the semi-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup at Hampden Park next Sunday. It was with an eye on the Old Firm derby that Brendan Rodgers deployed his squad strength. Brendan Rodgers made five changes ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers Credit: PA Scott Bain, ineligible for the midweek match against Dundee, from whom he is on loan, was back in goal because Rodgers was unwilling to risk Craig Gordon, his first choice for the position, on the artificial surface at the SuperSeal Stadium. The manager made four other changes, with Tierney, Ajer, Patrick Roberts and Olivier Ntcham in for Tom Rogic, James Forrest, Mikael Lustig and Stuart Armstrong. From Accies’ perspective, Saturday’s results were favourable, with Dundee and Partick Thistle losing and Ross County drawing at home with Hibernian to ease the pressure on Hamilton to take something from a fixture they had not won in 23 meetings since 1989. That, though, did not excuse the absence of defensive rigour which set the home team on to the back foot straight from kick-off with Shaun Want’s poor attempt at a pass back to his goalkeeper. Moussa Dembele fastened on to the stray pass but drove straight at Ryan Fulton when a touch of composure would likely have brought the opening goal. Not that Celtic were made to wait much longer to take the lead. Again, negligence opened the door, this time when Roberts was allowed to hold on to the ball on the edge of the home penalty area until he could feed McGregor, who had ambled forward unchecked into a position to shoot, equally unhindered, off Fulton’s left-hand post and into the net. McGregor fires home for Celtic Credit: PA Having been presented with such a gift, Celtic reacted by denying Hamilton use of the ball for long spells, but the ease with which they kept possession lulled the visitors into carelessness, punished by Bingham when he muscled Ajer off the ball and steered his finish wide of Bain for an unanticipated equaliser. The interval entertainment included a rendition of the theme from The Flintstones, a musical choice explained by the announcer as dedication to Neil Lennon, who had described Hamilton’s tackling as ‘caveman’ in style – all the way back in November. The PA man then muddled his substitution announcement but it was clarified within seconds of the restart when Scott Sinclair delivered a cross for Griffiths to head decisively beyond Fulton. Unlike their opponents, Celtic did not repeat their first-half drop in concentration and their almost machine-like relentlessness secured another stride towards the title and perhaps also a second successive clean sweep of the domestic honours.
Everyone who was that kid in the back seat of the car willing the odometer to jump to one of the big mileage totals can understand Craig Gordon’s frustration – and trepidation – when he suffered a knee injury in Celtic’s 1-0 home victory over Hibernian on January 27. The Hoops goalkeeper was a single appearance short of not one, but two, significant career accomplishment when a collision with Hibs’ Efe Ambrose saw him limp from the field with a knee injury. Gordon, of course, has had a painful history of such misfortune. The man who, while with Sunderland, made a save from Zat Knight of Bolton Wanderers in 2010 that was hailed as the best ever in 20 years of the Premier League, at one stage spent two seasons out of the game because of doubts about his physical condition. After signing for Celtic in June, 2014, Gordon enjoyed a prolonged period free of serious injury and the resumption of his place as first choice for Scotland saw him acquire his 50th cap in the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia last October. The damage sustained in January, however, kept him out of Scotland’s first two games under Alex McLeish and also sidelined him as Celtic closed in on their target of a second successive clean sweep of the Scottish honours. “I knew walking off at half-time of the Hibs game that there was something fairly seriously wrong,” Gordon said. “I wanted to try and come back out second half and they wouldn’t let me - quite rightly so. “They saved me from myself at that point by realising at that point there was something quite serious. At the end of that game, I got stuck on 199 appearances and 99 clean sheets.” Gordon’s absence gave opportunities to both of Celtic’s back-up keepers. Dorus de Vries took over until he, too, picked up an injury just before the Old Firm collision at Ibrox last month and Scott Bain made his club debut in the Glasgow derby cauldron to emerge as one of the Hoops' heroes in a 3-2 victory. Bain, on loan from Dundee, kept his place until Wednesday’s meeting with his parent club ruled him out of contention and opened the door for Gordon’s comeback, at which point the No. 1 reached his career targets of 200 games for Celtic and 100 shutouts. “It was a few months waiting to get back for the two milestones and to do them both in the same game is satisfying for me,” Gordon said. “Fifty per cent clean sheet is a great record for any club in any league, so I’m proud of that. Gordon has a fight on his hands to reclaim his first team berth Credit: Reuters “I’m 35 now. When these things come along, even if the worst-case scenario is that it’s career-ending, I’ve still done remarkably well to come back. “I’ve already had what could have been the end and managed to come back from it, so when the time comes when it is the end of my career, through my choice or through an injury, it probably won’t hold as much weight as it would for someone else, because I have already been there. “I’ve managed 200 extra games in my career and that’s just Celtic, not including internationals. It’s more than 200 from a time when I thought I wasn’t going to play another one, so whatever happens from now on is always going to be a lot easier to deal with. “Did I think I’d play 200 games when I signed for Celtic? No. “I was just reminded of it going up the stairs after the Dundee game when someone said to me, ‘Who would have thought you would play 200 games when you signed?’ “It’s right enough. I don’t think anyone would have thought I’d have managed to do that. I’m maybe even in the same boat in that I didn’t think it was possible. “I’ve got a battle because both Dorus and Scott have had game-time and Scott’s had clean sheets in his last two games and a few decent performances. “I’ll need to work hard but I was happy with my personal performance against Dundee. “After that amount of time out, I read the game quite well and that is always something that takes a bit of time coming back.” To return to the kid in the back seat of the car and the perennial question – ‘Are we there yet?’ – in Gordon’s case, a fair bit of mileage could yet be added before the destination is finally reached.
Craig Gordon shows there is still mileage in his career after reaching double Celtic landmark
Everyone who was that kid in the back seat of the car willing the odometer to jump to one of the big mileage totals can understand Craig Gordon’s frustration – and trepidation – when he suffered a knee injury in Celtic’s 1-0 home victory over Hibernian on January 27. The Hoops goalkeeper was a single appearance short of not one, but two, significant career accomplishment when a collision with Hibs’ Efe Ambrose saw him limp from the field with a knee injury. Gordon, of course, has had a painful history of such misfortune. The man who, while with Sunderland, made a save from Zat Knight of Bolton Wanderers in 2010 that was hailed as the best ever in 20 years of the Premier League, at one stage spent two seasons out of the game because of doubts about his physical condition. After signing for Celtic in June, 2014, Gordon enjoyed a prolonged period free of serious injury and the resumption of his place as first choice for Scotland saw him acquire his 50th cap in the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia last October. The damage sustained in January, however, kept him out of Scotland’s first two games under Alex McLeish and also sidelined him as Celtic closed in on their target of a second successive clean sweep of the Scottish honours. “I knew walking off at half-time of the Hibs game that there was something fairly seriously wrong,” Gordon said. “I wanted to try and come back out second half and they wouldn’t let me - quite rightly so. “They saved me from myself at that point by realising at that point there was something quite serious. At the end of that game, I got stuck on 199 appearances and 99 clean sheets.” Gordon’s absence gave opportunities to both of Celtic’s back-up keepers. Dorus de Vries took over until he, too, picked up an injury just before the Old Firm collision at Ibrox last month and Scott Bain made his club debut in the Glasgow derby cauldron to emerge as one of the Hoops' heroes in a 3-2 victory. Bain, on loan from Dundee, kept his place until Wednesday’s meeting with his parent club ruled him out of contention and opened the door for Gordon’s comeback, at which point the No. 1 reached his career targets of 200 games for Celtic and 100 shutouts. “It was a few months waiting to get back for the two milestones and to do them both in the same game is satisfying for me,” Gordon said. “Fifty per cent clean sheet is a great record for any club in any league, so I’m proud of that. Gordon has a fight on his hands to reclaim his first team berth Credit: Reuters “I’m 35 now. When these things come along, even if the worst-case scenario is that it’s career-ending, I’ve still done remarkably well to come back. “I’ve already had what could have been the end and managed to come back from it, so when the time comes when it is the end of my career, through my choice or through an injury, it probably won’t hold as much weight as it would for someone else, because I have already been there. “I’ve managed 200 extra games in my career and that’s just Celtic, not including internationals. It’s more than 200 from a time when I thought I wasn’t going to play another one, so whatever happens from now on is always going to be a lot easier to deal with. “Did I think I’d play 200 games when I signed for Celtic? No. “I was just reminded of it going up the stairs after the Dundee game when someone said to me, ‘Who would have thought you would play 200 games when you signed?’ “It’s right enough. I don’t think anyone would have thought I’d have managed to do that. I’m maybe even in the same boat in that I didn’t think it was possible. “I’ve got a battle because both Dorus and Scott have had game-time and Scott’s had clean sheets in his last two games and a few decent performances. “I’ll need to work hard but I was happy with my personal performance against Dundee. “After that amount of time out, I read the game quite well and that is always something that takes a bit of time coming back.” To return to the kid in the back seat of the car and the perennial question – ‘Are we there yet?’ – in Gordon’s case, a fair bit of mileage could yet be added before the destination is finally reached.
