Motherwell

Motherwell 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."
Curtis Main scores twice to send Motherwell to Scottish Cup Final at Aberdeen's expense
Curtis Main scores twice to send Motherwell to Scottish Cup Final at Aberdeen's expense
Curtis Main scores twice to send Motherwell to Scottish Cup Final at Aberdeen's expense
The consensus was that Motherwell and Aberdeen were playing merely for the right to lose to Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup final, but there was professional pride at stake at Hampden Park and by the end it belonged to the Steelmen. Stephen Robinson’s players ran Aberdeen off the ball, hustled them into horrible errors and punished the Dons with three goals, the recollection of which will awaken Derek McInnes in a cold sweat at dead of night. Aberdeen were runners-up in all three domestic competitions last season but have regressed this campaign, with only the possibility of a second-place league finish remaining. Curtis Main exemplified Motherwell’s spirit and desire in this semi-final, scoring in each half and also hunting the Aberdeen defenders deep inside their own territory with a man-of-the-match performance. The man from South Shields has banished the Fir Park fans’ regret for the departure of Louis Moult to Preston in January. Both managers had to reshuffle their personnel but Motherwell fared better from the switches. Stephen Robinson restored Allan Campbell to midfield after missing the 0-0 draw at St Johnstone, with Gael Bigirimana relegated to the bench. Chris Cadden, Andy Rose and Charles Dunne replaced Elliott Frear, Barry Maguire and Carl McHugh. Motherwell players aplaude their fans Credit: PA Motherwell’s morale had been further boosted by Dunne, Ryan Bowman, Cedric Kipre and Richard Tait all agreeing contract extensions. Aberdeen also made four changes from the team beaten 2-0 by Hearts at Tynecastle, with Chidi Nwakali back from injury and Adam Rooney, Dominic Ball and Kari Arnason in for Graeme Shinnie, Shay Logan and Kenny McLean, with Niall McGinn dropping to the bench. One of the discussion points during the build-up was whether Motherwell would attempt to impose themselves physically, a proposition that took less than 20 seconds to be endorsed as Andrew Rose clattered into Greg Stewart to concede the first foul. Subtlety was exiled from the opening 20 minutes, a period which would have gratified the Red Baron as an illustration of attrition in aerial combat. Motherwell played long, unabashed by their lack of subtlety, but, just as Aberdeen looked like they were gaining the measure of the ploy, it paid off with the breakthrough. Tait chased a lob into the box, where he used his right arm to keep the ball in his path. Ball made the fatal error of failing to play the whistle and stopped dead, looking for the referee to intervene. With Kevin Clancy unsighted, Tait passed square for Main to stab home. If Aberdeen were aggrieved by that, they were incensed by what followed two minutes later although they were once again culpable. Scott McKenna, captain for the absent Shinnie, knocked a clearance backwards into his own box, where Bowman bundled Arnason aside for a shot which struck Joe Lewis on the chest. The rebound fell back to Bowman, who switched to his left foot to steer the ball between the inert Lewis and the despairing McKenna. Adam Rooney (L) had Aberdeen's only real chance of the game Credit: Getty Images “I actually thought Aberdeen started better than us but we got the goal at a crucial time,” Robinson said. “We got the second quickly afterwards and from then we’re hard to break down – we’re a team that don’t concede many goals. We’ve got a real strong defensive unit, you don’t lose games if you don’t concede goals. I haven’t seen the first goal but, for the amount of decisions that have gone against us this season, I’ll take it.” At 2-0, Motherwell looked comfortable but not impregnable, especially after Gary Mackay-Steven and Niall McGinn were sent on to work the flanks for Aberdeen. McGinn’s arrival on the hour fuelled a surge that brought the Dons’ first truly menacing attempt on goal – an Adam Rooney drive beaten out by Trevor Carson for Aberdeen’s only corner kick. It came to nothing and, within a minute, Main seized upon a lurid mistake by Arnason, who attempted a volleyed clearance on the halfway line but managed only to drive the ball off the striker, who then bore down unchecked on the Aberdeen box to beat Lewis with a flamboyant left foot drive. “The first goal, we don’t deal with the long ball. It’s still a handball,” McInnes said. “The second goal, I thought at the time was a foul on Arnason. I’ve seen it again, I don’t think it is. “2-0 and you’re still in the game. 3-0 killed it. Today, the squad was stretched and that shouldn’t be the case for a club like Aberdeen. I’m responsible for that side of it. I know what needs to be done in the summer.”