Everyone who was that kid in the back seat of the car willing the odometer to jump to one of the big mileage totals can understand Craig Gordon’s frustration – and trepidation – when he suffered a knee injury in Celtic’s 1-0 home victory over Hibernian on January 27. The Hoops goalkeeper was a single appearance short of not one, but two, significant career accomplishment when a collision with Hibs’ Efe Ambrose saw him limp from the field with a knee injury. Gordon, of course, has had a painful history of such misfortune. The man who, while with Sunderland, made a save from Zat Knight of Bolton Wanderers in 2010 that was hailed as the best ever in 20 years of the Premier League, at one stage spent two seasons out of the game because of doubts about his physical condition. After signing for Celtic in June, 2014, Gordon enjoyed a prolonged period free of serious injury and the resumption of his place as first choice for Scotland saw him acquire his 50th cap in the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia last October. The damage sustained in January, however, kept him out of Scotland’s first two games under Alex McLeish and also sidelined him as Celtic closed in on their target of a second successive clean sweep of the Scottish honours. “I knew walking off at half-time of the Hibs game that there was something fairly seriously wrong,” Gordon said. “I wanted to try and come back out second half and they wouldn’t let me - quite rightly so. “They saved me from myself at that point by realising at that point there was something quite serious. At the end of that game, I got stuck on 199 appearances and 99 clean sheets.” Gordon’s absence gave opportunities to both of Celtic’s back-up keepers. Dorus de Vries took over until he, too, picked up an injury just before the Old Firm collision at Ibrox last month and Scott Bain made his club debut in the Glasgow derby cauldron to emerge as one of the Hoops' heroes in a 3-2 victory. Bain, on loan from Dundee, kept his place until Wednesday’s meeting with his parent club ruled him out of contention and opened the door for Gordon’s comeback, at which point the No. 1 reached his career targets of 200 games for Celtic and 100 shutouts. “It was a few months waiting to get back for the two milestones and to do them both in the same game is satisfying for me,” Gordon said. “Fifty per cent clean sheet is a great record for any club in any league, so I’m proud of that. Gordon has a fight on his hands to reclaim his first team berth Credit: Reuters “I’m 35 now. When these things come along, even if the worst-case scenario is that it’s career-ending, I’ve still done remarkably well to come back. “I’ve already had what could have been the end and managed to come back from it, so when the time comes when it is the end of my career, through my choice or through an injury, it probably won’t hold as much weight as it would for someone else, because I have already been there. “I’ve managed 200 extra games in my career and that’s just Celtic, not including internationals. It’s more than 200 from a time when I thought I wasn’t going to play another one, so whatever happens from now on is always going to be a lot easier to deal with. “Did I think I’d play 200 games when I signed for Celtic? No. “I was just reminded of it going up the stairs after the Dundee game when someone said to me, ‘Who would have thought you would play 200 games when you signed?’ “It’s right enough. I don’t think anyone would have thought I’d have managed to do that. I’m maybe even in the same boat in that I didn’t think it was possible. “I’ve got a battle because both Dorus and Scott have had game-time and Scott’s had clean sheets in his last two games and a few decent performances. “I’ll need to work hard but I was happy with my personal performance against Dundee. “After that amount of time out, I read the game quite well and that is always something that takes a bit of time coming back.” To return to the kid in the back seat of the car and the perennial question – ‘Are we there yet?’ – in Gordon’s case, a fair bit of mileage could yet be added before the destination is finally reached.
Craig Gordon shows there is still mileage in his career after reaching double Celtic landmark
Everyone who was that kid in the back seat of the car willing the odometer to jump to one of the big mileage totals can understand Craig Gordon’s frustration – and trepidation – when he suffered a knee injury in Celtic’s 1-0 home victory over Hibernian on January 27. The Hoops goalkeeper was a single appearance short of not one, but two, significant career accomplishment when a collision with Hibs’ Efe Ambrose saw him limp from the field with a knee injury. Gordon, of course, has had a painful history of such misfortune. The man who, while with Sunderland, made a save from Zat Knight of Bolton Wanderers in 2010 that was hailed as the best ever in 20 years of the Premier League, at one stage spent two seasons out of the game because of doubts about his physical condition. After signing for Celtic in June, 2014, Gordon enjoyed a prolonged period free of serious injury and the resumption of his place as first choice for Scotland saw him acquire his 50th cap in the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia last October. The damage sustained in January, however, kept him out of Scotland’s first two games under Alex McLeish and also sidelined him as Celtic closed in on their target of a second successive clean sweep of the Scottish honours. “I knew walking off at half-time of the Hibs game that there was something fairly seriously wrong,” Gordon said. “I wanted to try and come back out second half and they wouldn’t let me - quite rightly so. “They saved me from myself at that point by realising at that point there was something quite serious. At the end of that game, I got stuck on 199 appearances and 99 clean sheets.” Gordon’s absence gave opportunities to both of Celtic’s back-up keepers. Dorus de Vries took over until he, too, picked up an injury just before the Old Firm collision at Ibrox last month and Scott Bain made his club debut in the Glasgow derby cauldron to emerge as one of the Hoops' heroes in a 3-2 victory. Bain, on loan from Dundee, kept his place until Wednesday’s meeting with his parent club ruled him out of contention and opened the door for Gordon’s comeback, at which point the No. 1 reached his career targets of 200 games for Celtic and 100 shutouts. “It was a few months waiting to get back for the two milestones and to do them both in the same game is satisfying for me,” Gordon said. “Fifty per cent clean sheet is a great record for any club in any league, so I’m proud of that. Gordon has a fight on his hands to reclaim his first team berth Credit: Reuters “I’m 35 now. When these things come along, even if the worst-case scenario is that it’s career-ending, I’ve still done remarkably well to come back. “I’ve already had what could have been the end and managed to come back from it, so when the time comes when it is the end of my career, through my choice or through an injury, it probably won’t hold as much weight as it would for someone else, because I have already been there. “I’ve managed 200 extra games in my career and that’s just Celtic, not including internationals. It’s more than 200 from a time when I thought I wasn’t going to play another one, so whatever happens from now on is always going to be a lot easier to deal with. “Did I think I’d play 200 games when I signed for Celtic? No. “I was just reminded of it going up the stairs after the Dundee game when someone said to me, ‘Who would have thought you would play 200 games when you signed?’ “It’s right enough. I don’t think anyone would have thought I’d have managed to do that. I’m maybe even in the same boat in that I didn’t think it was possible. “I’ve got a battle because both Dorus and Scott have had game-time and Scott’s had clean sheets in his last two games and a few decent performances. “I’ll need to work hard but I was happy with my personal performance against Dundee. “After that amount of time out, I read the game quite well and that is always something that takes a bit of time coming back.” To return to the kid in the back seat of the car and the perennial question – ‘Are we there yet?’ – in Gordon’s case, a fair bit of mileage could yet be added before the destination is finally reached.
Celtic will be within six points of a seventh successive title if they beat struggling Dundee at home on Wednesday but the approach to the fixture was inevitably dominated by continuing fall-out from weekend events in the east end of Glasgow. The incident in question was Andrew Davies’ stamp on Scott Brown’s groin during Ross County’s 3-0 defeat at Parkhead on Saturday and Brendan Rodgers’ condemnation of the Staggies captain’s action as “disgraceful”. Others – including Billy Dodds, the former Rangers and Aberdeen striker, who was County’s assistant manager under Jim McIntyre – and former referee, Steven Conroy, have expressed their views on the controversy. Dodds criticised Rodgers after the Celtic manager suggested that Davies should be banned for more than the obligatory two matches, but Conroy declared that the gravity of the offence merited a sanction greater than the statutory penalty. Rodgers returned to the issue on Tuesday with testimony of his awareness of abilities and temperament Davies, 33, who hails from Stockton-on-Tees. “I’ve known Andrew Davies since he was a boy at Middlesbrough and I know his qualities and I know that was probably out of character for him, but it was still a tackle that could have really damaged the career of Scott Brown,” Rodgers said. “I only highlight it so that there’s a protection for every player who plays the game. You want it competitive, the physicality is great here, the honesty and the passion. But if it goes over that then it affects the standard. “I’ve always tried to be complimentary but also never complacent and to raise the standard not just for Celtic but for everyone. That could be pitches, referees, football – whatever. How can we raise and make better the profile of Scottish football? If challenges like that come willy-nilly and you see it every week then it’s not good for the game or for people from outside watching the game. It’s not a good representation of the football in Scotland. Scott Brown lies injured on the turf Credit: PA “What we have is a great product which is super-competitive. You see players come in from all round the world, come up from the south of England to play up here and probably thinking that it’s easy. My time up here has shown that it’s not. Every team you play against is super-competitive. They fight and they can make it difficult for you. “Then you see players leave here and go back south and do quite well. That tells you the competitive nature here and the physicality here, which is great. “The concern for me is if it goes over the mark and crosses the line and dilutes the overall standard of your game.” Brown, of course, has been a relentlessly combative midfield presence throughout his time with Hibernian, Celtic and Scotland but in 16 seasons he has amassed a grand total of eight red cards – and none in this campaign. His most recent dismissal was, as it happens, against Ross County in Dingwall almost a year ago for a dangerous lunge at Liam Boyce. “What I’ve found in my time here is that there is a lot of envy towards Scott from all sectors,” Rodgers said. “I see it in certain sectors of media, I see it in players and in managers talking about him if they are a pundit or in press. There’s a definite envy of his ability and his influence. What doesn’t get spoken about with Scott – and I tend to bang the drum for him – is what a good player he is. “Because he chooses to stay with Celtic, it shouldn’t dilute his qualities. His awareness, his reading of the game his appreciation of the game and his passing are special. “Of course, he has a personality that winds people up but I had the same with Luis Suarez. Every ground you went to it was a carnival to get at him, but he would always perform. Browny is one of those players. “If he plays for you, you love him and adore him. If he doesn’t, you think he’s a pantomime character.” Wednesday's game will mark Craig Gordon’s return to action after a two-month absence because of a knee injury. Scott Bain, originally Celtic’s third-choice goalkeeper, was given his debut against Rangers at Ibrox this month after Dorus de Vries, sustained a training injury. Bain has played in Celtic’s two league games since their Old Firm victory, but he is on loan from Dundee and cannot play against his parent club. “Craig is back before his target date and he’s worked very hard, looked good in training and we’ll just make sure there are no after-effects,” Rodgers said.
Brendan Rodgers issues warning after 'disgraceful' foul on Scott Brown
Celtic will be within six points of a seventh successive title if they beat struggling Dundee at home on Wednesday but the approach to the fixture was inevitably dominated by continuing fall-out from weekend events in the east end of Glasgow. The incident in question was Andrew Davies’ stamp on Scott Brown’s groin during Ross County’s 3-0 defeat at Parkhead on Saturday and Brendan Rodgers’ condemnation of the Staggies captain’s action as “disgraceful”. Others – including Billy Dodds, the former Rangers and Aberdeen striker, who was County’s assistant manager under Jim McIntyre – and former referee, Steven Conroy, have expressed their views on the controversy. Dodds criticised Rodgers after the Celtic manager suggested that Davies should be banned for more than the obligatory two matches, but Conroy declared that the gravity of the offence merited a sanction greater than the statutory penalty. Rodgers returned to the issue on Tuesday with testimony of his awareness of abilities and temperament Davies, 33, who hails from Stockton-on-Tees. “I’ve known Andrew Davies since he was a boy at Middlesbrough and I know his qualities and I know that was probably out of character for him, but it was still a tackle that could have really damaged the career of Scott Brown,” Rodgers said. “I only highlight it so that there’s a protection for every player who plays the game. You want it competitive, the physicality is great here, the honesty and the passion. But if it goes over that then it affects the standard. “I’ve always tried to be complimentary but also never complacent and to raise the standard not just for Celtic but for everyone. That could be pitches, referees, football – whatever. How can we raise and make better the profile of Scottish football? If challenges like that come willy-nilly and you see it every week then it’s not good for the game or for people from outside watching the game. It’s not a good representation of the football in Scotland. Scott Brown lies injured on the turf Credit: PA “What we have is a great product which is super-competitive. You see players come in from all round the world, come up from the south of England to play up here and probably thinking that it’s easy. My time up here has shown that it’s not. Every team you play against is super-competitive. They fight and they can make it difficult for you. “Then you see players leave here and go back south and do quite well. That tells you the competitive nature here and the physicality here, which is great. “The concern for me is if it goes over the mark and crosses the line and dilutes the overall standard of your game.” Brown, of course, has been a relentlessly combative midfield presence throughout his time with Hibernian, Celtic and Scotland but in 16 seasons he has amassed a grand total of eight red cards – and none in this campaign. His most recent dismissal was, as it happens, against Ross County in Dingwall almost a year ago for a dangerous lunge at Liam Boyce. “What I’ve found in my time here is that there is a lot of envy towards Scott from all sectors,” Rodgers said. “I see it in certain sectors of media, I see it in players and in managers talking about him if they are a pundit or in press. There’s a definite envy of his ability and his influence. What doesn’t get spoken about with Scott – and I tend to bang the drum for him – is what a good player he is. “Because he chooses to stay with Celtic, it shouldn’t dilute his qualities. His awareness, his reading of the game his appreciation of the game and his passing are special. “Of course, he has a personality that winds people up but I had the same with Luis Suarez. Every ground you went to it was a carnival to get at him, but he would always perform. Browny is one of those players. “If he plays for you, you love him and adore him. If he doesn’t, you think he’s a pantomime character.” Wednesday's game will mark Craig Gordon’s return to action after a two-month absence because of a knee injury. Scott Bain, originally Celtic’s third-choice goalkeeper, was given his debut against Rangers at Ibrox this month after Dorus de Vries, sustained a training injury. Bain has played in Celtic’s two league games since their Old Firm victory, but he is on loan from Dundee and cannot play against his parent club. “Craig is back before his target date and he’s worked very hard, looked good in training and we’ll just make sure there are no after-effects,” Rodgers said.
Celtic will be within six points of a seventh successive title if they beat struggling Dundee at home on Wednesday but the approach to the fixture was inevitably dominated by continuing fall-out from weekend events in the east end of Glasgow. The incident in question was Andrew Davies’ stamp on Scott Brown’s groin during Ross County’s 3-0 defeat at Parkhead on Saturday and Brendan Rodgers’ condemnation of the Staggies captain’s action as “disgraceful”. Others – including Billy Dodds, the former Rangers and Aberdeen striker, who was County’s assistant manager under Jim McIntyre – and former referee, Steven Conroy, have expressed their views on the controversy. Dodds criticised Rodgers after the Celtic manager suggested that Davies should be banned for more than the obligatory two matches, but Conroy declared that the gravity of the offence merited a sanction greater than the statutory penalty. Rodgers returned to the issue on Tuesday with testimony of his awareness of abilities and temperament Davies, 33, who hails from Stockton-on-Tees. “I’ve known Andrew Davies since he was a boy at Middlesbrough and I know his qualities and I know that was probably out of character for him, but it was still a tackle that could have really damaged the career of Scott Brown,” Rodgers said. “I only highlight it so that there’s a protection for every player who plays the game. You want it competitive, the physicality is great here, the honesty and the passion. But if it goes over that then it affects the standard. “I’ve always tried to be complimentary but also never complacent and to raise the standard not just for Celtic but for everyone. That could be pitches, referees, football – whatever. How can we raise and make better the profile of Scottish football? If challenges like that come willy-nilly and you see it every week then it’s not good for the game or for people from outside watching the game. It’s not a good representation of the football in Scotland. Scott Brown lies injured on the turf Credit: PA “What we have is a great product which is super-competitive. You see players come in from all round the world, come up from the south of England to play up here and probably thinking that it’s easy. My time up here has shown that it’s not. Every team you play against is super-competitive. They fight and they can make it difficult for you. “Then you see players leave here and go back south and do quite well. That tells you the competitive nature here and the physicality here, which is great. “The concern for me is if it goes over the mark and crosses the line and dilutes the overall standard of your game.” Brown, of course, has been a relentlessly combative midfield presence throughout his time with Hibernian, Celtic and Scotland but in 16 seasons he has amassed a grand total of eight red cards – and none in this campaign. His most recent dismissal was, as it happens, against Ross County in Dingwall almost a year ago for a dangerous lunge at Liam Boyce. “What I’ve found in my time here is that there is a lot of envy towards Scott from all sectors,” Rodgers said. “I see it in certain sectors of media, I see it in players and in managers talking about him if they are a pundit or in press. There’s a definite envy of his ability and his influence. What doesn’t get spoken about with Scott – and I tend to bang the drum for him – is what a good player he is. “Because he chooses to stay with Celtic, it shouldn’t dilute his qualities. His awareness, his reading of the game his appreciation of the game and his passing are special. “Of course, he has a personality that winds people up but I had the same with Luis Suarez. Every ground you went to it was a carnival to get at him, but he would always perform. Browny is one of those players. “If he plays for you, you love him and adore him. If he doesn’t, you think he’s a pantomime character.” Wednesday's game will mark Craig Gordon’s return to action after a two-month absence because of a knee injury. Scott Bain, originally Celtic’s third-choice goalkeeper, was given his debut against Rangers at Ibrox this month after Dorus de Vries, sustained a training injury. Bain has played in Celtic’s two league games since their Old Firm victory, but he is on loan from Dundee and cannot play against his parent club. “Craig is back before his target date and he’s worked very hard, looked good in training and we’ll just make sure there are no after-effects,” Rodgers said.