Curtis Main scores twice to send Motherwell to Scottish Cup Final at Aberdeen's expense
The consensus was that Motherwell and Aberdeen were playing merely for the right to lose to Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup final, but there was professional pride at stake at Hampden Park and by the end it belonged to the Steelmen. Stephen Robinson’s players ran Aberdeen off the ball, hustled them into horrible errors and punished the Dons with three goals, the recollection of which will awaken Derek McInnes in a cold sweat at dead of night. Aberdeen were runners-up in all three domestic competitions last season but have regressed this campaign, with only the possibility of a second-place league finish remaining. Curtis Main exemplified Motherwell’s spirit and desire in this semi-final, scoring in each half and also hunting the Aberdeen defenders deep inside their own territory with a man-of-the-match performance. The man from South Shields has banished the Fir Park fans’ regret for the departure of Louis Moult to Preston in January. Both managers had to reshuffle their personnel but Motherwell fared better from the switches. Stephen Robinson restored Allan Campbell to midfield after missing the 0-0 draw at St Johnstone, with Gael Bigirimana relegated to the bench. Chris Cadden, Andy Rose and Charles Dunne replaced Elliott Frear, Barry Maguire and Carl McHugh. Motherwell players aplaude their fans Credit: PA Motherwell’s morale had been further boosted by Dunne, Ryan Bowman, Cedric Kipre and Richard Tait all agreeing contract extensions. Aberdeen also made four changes from the team beaten 2-0 by Hearts at Tynecastle, with Chidi Nwakali back from injury and Adam Rooney, Dominic Ball and Kari Arnason in for Graeme Shinnie, Shay Logan and Kenny McLean, with Niall McGinn dropping to the bench. One of the discussion points during the build-up was whether Motherwell would attempt to impose themselves physically, a proposition that took less than 20 seconds to be endorsed as Andrew Rose clattered into Greg Stewart to concede the first foul. Subtlety was exiled from the opening 20 minutes, a period which would have gratified the Red Baron as an illustration of attrition in aerial combat. Motherwell played long, unabashed by their lack of subtlety, but, just as Aberdeen looked like they were gaining the measure of the ploy, it paid off with the breakthrough. Tait chased a lob into the box, where he used his right arm to keep the ball in his path. Ball made the fatal error of failing to play the whistle and stopped dead, looking for the referee to intervene. With Kevin Clancy unsighted, Tait passed square for Main to stab home. If Aberdeen were aggrieved by that, they were incensed by what followed two minutes later although they were once again culpable. Scott McKenna, captain for the absent Shinnie, knocked a clearance backwards into his own box, where Bowman bundled Arnason aside for a shot which struck Joe Lewis on the chest. The rebound fell back to Bowman, who switched to his left foot to steer the ball between the inert Lewis and the despairing McKenna. Adam Rooney (L) had Aberdeen's only real chance of the game Credit: Getty Images “I actually thought Aberdeen started better than us but we got the goal at a crucial time,” Robinson said. “We got the second quickly afterwards and from then we’re hard to break down – we’re a team that don’t concede many goals. We’ve got a real strong defensive unit, you don’t lose games if you don’t concede goals. I haven’t seen the first goal but, for the amount of decisions that have gone against us this season, I’ll take it.” At 2-0, Motherwell looked comfortable but not impregnable, especially after Gary Mackay-Steven and Niall McGinn were sent on to work the flanks for Aberdeen. McGinn’s arrival on the hour fuelled a surge that brought the Dons’ first truly menacing attempt on goal – an Adam Rooney drive beaten out by Trevor Carson for Aberdeen’s only corner kick. It came to nothing and, within a minute, Main seized upon a lurid mistake by Arnason, who attempted a volleyed clearance on the halfway line but managed only to drive the ball off the striker, who then bore down unchecked on the Aberdeen box to beat Lewis with a flamboyant left foot drive. “The first goal, we don’t deal with the long ball. It’s still a handball,” McInnes said. “The second goal, I thought at the time was a foul on Arnason. I’ve seen it again, I don’t think it is. “2-0 and you’re still in the game. 3-0 killed it. Today, the squad was stretched and that shouldn’t be the case for a club like Aberdeen. I’m responsible for that side of it. I know what needs to be done in the summer.”