Brendan Rodgers issues warning after 'disgraceful' foul on Scott Brown
Celtic will be within six points of a seventh successive title if they beat struggling Dundee at home on Wednesday but the approach to the fixture was inevitably dominated by continuing fall-out from weekend events in the east end of Glasgow. The incident in question was Andrew Davies’ stamp on Scott Brown’s groin during Ross County’s 3-0 defeat at Parkhead on Saturday and Brendan Rodgers’ condemnation of the Staggies captain’s action as “disgraceful”. Others – including Billy Dodds, the former Rangers and Aberdeen striker, who was County’s assistant manager under Jim McIntyre – and former referee, Steven Conroy, have expressed their views on the controversy. Dodds criticised Rodgers after the Celtic manager suggested that Davies should be banned for more than the obligatory two matches, but Conroy declared that the gravity of the offence merited a sanction greater than the statutory penalty. Rodgers returned to the issue on Tuesday with testimony of his awareness of abilities and temperament Davies, 33, who hails from Stockton-on-Tees. “I’ve known Andrew Davies since he was a boy at Middlesbrough and I know his qualities and I know that was probably out of character for him, but it was still a tackle that could have really damaged the career of Scott Brown,” Rodgers said. “I only highlight it so that there’s a protection for every player who plays the game. You want it competitive, the physicality is great here, the honesty and the passion. But if it goes over that then it affects the standard. “I’ve always tried to be complimentary but also never complacent and to raise the standard not just for Celtic but for everyone. That could be pitches, referees, football – whatever. How can we raise and make better the profile of Scottish football? If challenges like that come willy-nilly and you see it every week then it’s not good for the game or for people from outside watching the game. It’s not a good representation of the football in Scotland. Scott Brown lies injured on the turf Credit: PA “What we have is a great product which is super-competitive. You see players come in from all round the world, come up from the south of England to play up here and probably thinking that it’s easy. My time up here has shown that it’s not. Every team you play against is super-competitive. They fight and they can make it difficult for you. “Then you see players leave here and go back south and do quite well. That tells you the competitive nature here and the physicality here, which is great. “The concern for me is if it goes over the mark and crosses the line and dilutes the overall standard of your game.” Brown, of course, has been a relentlessly combative midfield presence throughout his time with Hibernian, Celtic and Scotland but in 16 seasons he has amassed a grand total of eight red cards – and none in this campaign. His most recent dismissal was, as it happens, against Ross County in Dingwall almost a year ago for a dangerous lunge at Liam Boyce. “What I’ve found in my time here is that there is a lot of envy towards Scott from all sectors,” Rodgers said. “I see it in certain sectors of media, I see it in players and in managers talking about him if they are a pundit or in press. There’s a definite envy of his ability and his influence. What doesn’t get spoken about with Scott – and I tend to bang the drum for him – is what a good player he is. “Because he chooses to stay with Celtic, it shouldn’t dilute his qualities. His awareness, his reading of the game his appreciation of the game and his passing are special. “Of course, he has a personality that winds people up but I had the same with Luis Suarez. Every ground you went to it was a carnival to get at him, but he would always perform. Browny is one of those players. “If he plays for you, you love him and adore him. If he doesn’t, you think he’s a pantomime character.” Wednesday's game will mark Craig Gordon’s return to action after a two-month absence because of a knee injury. Scott Bain, originally Celtic’s third-choice goalkeeper, was given his debut against Rangers at Ibrox this month after Dorus de Vries, sustained a training injury. Bain has played in Celtic’s two league games since their Old Firm victory, but he is on loan from Dundee and cannot play against his parent club. “Craig is back before his target date and he’s worked very hard, looked good in training and we’ll just make sure there are no after-effects,” Rodgers said.
Scott Bain knows what it means to be out in the cold – literally and figuratively – which is why he has savoured the warmth of fan approval since his unexpected contribution to the drama of Celtic’s 3-2 victory over Rangers in the Old Firm league derby at Ibrox earlier this month. Bain was pitchforked into his Celtic debut because of a training injury sustained by Dorus de Vries, who had been deputising for Craig Gordon, victim of a long-term knee problem. The third-choice keeper, who joined from Dundee in January after a loan deal with Hibernian fell through, had to retrieve the ball from his net within two minutes, after an error by Dedryck Boyata. Bain, though, made crucial saves from Alfredo Morelos shots to contribute to a winning performance by a Celtic side depleted by the second-half dismissal of Jozo Simunovic. At that point, life was transformed for the affable 26-year-old. “It’s been mad, really. I stay in Edinburgh and it’s not as big as it is in Glasgow, but even through there a lot of people recognise you, stop and speak to you,” Bain said. New job: Scott Bain celebrates after Tom Rogic scores Credit: Reuters “Obviously, social media’s a big thing now too. The support I’ve had from the fans has been incredible.” Bain’s new-found celebrity status was not only aided by the misfortunes of De Vries and Gordon but also by an unforeseen end to his spell with Dundee, after an otherwise unremarkable three-and-a-half-year spell at Dens Park. After Dundee lost 3-1 at home to Hamilton on October 28, Neil McCann dropped Bain and fined the player two weeks’ wages. Bain refused to pay and appealed to PFA Scotland for backing in a dispute that was ongoing when the goalkeeper first moved on loan to Hibs and then, at the end of the January transfer window, to Celtic. At that stage, he was simply trying to get out of an untenable season and his most likely prospect at Celtic was of making up the numbers. Go out there and give them hell: Scott Bain gets some last-minute instructions Credit: Getty “It did go through my mind a bit,” Bain said. “When you first come to a club this size from the situation I was in, it’s going to go through your head, but they wanted me to come and that was a big confidence boost. “It was difficult at Dundee. I’m not going to lie. I thought if I’m still at Dundee then it’s going to be hard to get another club, because you’re forgotten about quickly in football. “It was always going to be hard to get in to the team with goalkeepers like Dorus and Craig, but once you get your chance you just need to enjoy it and try to take it.” That was a lesson Bain absorbed much earlier in his career, when he was a part-timer with Alloa Athletic and worked on a house building project with his father, a joiner. “I used to work from eight to four, Monday to Friday, but on a Tuesday and Thursday I’d also go to Alloa and train from seven to half nine,” he said. Welcome addition: Brendan Rodgers is delighted with his new keeper Credit: Getty Images Europe “I’d be back home about half past 10, go to sleep and up the next day for an eight to four shift. I was a labourer for the first year and the second year I helped two boys out with building kits for houses and I really enjoyed it - apart from the winter. “The worst point was when the forklift driver brought over a pallet of plasterboard sheets and there were 72 sheets on a pallet. I loaded them into the house and I thought I was done for the day. Then the forklift driver told me there were another four pallets-full to be sorted. “At that point I’m thinking ‘Nah, this isn’t for me.’ “I actually loaded the flat I’m in now with plasterboard sheets. So, I can go around and tell them what I think of the joinery work and get my dad to fix any problems.” Warm welcome: Bain is on his way to being a popular figure at Parkhead Credit: Retuers Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has found that the Celtic squad had acquired a complementary character. “He’s a very grounded personality - I really can’t imagine ever falling out with him, put it that way,” the manager said. “His first game for us at Ibrox was a wonderful demonstration of personality, technique, composure under pressure plus he obviously makes saves. “His story is fabulous - from working on a building site to this. When you think about it, to turn up and sign for us while wearing another club’s tracksuit - when I saw that I thought, ‘Well, it could have been plasterboards and a trowel…’ “These last couple of games have shown our supporters that, goodness me, he’s a really good keeper. He’s a joy to work with, always smiling and, while he has great humility, he’s also not intimidated in any way. I’ve been delighted for him.”