The consensus was that Motherwell and Aberdeen were playing merely for the right to lose to Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup final, but there was professional pride at stake at Hampden Park and by the end it belonged to the Steelmen. Stephen Robinson’s players ran Aberdeen off the ball, hustled them into horrible errors and punished the Dons with three goals, the recollection of which will awaken Derek McInnes in a cold sweat at dead of night. Aberdeen were runners-up in all three domestic competitions last season but have regressed this campaign, with only the possibility of a second-place league finish remaining. Curtis Main exemplified Motherwell’s spirit and desire in this semi-final, scoring in each half and also hunting the Aberdeen defenders deep inside their own territory with a man-of-the-match performance. The man from South Shields has banished the Fir Park fans’ regret for the departure of Louis Moult to Preston in January. Both managers had to reshuffle their personnel but Motherwell fared better from the switches. Stephen Robinson restored Allan Campbell to midfield after missing the 0-0 draw at St Johnstone, with Gael Bigirimana relegated to the bench. Chris Cadden, Andy Rose and Charles Dunne replaced Elliott Frear, Barry Maguire and Carl McHugh. Motherwell players aplaude their fans Credit: PA Motherwell’s morale had been further boosted by Dunne, Ryan Bowman, Cedric Kipre and Richard Tait all agreeing contract extensions. Aberdeen also made four changes from the team beaten 2-0 by Hearts at Tynecastle, with Chidi Nwakali back from injury and Adam Rooney, Dominic Ball and Kari Arnason in for Graeme Shinnie, Shay Logan and Kenny McLean, with Niall McGinn dropping to the bench. One of the discussion points during the build-up was whether Motherwell would attempt to impose themselves physically, a proposition that took less than 20 seconds to be endorsed as Andrew Rose clattered into Greg Stewart to concede the first foul. Subtlety was exiled from the opening 20 minutes, a period which would have gratified the Red Baron as an illustration of attrition in aerial combat. Motherwell played long, unabashed by their lack of subtlety, but, just as Aberdeen looked like they were gaining the measure of the ploy, it paid off with the breakthrough. Tait chased a lob into the box, where he used his right arm to keep the ball in his path. Ball made the fatal error of failing to play the whistle and stopped dead, looking for the referee to intervene. With Kevin Clancy unsighted, Tait passed square for Main to stab home. If Aberdeen were aggrieved by that, they were incensed by what followed two minutes later although they were once again culpable. Scott McKenna, captain for the absent Shinnie, knocked a clearance backwards into his own box, where Bowman bundled Arnason aside for a shot which struck Joe Lewis on the chest. The rebound fell back to Bowman, who switched to his left foot to steer the ball between the inert Lewis and the despairing McKenna. Adam Rooney (L) had Aberdeen's only real chance of the game Credit: Getty Images “I actually thought Aberdeen started better than us but we got the goal at a crucial time,” Robinson said. “We got the second quickly afterwards and from then we’re hard to break down – we’re a team that don’t concede many goals. We’ve got a real strong defensive unit, you don’t lose games if you don’t concede goals. I haven’t seen the first goal but, for the amount of decisions that have gone against us this season, I’ll take it.” At 2-0, Motherwell looked comfortable but not impregnable, especially after Gary Mackay-Steven and Niall McGinn were sent on to work the flanks for Aberdeen. McGinn’s arrival on the hour fuelled a surge that brought the Dons’ first truly menacing attempt on goal – an Adam Rooney drive beaten out by Trevor Carson for Aberdeen’s only corner kick. It came to nothing and, within a minute, Main seized upon a lurid mistake by Arnason, who attempted a volleyed clearance on the halfway line but managed only to drive the ball off the striker, who then bore down unchecked on the Aberdeen box to beat Lewis with a flamboyant left foot drive. “The first goal, we don’t deal with the long ball. It’s still a handball,” McInnes said. “The second goal, I thought at the time was a foul on Arnason. I’ve seen it again, I don’t think it is. “2-0 and you’re still in the game. 3-0 killed it. Today, the squad was stretched and that shouldn’t be the case for a club like Aberdeen. I’m responsible for that side of it. I know what needs to be done in the summer.”