Building a career: Scott Bain's journey from labourer via Dundee fall-out to Celtic Old Firm goalie hero
Scott Bain knows what it means to be out in the cold – literally and figuratively – which is why he has savoured the warmth of fan approval since his unexpected contribution to the drama of Celtic’s 3-2 victory over Rangers in the Old Firm league derby at Ibrox earlier this month. Bain was pitchforked into his Celtic debut because of a training injury sustained by Dorus de Vries, who had been deputising for Craig Gordon, victim of a long-term knee problem. The third-choice keeper, who joined from Dundee in January after a loan deal with Hibernian fell through, had to retrieve the ball from his net within two minutes, after an error by Dedryck Boyata. Bain, though, made crucial saves from Alfredo Morelos shots to contribute to a winning performance by a Celtic side depleted by the second-half dismissal of Jozo Simunovic. At that point, life was transformed for the affable 26-year-old. “It’s been mad, really. I stay in Edinburgh and it’s not as big as it is in Glasgow, but even through there a lot of people recognise you, stop and speak to you,” Bain said. New job: Scott Bain celebrates after Tom Rogic scores Credit: Reuters “Obviously, social media’s a big thing now too. The support I’ve had from the fans has been incredible.” Bain’s new-found celebrity status was not only aided by the misfortunes of De Vries and Gordon but also by an unforeseen end to his spell with Dundee, after an otherwise unremarkable three-and-a-half-year spell at Dens Park. After Dundee lost 3-1 at home to Hamilton on October 28, Neil McCann dropped Bain and fined the player two weeks’ wages. Bain refused to pay and appealed to PFA Scotland for backing in a dispute that was ongoing when the goalkeeper first moved on loan to Hibs and then, at the end of the January transfer window, to Celtic. At that stage, he was simply trying to get out of an untenable season and his most likely prospect at Celtic was of making up the numbers. Go out there and give them hell: Scott Bain gets some last-minute instructions Credit: Getty “It did go through my mind a bit,” Bain said. “When you first come to a club this size from the situation I was in, it’s going to go through your head, but they wanted me to come and that was a big confidence boost. “It was difficult at Dundee. I’m not going to lie. I thought if I’m still at Dundee then it’s going to be hard to get another club, because you’re forgotten about quickly in football. “It was always going to be hard to get in to the team with goalkeepers like Dorus and Craig, but once you get your chance you just need to enjoy it and try to take it.” That was a lesson Bain absorbed much earlier in his career, when he was a part-timer with Alloa Athletic and worked on a house building project with his father, a joiner. “I used to work from eight to four, Monday to Friday, but on a Tuesday and Thursday I’d also go to Alloa and train from seven to half nine,” he said. Welcome addition: Brendan Rodgers is delighted with his new keeper Credit: Getty Images Europe “I’d be back home about half past 10, go to sleep and up the next day for an eight to four shift. I was a labourer for the first year and the second year I helped two boys out with building kits for houses and I really enjoyed it - apart from the winter. “The worst point was when the forklift driver brought over a pallet of plasterboard sheets and there were 72 sheets on a pallet. I loaded them into the house and I thought I was done for the day. Then the forklift driver told me there were another four pallets-full to be sorted. “At that point I’m thinking ‘Nah, this isn’t for me.’ “I actually loaded the flat I’m in now with plasterboard sheets. So, I can go around and tell them what I think of the joinery work and get my dad to fix any problems.” Warm welcome: Bain is on his way to being a popular figure at Parkhead Credit: Retuers Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has found that the Celtic squad had acquired a complementary character. “He’s a very grounded personality - I really can’t imagine ever falling out with him, put it that way,” the manager said. “His first game for us at Ibrox was a wonderful demonstration of personality, technique, composure under pressure plus he obviously makes saves. “His story is fabulous - from working on a building site to this. When you think about it, to turn up and sign for us while wearing another club’s tracksuit - when I saw that I thought, ‘Well, it could have been plasterboards and a trowel…’ “These last couple of games have shown our supporters that, goodness me, he’s a really good keeper. He’s a joy to work with, always smiling and, while he has great humility, he’s also not intimidated in any way. I’ve been delighted for him.”
Scott Bain knows what it means to be out in the cold – literally and figuratively – which is why he has savoured the warmth of fan approval since his unexpected contribution to the drama of Celtic’s 3-2 victory over Rangers in the Old Firm league derby at Ibrox earlier this month. Bain was pitchforked into his Celtic debut because of a training injury sustained by Dorus de Vries, who had been deputising for Craig Gordon, victim of a long-term knee problem. The third-choice keeper, who joined from Dundee in January after a loan deal with Hibernian fell through, had to retrieve the ball from his net within two minutes, after an error by Dedryck Boyata. Bain, though, made crucial saves from Alfredo Morelos shots to contribute to a winning performance by a Celtic side depleted by the second-half dismissal of Jozo Simunovic. At that point, life was transformed for the affable 26-year-old. “It’s been mad, really. I stay in Edinburgh and it’s not as big as it is in Glasgow, but even through there a lot of people recognise you, stop and speak to you,” Bain said. New job: Scott Bain celebrates after Tom Rogic scores Credit: Reuters “Obviously, social media’s a big thing now too. The support I’ve had from the fans has been incredible.” Bain’s new-found celebrity status was not only aided by the misfortunes of De Vries and Gordon but also by an unforeseen end to his spell with Dundee, after an otherwise unremarkable three-and-a-half-year spell at Dens Park. After Dundee lost 3-1 at home to Hamilton on October 28, Neil McCann dropped Bain and fined the player two weeks’ wages. Bain refused to pay and appealed to PFA Scotland for backing in a dispute that was ongoing when the goalkeeper first moved on loan to Hibs and then, at the end of the January transfer window, to Celtic. At that stage, he was simply trying to get out of an untenable season and his most likely prospect at Celtic was of making up the numbers. Go out there and give them hell: Scott Bain gets some last-minute instructions Credit: Getty “It did go through my mind a bit,” Bain said. “When you first come to a club this size from the situation I was in, it’s going to go through your head, but they wanted me to come and that was a big confidence boost. “It was difficult at Dundee. I’m not going to lie. I thought if I’m still at Dundee then it’s going to be hard to get another club, because you’re forgotten about quickly in football. “It was always going to be hard to get in to the team with goalkeepers like Dorus and Craig, but once you get your chance you just need to enjoy it and try to take it.” That was a lesson Bain absorbed much earlier in his career, when he was a part-timer with Alloa Athletic and worked on a house building project with his father, a joiner. “I used to work from eight to four, Monday to Friday, but on a Tuesday and Thursday I’d also go to Alloa and train from seven to half nine,” he said. Welcome addition: Brendan Rodgers is delighted with his new keeper Credit: Getty Images Europe “I’d be back home about half past 10, go to sleep and up the next day for an eight to four shift. I was a labourer for the first year and the second year I helped two boys out with building kits for houses and I really enjoyed it - apart from the winter. “The worst point was when the forklift driver brought over a pallet of plasterboard sheets and there were 72 sheets on a pallet. I loaded them into the house and I thought I was done for the day. Then the forklift driver told me there were another four pallets-full to be sorted. “At that point I’m thinking ‘Nah, this isn’t for me.’ “I actually loaded the flat I’m in now with plasterboard sheets. So, I can go around and tell them what I think of the joinery work and get my dad to fix any problems.” Warm welcome: Bain is on his way to being a popular figure at Parkhead Credit: Retuers Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has found that the Celtic squad had acquired a complementary character. “He’s a very grounded personality - I really can’t imagine ever falling out with him, put it that way,” the manager said. “His first game for us at Ibrox was a wonderful demonstration of personality, technique, composure under pressure plus he obviously makes saves. “His story is fabulous - from working on a building site to this. When you think about it, to turn up and sign for us while wearing another club’s tracksuit - when I saw that I thought, ‘Well, it could have been plasterboards and a trowel…’ “These last couple of games have shown our supporters that, goodness me, he’s a really good keeper. He’s a joy to work with, always smiling and, while he has great humility, he’s also not intimidated in any way. I’ve been delighted for him.”