Curtis Main scores twice to send Motherwell to Scottish Cup Final at Aberdeen's expense
The consensus was that Motherwell and Aberdeen were playing merely for the right to lose to Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup final, but there was professional pride at stake at Hampden Park and by the end it belonged to the Steelmen. Stephen Robinson’s players ran Aberdeen off the ball, hustled them into horrible errors and punished the Dons with three goals, the recollection of which will awaken Derek McInnes in a cold sweat at dead of night. Aberdeen were runners-up in all three domestic competitions last season but have regressed this campaign, with only the possibility of a second-place league finish remaining. Curtis Main exemplified Motherwell’s spirit and desire in this semi-final, scoring in each half and also hunting the Aberdeen defenders deep inside their own territory with a man-of-the-match performance. The man from South Shields has banished the Fir Park fans’ regret for the departure of Louis Moult to Preston in January. Both managers had to reshuffle their personnel but Motherwell fared better from the switches. Stephen Robinson restored Allan Campbell to midfield after missing the 0-0 draw at St Johnstone, with Gael Bigirimana relegated to the bench. Chris Cadden, Andy Rose and Charles Dunne replaced Elliott Frear, Barry Maguire and Carl McHugh. Motherwell players aplaude their fans Credit: PA Motherwell’s morale had been further boosted by Dunne, Ryan Bowman, Cedric Kipre and Richard Tait all agreeing contract extensions. Aberdeen also made four changes from the team beaten 2-0 by Hearts at Tynecastle, with Chidi Nwakali back from injury and Adam Rooney, Dominic Ball and Kari Arnason in for Graeme Shinnie, Shay Logan and Kenny McLean, with Niall McGinn dropping to the bench. One of the discussion points during the build-up was whether Motherwell would attempt to impose themselves physically, a proposition that took less than 20 seconds to be endorsed as Andrew Rose clattered into Greg Stewart to concede the first foul. Subtlety was exiled from the opening 20 minutes, a period which would have gratified the Red Baron as an illustration of attrition in aerial combat. Motherwell played long, unabashed by their lack of subtlety, but, just as Aberdeen looked like they were gaining the measure of the ploy, it paid off with the breakthrough. Tait chased a lob into the box, where he used his right arm to keep the ball in his path. Ball made the fatal error of failing to play the whistle and stopped dead, looking for the referee to intervene. With Kevin Clancy unsighted, Tait passed square for Main to stab home. If Aberdeen were aggrieved by that, they were incensed by what followed two minutes later although they were once again culpable. Scott McKenna, captain for the absent Shinnie, knocked a clearance backwards into his own box, where Bowman bundled Arnason aside for a shot which struck Joe Lewis on the chest. The rebound fell back to Bowman, who switched to his left foot to steer the ball between the inert Lewis and the despairing McKenna. Adam Rooney (L) had Aberdeen's only real chance of the game Credit: Getty Images “I actually thought Aberdeen started better than us but we got the goal at a crucial time,” Robinson said. “We got the second quickly afterwards and from then we’re hard to break down – we’re a team that don’t concede many goals. We’ve got a real strong defensive unit, you don’t lose games if you don’t concede goals. I haven’t seen the first goal but, for the amount of decisions that have gone against us this season, I’ll take it.” At 2-0, Motherwell looked comfortable but not impregnable, especially after Gary Mackay-Steven and Niall McGinn were sent on to work the flanks for Aberdeen. McGinn’s arrival on the hour fuelled a surge that brought the Dons’ first truly menacing attempt on goal – an Adam Rooney drive beaten out by Trevor Carson for Aberdeen’s only corner kick. It came to nothing and, within a minute, Main seized upon a lurid mistake by Arnason, who attempted a volleyed clearance on the halfway line but managed only to drive the ball off the striker, who then bore down unchecked on the Aberdeen box to beat Lewis with a flamboyant left foot drive. “The first goal, we don’t deal with the long ball. It’s still a handball,” McInnes said. “The second goal, I thought at the time was a foul on Arnason. I’ve seen it again, I don’t think it is. “2-0 and you’re still in the game. 3-0 killed it. Today, the squad was stretched and that shouldn’t be the case for a club like Aberdeen. I’m responsible for that side of it. I know what needs to be done in the summer.”