Building a career: Scott Bain's journey from labourer via Dundee fall-out to Celtic Old Firm goalie hero
Scott Bain knows what it means to be out in the cold – literally and figuratively – which is why he has savoured the warmth of fan approval since his unexpected contribution to the drama of Celtic’s 3-2 victory over Rangers in the Old Firm league derby at Ibrox earlier this month. Bain was pitchforked into his Celtic debut because of a training injury sustained by Dorus de Vries, who had been deputising for Craig Gordon, victim of a long-term knee problem. The third-choice keeper, who joined from Dundee in January after a loan deal with Hibernian fell through, had to retrieve the ball from his net within two minutes, after an error by Dedryck Boyata. Bain, though, made crucial saves from Alfredo Morelos shots to contribute to a winning performance by a Celtic side depleted by the second-half dismissal of Jozo Simunovic. At that point, life was transformed for the affable 26-year-old. “It’s been mad, really. I stay in Edinburgh and it’s not as big as it is in Glasgow, but even through there a lot of people recognise you, stop and speak to you,” Bain said. New job: Scott Bain celebrates after Tom Rogic scores Credit: Reuters “Obviously, social media’s a big thing now too. The support I’ve had from the fans has been incredible.” Bain’s new-found celebrity status was not only aided by the misfortunes of De Vries and Gordon but also by an unforeseen end to his spell with Dundee, after an otherwise unremarkable three-and-a-half-year spell at Dens Park. After Dundee lost 3-1 at home to Hamilton on October 28, Neil McCann dropped Bain and fined the player two weeks’ wages. Bain refused to pay and appealed to PFA Scotland for backing in a dispute that was ongoing when the goalkeeper first moved on loan to Hibs and then, at the end of the January transfer window, to Celtic. At that stage, he was simply trying to get out of an untenable season and his most likely prospect at Celtic was of making up the numbers. Go out there and give them hell: Scott Bain gets some last-minute instructions Credit: Getty “It did go through my mind a bit,” Bain said. “When you first come to a club this size from the situation I was in, it’s going to go through your head, but they wanted me to come and that was a big confidence boost. “It was difficult at Dundee. I’m not going to lie. I thought if I’m still at Dundee then it’s going to be hard to get another club, because you’re forgotten about quickly in football. “It was always going to be hard to get in to the team with goalkeepers like Dorus and Craig, but once you get your chance you just need to enjoy it and try to take it.” That was a lesson Bain absorbed much earlier in his career, when he was a part-timer with Alloa Athletic and worked on a house building project with his father, a joiner. “I used to work from eight to four, Monday to Friday, but on a Tuesday and Thursday I’d also go to Alloa and train from seven to half nine,” he said. Welcome addition: Brendan Rodgers is delighted with his new keeper Credit: Getty Images Europe “I’d be back home about half past 10, go to sleep and up the next day for an eight to four shift. I was a labourer for the first year and the second year I helped two boys out with building kits for houses and I really enjoyed it - apart from the winter. “The worst point was when the forklift driver brought over a pallet of plasterboard sheets and there were 72 sheets on a pallet. I loaded them into the house and I thought I was done for the day. Then the forklift driver told me there were another four pallets-full to be sorted. “At that point I’m thinking ‘Nah, this isn’t for me.’ “I actually loaded the flat I’m in now with plasterboard sheets. So, I can go around and tell them what I think of the joinery work and get my dad to fix any problems.” Warm welcome: Bain is on his way to being a popular figure at Parkhead Credit: Retuers Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has found that the Celtic squad had acquired a complementary character. “He’s a very grounded personality - I really can’t imagine ever falling out with him, put it that way,” the manager said. “His first game for us at Ibrox was a wonderful demonstration of personality, technique, composure under pressure plus he obviously makes saves. “His story is fabulous - from working on a building site to this. When you think about it, to turn up and sign for us while wearing another club’s tracksuit - when I saw that I thought, ‘Well, it could have been plasterboards and a trowel…’ “These last couple of games have shown our supporters that, goodness me, he’s a really good keeper. He’s a joy to work with, always smiling and, while he has great humility, he’s also not intimidated in any way. I’ve been delighted for him.”
Scott Bain knows what it means to be out in the cold – literally and figuratively – which is why he has savoured the warmth of fan approval since his unexpected contribution to the drama of Celtic’s 3-2 victory over Rangers in the Old Firm league derby at Ibrox earlier this month. Bain was pitchforked into his Celtic debut because of a training injury sustained by Dorus de Vries, who had been deputising for Craig Gordon, victim of a long-term knee problem. The third-choice keeper, who joined from Dundee in January after a loan deal with Hibernian fell through, had to retrieve the ball from his net within two minutes, after an error by Dedryck Boyata. Bain, though, made crucial saves from Alfredo Morelos shots to contribute to a winning performance by a Celtic side depleted by the second-half dismissal of Jozo Simunovic. At that point, life was transformed for the affable 26-year-old. “It’s been mad, really. I stay in Edinburgh and it’s not as big as it is in Glasgow, but even through there a lot of people recognise you, stop and speak to you,” Bain said. New job: Scott Bain celebrates after Tom Rogic scores Credit: Reuters “Obviously, social media’s a big thing now too. The support I’ve had from the fans has been incredible.” Bain’s new-found celebrity status was not only aided by the misfortunes of De Vries and Gordon but also by an unforeseen end to his spell with Dundee, after an otherwise unremarkable three-and-a-half-year spell at Dens Park. After Dundee lost 3-1 at home to Hamilton on October 28, Neil McCann dropped Bain and fined the player two weeks’ wages. Bain refused to pay and appealed to PFA Scotland for backing in a dispute that was ongoing when the goalkeeper first moved on loan to Hibs and then, at the end of the January transfer window, to Celtic. At that stage, he was simply trying to get out of an untenable season and his most likely prospect at Celtic was of making up the numbers. Go out there and give them hell: Scott Bain gets some last-minute instructions Credit: Getty “It did go through my mind a bit,” Bain said. “When you first come to a club this size from the situation I was in, it’s going to go through your head, but they wanted me to come and that was a big confidence boost. “It was difficult at Dundee. I’m not going to lie. I thought if I’m still at Dundee then it’s going to be hard to get another club, because you’re forgotten about quickly in football. “It was always going to be hard to get in to the team with goalkeepers like Dorus and Craig, but once you get your chance you just need to enjoy it and try to take it.” That was a lesson Bain absorbed much earlier in his career, when he was a part-timer with Alloa Athletic and worked on a house building project with his father, a joiner. “I used to work from eight to four, Monday to Friday, but on a Tuesday and Thursday I’d also go to Alloa and train from seven to half nine,” he said. Welcome addition: Brendan Rodgers is delighted with his new keeper Credit: Getty Images Europe “I’d be back home about half past 10, go to sleep and up the next day for an eight to four shift. I was a labourer for the first year and the second year I helped two boys out with building kits for houses and I really enjoyed it - apart from the winter. “The worst point was when the forklift driver brought over a pallet of plasterboard sheets and there were 72 sheets on a pallet. I loaded them into the house and I thought I was done for the day. Then the forklift driver told me there were another four pallets-full to be sorted. “At that point I’m thinking ‘Nah, this isn’t for me.’ “I actually loaded the flat I’m in now with plasterboard sheets. So, I can go around and tell them what I think of the joinery work and get my dad to fix any problems.” Warm welcome: Bain is on his way to being a popular figure at Parkhead Credit: Retuers Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has found that the Celtic squad had acquired a complementary character. “He’s a very grounded personality - I really can’t imagine ever falling out with him, put it that way,” the manager said. “His first game for us at Ibrox was a wonderful demonstration of personality, technique, composure under pressure plus he obviously makes saves. “His story is fabulous - from working on a building site to this. When you think about it, to turn up and sign for us while wearing another club’s tracksuit - when I saw that I thought, ‘Well, it could have been plasterboards and a trowel…’ “These last couple of games have shown our supporters that, goodness me, he’s a really good keeper. He’s a joy to work with, always smiling and, while he has great humility, he’s also not intimidated in any way. I’ve been delighted for him.”
Building a career: Scott Bain's journey from labourer via Dundee fall-out to Celtic Old Firm goalie hero
Scott Bain knows what it means to be out in the cold – literally and figuratively – which is why he has savoured the warmth of fan approval since his unexpected contribution to the drama of Celtic’s 3-2 victory over Rangers in the Old Firm league derby at Ibrox earlier this month. Bain was pitchforked into his Celtic debut because of a training injury sustained by Dorus de Vries, who had been deputising for Craig Gordon, victim of a long-term knee problem. The third-choice keeper, who joined from Dundee in January after a loan deal with Hibernian fell through, had to retrieve the ball from his net within two minutes, after an error by Dedryck Boyata. Bain, though, made crucial saves from Alfredo Morelos shots to contribute to a winning performance by a Celtic side depleted by the second-half dismissal of Jozo Simunovic. At that point, life was transformed for the affable 26-year-old. “It’s been mad, really. I stay in Edinburgh and it’s not as big as it is in Glasgow, but even through there a lot of people recognise you, stop and speak to you,” Bain said. New job: Scott Bain celebrates after Tom Rogic scores Credit: Reuters “Obviously, social media’s a big thing now too. The support I’ve had from the fans has been incredible.” Bain’s new-found celebrity status was not only aided by the misfortunes of De Vries and Gordon but also by an unforeseen end to his spell with Dundee, after an otherwise unremarkable three-and-a-half-year spell at Dens Park. After Dundee lost 3-1 at home to Hamilton on October 28, Neil McCann dropped Bain and fined the player two weeks’ wages. Bain refused to pay and appealed to PFA Scotland for backing in a dispute that was ongoing when the goalkeeper first moved on loan to Hibs and then, at the end of the January transfer window, to Celtic. At that stage, he was simply trying to get out of an untenable season and his most likely prospect at Celtic was of making up the numbers. Go out there and give them hell: Scott Bain gets some last-minute instructions Credit: Getty “It did go through my mind a bit,” Bain said. “When you first come to a club this size from the situation I was in, it’s going to go through your head, but they wanted me to come and that was a big confidence boost. “It was difficult at Dundee. I’m not going to lie. I thought if I’m still at Dundee then it’s going to be hard to get another club, because you’re forgotten about quickly in football. “It was always going to be hard to get in to the team with goalkeepers like Dorus and Craig, but once you get your chance you just need to enjoy it and try to take it.” That was a lesson Bain absorbed much earlier in his career, when he was a part-timer with Alloa Athletic and worked on a house building project with his father, a joiner. “I used to work from eight to four, Monday to Friday, but on a Tuesday and Thursday I’d also go to Alloa and train from seven to half nine,” he said. Welcome addition: Brendan Rodgers is delighted with his new keeper Credit: Getty Images Europe “I’d be back home about half past 10, go to sleep and up the next day for an eight to four shift. I was a labourer for the first year and the second year I helped two boys out with building kits for houses and I really enjoyed it - apart from the winter. “The worst point was when the forklift driver brought over a pallet of plasterboard sheets and there were 72 sheets on a pallet. I loaded them into the house and I thought I was done for the day. Then the forklift driver told me there were another four pallets-full to be sorted. “At that point I’m thinking ‘Nah, this isn’t for me.’ “I actually loaded the flat I’m in now with plasterboard sheets. So, I can go around and tell them what I think of the joinery work and get my dad to fix any problems.” Warm welcome: Bain is on his way to being a popular figure at Parkhead Credit: Retuers Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has found that the Celtic squad had acquired a complementary character. “He’s a very grounded personality - I really can’t imagine ever falling out with him, put it that way,” the manager said. “His first game for us at Ibrox was a wonderful demonstration of personality, technique, composure under pressure plus he obviously makes saves. “His story is fabulous - from working on a building site to this. When you think about it, to turn up and sign for us while wearing another club’s tracksuit - when I saw that I thought, ‘Well, it could have been plasterboards and a trowel…’ “These last couple of games have shown our supporters that, goodness me, he’s a really good keeper. He’s a joy to work with, always smiling and, while he has great humility, he’s also not intimidated in any way. I’ve been delighted for him.”
Scott Bain knows what it means to be out in the cold – literally and figuratively – which is why he has savoured the warmth of fan approval since his unexpected contribution to the drama of Celtic’s 3-2 victory over Rangers in the Old Firm league derby at Ibrox earlier this month. Bain was pitchforked into his Celtic debut because of a training injury sustained by Dorus de Vries, who had been deputising for Craig Gordon, victim of a long-term knee problem. The third-choice keeper, who joined from Dundee in January after a loan deal with Hibernian fell through, had to retrieve the ball from his net within two minutes, after an error by Dedryck Boyata. Bain, though, made crucial saves from Alfredo Morelos shots to contribute to a winning performance by a Celtic side depleted by the second-half dismissal of Jozo Simunovic. At that point, life was transformed for the affable 26-year-old. “It’s been mad, really. I stay in Edinburgh and it’s not as big as it is in Glasgow, but even through there a lot of people recognise you, stop and speak to you,” Bain said. New job: Scott Bain celebrates after Tom Rogic scores Credit: Reuters “Obviously, social media’s a big thing now too. The support I’ve had from the fans has been incredible.” Bain’s new-found celebrity status was not only aided by the misfortunes of De Vries and Gordon but also by an unforeseen end to his spell with Dundee, after an otherwise unremarkable three-and-a-half-year spell at Dens Park. After Dundee lost 3-1 at home to Hamilton on October 28, Neil McCann dropped Bain and fined the player two weeks’ wages. Bain refused to pay and appealed to PFA Scotland for backing in a dispute that was ongoing when the goalkeeper first moved on loan to Hibs and then, at the end of the January transfer window, to Celtic. At that stage, he was simply trying to get out of an untenable season and his most likely prospect at Celtic was of making up the numbers. Go out there and give them hell: Scott Bain gets some last-minute instructions Credit: Getty “It did go through my mind a bit,” Bain said. “When you first come to a club this size from the situation I was in, it’s going to go through your head, but they wanted me to come and that was a big confidence boost. “It was difficult at Dundee. I’m not going to lie. I thought if I’m still at Dundee then it’s going to be hard to get another club, because you’re forgotten about quickly in football. “It was always going to be hard to get in to the team with goalkeepers like Dorus and Craig, but once you get your chance you just need to enjoy it and try to take it.” That was a lesson Bain absorbed much earlier in his career, when he was a part-timer with Alloa Athletic and worked on a house building project with his father, a joiner. “I used to work from eight to four, Monday to Friday, but on a Tuesday and Thursday I’d also go to Alloa and train from seven to half nine,” he said. Welcome addition: Brendan Rodgers is delighted with his new keeper Credit: Getty Images Europe “I’d be back home about half past 10, go to sleep and up the next day for an eight to four shift. I was a labourer for the first year and the second year I helped two boys out with building kits for houses and I really enjoyed it - apart from the winter. “The worst point was when the forklift driver brought over a pallet of plasterboard sheets and there were 72 sheets on a pallet. I loaded them into the house and I thought I was done for the day. Then the forklift driver told me there were another four pallets-full to be sorted. “At that point I’m thinking ‘Nah, this isn’t for me.’ “I actually loaded the flat I’m in now with plasterboard sheets. So, I can go around and tell them what I think of the joinery work and get my dad to fix any problems.” Warm welcome: Bain is on his way to being a popular figure at Parkhead Credit: Retuers Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has found that the Celtic squad had acquired a complementary character. “He’s a very grounded personality - I really can’t imagine ever falling out with him, put it that way,” the manager said. “His first game for us at Ibrox was a wonderful demonstration of personality, technique, composure under pressure plus he obviously makes saves. “His story is fabulous - from working on a building site to this. When you think about it, to turn up and sign for us while wearing another club’s tracksuit - when I saw that I thought, ‘Well, it could have been plasterboards and a trowel…’ “These last couple of games have shown our supporters that, goodness me, he’s a really good keeper. He’s a joy to work with, always smiling and, while he has great humility, he’s also not intimidated in any way. I’ve been delighted for him.”
Building a career: Scott Bain's journey from labourer via Dundee fall-out to Celtic Old Firm goalie hero
Scott Bain knows what it means to be out in the cold – literally and figuratively – which is why he has savoured the warmth of fan approval since his unexpected contribution to the drama of Celtic’s 3-2 victory over Rangers in the Old Firm league derby at Ibrox earlier this month. Bain was pitchforked into his Celtic debut because of a training injury sustained by Dorus de Vries, who had been deputising for Craig Gordon, victim of a long-term knee problem. The third-choice keeper, who joined from Dundee in January after a loan deal with Hibernian fell through, had to retrieve the ball from his net within two minutes, after an error by Dedryck Boyata. Bain, though, made crucial saves from Alfredo Morelos shots to contribute to a winning performance by a Celtic side depleted by the second-half dismissal of Jozo Simunovic. At that point, life was transformed for the affable 26-year-old. “It’s been mad, really. I stay in Edinburgh and it’s not as big as it is in Glasgow, but even through there a lot of people recognise you, stop and speak to you,” Bain said. New job: Scott Bain celebrates after Tom Rogic scores Credit: Reuters “Obviously, social media’s a big thing now too. The support I’ve had from the fans has been incredible.” Bain’s new-found celebrity status was not only aided by the misfortunes of De Vries and Gordon but also by an unforeseen end to his spell with Dundee, after an otherwise unremarkable three-and-a-half-year spell at Dens Park. After Dundee lost 3-1 at home to Hamilton on October 28, Neil McCann dropped Bain and fined the player two weeks’ wages. Bain refused to pay and appealed to PFA Scotland for backing in a dispute that was ongoing when the goalkeeper first moved on loan to Hibs and then, at the end of the January transfer window, to Celtic. At that stage, he was simply trying to get out of an untenable season and his most likely prospect at Celtic was of making up the numbers. Go out there and give them hell: Scott Bain gets some last-minute instructions Credit: Getty “It did go through my mind a bit,” Bain said. “When you first come to a club this size from the situation I was in, it’s going to go through your head, but they wanted me to come and that was a big confidence boost. “It was difficult at Dundee. I’m not going to lie. I thought if I’m still at Dundee then it’s going to be hard to get another club, because you’re forgotten about quickly in football. “It was always going to be hard to get in to the team with goalkeepers like Dorus and Craig, but once you get your chance you just need to enjoy it and try to take it.” That was a lesson Bain absorbed much earlier in his career, when he was a part-timer with Alloa Athletic and worked on a house building project with his father, a joiner. “I used to work from eight to four, Monday to Friday, but on a Tuesday and Thursday I’d also go to Alloa and train from seven to half nine,” he said. Welcome addition: Brendan Rodgers is delighted with his new keeper Credit: Getty Images Europe “I’d be back home about half past 10, go to sleep and up the next day for an eight to four shift. I was a labourer for the first year and the second year I helped two boys out with building kits for houses and I really enjoyed it - apart from the winter. “The worst point was when the forklift driver brought over a pallet of plasterboard sheets and there were 72 sheets on a pallet. I loaded them into the house and I thought I was done for the day. Then the forklift driver told me there were another four pallets-full to be sorted. “At that point I’m thinking ‘Nah, this isn’t for me.’ “I actually loaded the flat I’m in now with plasterboard sheets. So, I can go around and tell them what I think of the joinery work and get my dad to fix any problems.” Warm welcome: Bain is on his way to being a popular figure at Parkhead Credit: Retuers Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has found that the Celtic squad had acquired a complementary character. “He’s a very grounded personality - I really can’t imagine ever falling out with him, put it that way,” the manager said. “His first game for us at Ibrox was a wonderful demonstration of personality, technique, composure under pressure plus he obviously makes saves. “His story is fabulous - from working on a building site to this. When you think about it, to turn up and sign for us while wearing another club’s tracksuit - when I saw that I thought, ‘Well, it could have been plasterboards and a trowel…’ “These last couple of games have shown our supporters that, goodness me, he’s a really good keeper. He’s a joy to work with, always smiling and, while he has great humility, he’s also not intimidated in any way. I’ve been delighted for him.”