The consensus was that Motherwell and Aberdeen were playing merely for the right to lose to Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup final, but there was professional pride at stake at Hampden Park and by the end it belonged to the Steelmen. Stephen Robinson’s players ran Aberdeen off the ball, hustled them into horrible errors and punished the Dons with three goals, the recollection of which will awaken Derek McInnes in a cold sweat at dead of night. Aberdeen were runners-up in all three domestic competitions last season but have regressed this campaign, with only the possibility of a second-place league finish remaining. Curtis Main exemplified Motherwell’s spirit and desire in this semi-final, scoring in each half and also hunting the Aberdeen defenders deep inside their own territory with a man-of-the-match performance. The man from South Shields has banished the Fir Park fans’ regret for the departure of Louis Moult to Preston in January. Both managers had to reshuffle their personnel but Motherwell fared better from the switches. Stephen Robinson restored Allan Campbell to midfield after missing the 0-0 draw at St Johnstone, with Gael Bigirimana relegated to the bench. Chris Cadden, Andy Rose and Charles Dunne replaced Elliott Frear, Barry Maguire and Carl McHugh. Motherwell players aplaude their fans Credit: PA Motherwell’s morale had been further boosted by Dunne, Ryan Bowman, Cedric Kipre and Richard Tait all agreeing contract extensions. Aberdeen also made four changes from the team beaten 2-0 by Hearts at Tynecastle, with Chidi Nwakali back from injury and Adam Rooney, Dominic Ball and Kari Arnason in for Graeme Shinnie, Shay Logan and Kenny McLean, with Niall McGinn dropping to the bench. One of the discussion points during the build-up was whether Motherwell would attempt to impose themselves physically, a proposition that took less than 20 seconds to be endorsed as Andrew Rose clattered into Greg Stewart to concede the first foul. Subtlety was exiled from the opening 20 minutes, a period which would have gratified the Red Baron as an illustration of attrition in aerial combat. Motherwell played long, unabashed by their lack of subtlety, but, just as Aberdeen looked like they were gaining the measure of the ploy, it paid off with the breakthrough. Tait chased a lob into the box, where he used his right arm to keep the ball in his path. Ball made the fatal error of failing to play the whistle and stopped dead, looking for the referee to intervene. With Kevin Clancy unsighted, Tait passed square for Main to stab home. If Aberdeen were aggrieved by that, they were incensed by what followed two minutes later although they were once again culpable. Scott McKenna, captain for the absent Shinnie, knocked a clearance backwards into his own box, where Bowman bundled Arnason aside for a shot which struck Joe Lewis on the chest. The rebound fell back to Bowman, who switched to his left foot to steer the ball between the inert Lewis and the despairing McKenna. Adam Rooney (L) had Aberdeen's only real chance of the game Credit: Getty Images “I actually thought Aberdeen started better than us but we got the goal at a crucial time,” Robinson said. “We got the second quickly afterwards and from then we’re hard to break down – we’re a team that don’t concede many goals. We’ve got a real strong defensive unit, you don’t lose games if you don’t concede goals. I haven’t seen the first goal but, for the amount of decisions that have gone against us this season, I’ll take it.” At 2-0, Motherwell looked comfortable but not impregnable, especially after Gary Mackay-Steven and Niall McGinn were sent on to work the flanks for Aberdeen. McGinn’s arrival on the hour fuelled a surge that brought the Dons’ first truly menacing attempt on goal – an Adam Rooney drive beaten out by Trevor Carson for Aberdeen’s only corner kick. It came to nothing and, within a minute, Main seized upon a lurid mistake by Arnason, who attempted a volleyed clearance on the halfway line but managed only to drive the ball off the striker, who then bore down unchecked on the Aberdeen box to beat Lewis with a flamboyant left foot drive. “The first goal, we don’t deal with the long ball. It’s still a handball,” McInnes said. “The second goal, I thought at the time was a foul on Arnason. I’ve seen it again, I don’t think it is. “2-0 and you’re still in the game. 3-0 killed it. Today, the squad was stretched and that shouldn’t be the case for a club like Aberdeen. I’m responsible for that side of it. I know what needs to be done in the summer.”
Curtis Main scores twice to send Motherwell to Scottish Cup Final at Aberdeen's expense
The consensus was that Motherwell and Aberdeen were playing merely for the right to lose to Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup final, but there was professional pride at stake at Hampden Park and by the end it belonged to the Steelmen. Stephen Robinson’s players ran Aberdeen off the ball, hustled them into horrible errors and punished the Dons with three goals, the recollection of which will awaken Derek McInnes in a cold sweat at dead of night. Aberdeen were runners-up in all three domestic competitions last season but have regressed this campaign, with only the possibility of a second-place league finish remaining. Curtis Main exemplified Motherwell’s spirit and desire in this semi-final, scoring in each half and also hunting the Aberdeen defenders deep inside their own territory with a man-of-the-match performance. The man from South Shields has banished the Fir Park fans’ regret for the departure of Louis Moult to Preston in January. Both managers had to reshuffle their personnel but Motherwell fared better from the switches. Stephen Robinson restored Allan Campbell to midfield after missing the 0-0 draw at St Johnstone, with Gael Bigirimana relegated to the bench. Chris Cadden, Andy Rose and Charles Dunne replaced Elliott Frear, Barry Maguire and Carl McHugh. Motherwell players aplaude their fans Credit: PA Motherwell’s morale had been further boosted by Dunne, Ryan Bowman, Cedric Kipre and Richard Tait all agreeing contract extensions. Aberdeen also made four changes from the team beaten 2-0 by Hearts at Tynecastle, with Chidi Nwakali back from injury and Adam Rooney, Dominic Ball and Kari Arnason in for Graeme Shinnie, Shay Logan and Kenny McLean, with Niall McGinn dropping to the bench. One of the discussion points during the build-up was whether Motherwell would attempt to impose themselves physically, a proposition that took less than 20 seconds to be endorsed as Andrew Rose clattered into Greg Stewart to concede the first foul. Subtlety was exiled from the opening 20 minutes, a period which would have gratified the Red Baron as an illustration of attrition in aerial combat. Motherwell played long, unabashed by their lack of subtlety, but, just as Aberdeen looked like they were gaining the measure of the ploy, it paid off with the breakthrough. Tait chased a lob into the box, where he used his right arm to keep the ball in his path. Ball made the fatal error of failing to play the whistle and stopped dead, looking for the referee to intervene. With Kevin Clancy unsighted, Tait passed square for Main to stab home. If Aberdeen were aggrieved by that, they were incensed by what followed two minutes later although they were once again culpable. Scott McKenna, captain for the absent Shinnie, knocked a clearance backwards into his own box, where Bowman bundled Arnason aside for a shot which struck Joe Lewis on the chest. The rebound fell back to Bowman, who switched to his left foot to steer the ball between the inert Lewis and the despairing McKenna. Adam Rooney (L) had Aberdeen's only real chance of the game Credit: Getty Images “I actually thought Aberdeen started better than us but we got the goal at a crucial time,” Robinson said. “We got the second quickly afterwards and from then we’re hard to break