Scott Bain knows what it means to be out in the cold – literally and figuratively – which is why he has savoured the warmth of fan approval since his unexpected contribution to the drama of Celtic’s 3-2 victory over Rangers in the Old Firm league derby at Ibrox earlier this month. Bain was pitchforked into his Celtic debut because of a training injury sustained by Dorus de Vries, who had been deputising for Craig Gordon, victim of a long-term knee problem. The third-choice keeper, who joined from Dundee in January after a loan deal with Hibernian fell through, had to retrieve the ball from his net within two minutes, after an error by Dedryck Boyata. Bain, though, made crucial saves from Alfredo Morelos shots to contribute to a winning performance by a Celtic side depleted by the second-half dismissal of Jozo Simunovic. At that point, life was transformed for the affable 26-year-old. “It’s been mad, really. I stay in Edinburgh and it’s not as big as it is in Glasgow, but even through there a lot of people recognise you, stop and speak to you,” Bain said. New job: Scott Bain celebrates after Tom Rogic scores Credit: Reuters “Obviously, social media’s a big thing now too. The support I’ve had from the fans has been incredible.” Bain’s new-found celebrity status was not only aided by the misfortunes of De Vries and Gordon but also by an unforeseen end to his spell with Dundee, after an otherwise unremarkable three-and-a-half-year spell at Dens Park. After Dundee lost 3-1 at home to Hamilton on October 28, Neil McCann dropped Bain and fined the player two weeks’ wages. Bain refused to pay and appealed to PFA Scotland for backing in a dispute that was ongoing when the goalkeeper first moved on loan to Hibs and then, at the end of the January transfer window, to Celtic. At that stage, he was simply trying to get out of an untenable season and his most likely prospect at Celtic was of making up the numbers. Go out there and give them hell: Scott Bain gets some last-minute instructions Credit: Getty “It did go through my mind a bit,” Bain said. “When you first come to a club this size from the situation I was in, it’s going to go through your head, but they wanted me to come and that was a big confidence boost. “It was difficult at Dundee. I’m not going to lie. I thought if I’m still at Dundee then it’s going to be hard to get another club, because you’re forgotten about quickly in football. “It was always going to be hard to get in to the team with goalkeepers like Dorus and Craig, but once you get your chance you just need to enjoy it and try to take it.” That was a lesson Bain absorbed much earlier in his career, when he was a part-timer with Alloa Athletic and worked on a house building project with his father, a joiner. “I used to work from eight to four, Monday to Friday, but on a Tuesday and Thursday I’d also go to Alloa and train from seven to half nine,” he said. Welcome addition: Brendan Rodgers is delighted with his new keeper Credit: Getty Images Europe “I’d be back home about half past 10, go to sleep and up the next day for an eight to four shift. I was a labourer for the first year and the second year I helped two boys out with building kits for houses and I really enjoyed it - apart from the winter. “The worst point was when the forklift driver brought over a pallet of plasterboard sheets and there were 72 sheets on a pallet. I loaded them into the house and I thought I was done for the day. Then the forklift driver told me there were another four pallets-full to be sorted. “At that point I’m thinking ‘Nah, this isn’t for me.’ “I actually loaded the flat I’m in now with plasterboard sheets. So, I can go around and tell them what I think of the joinery work and get my dad to fix any problems.” Warm welcome: Bain is on his way to being a popular figure at Parkhead Credit: Retuers Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has found that the Celtic squad had acquired a complementary character. “He’s a very grounded personality - I really can’t imagine ever falling out with him, put it that way,” the manager said. “His first game for us at Ibrox was a wonderful demonstration of personality, technique, composure under pressure plus he obviously makes saves. “His story is fabulous - from working on a building site to this. When you think about it, to turn up and sign for us while wearing another club’s tracksuit - when I saw that I thought, ‘Well, it could have been plasterboards and a trowel…’ “These last couple of games have shown our supporters that, goodness me, he’s a really good keeper. He’s a joy to work with, always smiling and, while he has great humility, he’s also not intimidated in any way. I’ve been delighted for him.”
Building a career: Scott Bain's journey from labourer via Dundee fall-out to Celtic Old Firm goalie hero
Scott Bain knows what it means to be out in the cold – literally and figuratively – which is why he has savoured the warmth of fan approval since his unexpected contribution to the drama of Celtic’s 3-2 victory over Rangers in the Old Firm league derby at Ibrox earlier this month. Bain was pitchforked into his Celtic debut because of a training injury sustained by Dorus de Vries, who had been deputising for Craig Gordon, victim of a long-term knee problem. The third-choice keeper, who joined from Dundee in January after a loan deal with Hibernian fell through, had to retrieve the ball from his net within two minutes, after an error by Dedryck Boyata. Bain, though, made crucial saves from Alfredo Morelos shots to contribute to a winning performance by a Celtic side depleted by the second-half dismissal of Jozo Simunovic. At that point, life was transformed for the affable 26-year-old. “It’s been mad, really. I stay in Edinburgh and it’s not as big as it is in Glasgow, but even through there a lot of people recognise you, stop and speak to you,” Bain said. New job: Scott Bain celebrates after Tom Rogic scores Credit: Reuters “Obviously, social media’s a big thing now too. The support I’ve had from the fans has been incredible.” Bain’s new-found celebrity status was not only aided by the misfortunes of De Vries and Gordon but also by an unforeseen end to his spell with Dundee, after an otherwise unremarkable three-and-a-half-year spell at Dens Park. After Dundee lost 3-1 at home to Hamilton on October 28, Neil McCann dropped Bain and fined the player two weeks’ wages. Bain refused to pay and appealed to PFA Scotland for backing in a dispute that was ongoing when the goalkeeper first moved on loan to Hibs and then, at the end of the January transfer window, to Celtic. At that stage, he was simply trying to get out of an untenable season and his most likely prospect at Celtic was of making up the numbers. Go out there and give them hell: Scott Bain gets some last-minute instructions Credit: Getty “It did go through my mind a bit,” Bain said. “When you first come to a club this size from the situation I was in, it’s going to go through your head, but they wanted me to come and that was a big confidence boost. “It was difficult at Dundee. I’m not going to lie. I thought if I’m still at Dundee then it’s going to be hard to get another club, because you’re forgotten about quickly in football. “It was always going to be hard to get in to the team with goalkeepers like Dorus and Craig, but once you get your chance you just need to enjoy it and try to take it.” That was a lesson Bain absorbed much earlier in his career, when he was a part-timer with Alloa Athletic and worked on a house building project with his father, a joiner. “I used to work from eight to four, Monday to Friday, but on a Tuesday and Thursday I’d also go to Alloa and train from seven to half nine,” he said. Welcome addition: Brendan Rodgers is delighted with his new keeper Credit: Getty Images Europe “I’d be back home about half past 10, go to sleep and up the next day for an eight to four shift. I was a labourer for the first year and the second year I helped two boys out with building kits for houses and I really enjoyed it - apart from the winter. “The worst point was when the forklift driver brought over a pallet of plasterboard sheets and there were 72 sheets on a pallet. I loaded them into the house and I thought I was done for the day. Then the forklift driver told me there were another four pallets-full to be sorted. “At that point I’m thinking ‘Nah, this isn’t for me.’ “I actually loaded the flat I’m in now with plasterboard sheets. So, I can go around and tell them what I think of the joinery work and get my dad to fix any problems.” Warm welcome: Bain is on his way to being a popular figure at Parkhead Credit: Retuers Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has found that the Celtic squad had acquired a complementary character. “He’s a very grounded personality - I really can’t imagine ever falling out with him, put it that way,” the manager said. “His first game for us at Ibrox was a wonderful demonstration of personality, technique, composure under pressure plus he obviously makes saves. “His story is fabulous - from working on a building site to this. When you think about it, to turn up and sign for us while wearing another club’s track