down – we’re a team that don’t concede many goals. We’ve got a real strong defensive unit, you don’t lose games if you don’t concede goals. I haven’t seen the first goal but, for the amount of decisions that have gone against us this season, I’ll take it.” At 2-0, Motherwell looked comfortable but not impregnable, especially after Gary Mackay-Steven and Niall McGinn were sent on to work the flanks for Aberdeen. McGinn’s arrival on the hour fuelled a surge that brought the Dons’ first truly menacing attempt on goal – an Adam Rooney drive beaten out by Trevor Carson for Aberdeen’s only corner kick. It came to nothing and, within a minute, Main seized upon a lurid mistake by Arnason, who attempted a volleyed clearance on the halfway line but managed only to drive the ball off the striker, who then bore down unchecked on the Aberdeen box to beat Lewis with a flamboyant left foot drive. “The first goal, we don’t deal with the long ball. It’s still a handball,” McInnes said. “The second goal, I thought at the time was a foul on Arnason. I’ve seen it again, I don’t think it is. “2-0 and you’re still in the game. 3-0 killed it. Today, the squad was stretched and that shouldn’t be the case for a club like Aberdeen. I’m responsible for that side of it. I know what needs to be done in the summer.”
Curtis Main scores twice to send Motherwell to Scottish Cup Final at Aberdeen's expense
Curtis Main scores twice to send Motherwell to Scottish Cup Final at Aberdeen's expense
Curtis Main scores twice to send Motherwell to Scottish Cup Final at Aberdeen's expense
Curtis Main scores twice to send Motherwell to Scottish Cup Final at Aberdeen's expense
Curtis Main scores twice to send Motherwell to Scottish Cup Final at Aberdeen's expense
Curtis Main scores twice to send Motherwell to Scottish Cup Final at Aberdeen's expense
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson salutes their fans after the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson salutes their fans after the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main celebrates with Richard Tait after the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main celebrates with Richard Tait after the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main celebrates after the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main celebrates after the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Aberdeen's Joe Lewis looks dejected after the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Aberdeen's Joe Lewis looks dejected after the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main celebrates with Allan Campbell after scoring their third goal as Aberdeen's Joe Lewis tries to retrieve the ball Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main celebrates with Allan Campbell after scoring their third goal as Aberdeen's Joe Lewis tries to retrieve the ball Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main celebrates with Allan Campbell after scoring their third goal as Aberdeen's Joe Lewis tries to retrieve the ball Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main celebrates with Allan Campbell after scoring their third goal as Aberdeen's Joe Lewis tries to retrieve the ball Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main celebrates scoring their third goal as Aberdeen's Andrew Considine looks dejected Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main celebrates scoring their third goal as Aberdeen's Andrew Considine looks dejected Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main scores their third goal Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main scores their third goal Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Aberdeen's Dominic Ball in action with Motherwell's Curtis Main Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Aberdeen's Dominic Ball in action with Motherwell's Curtis Main Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main (R) celebrates with Christopher Cadden and Tom Aldred after scoring their first goal Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen
Soccer Football - Scottish Cup Semi-Final - Motherwell vs Aberdeen - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - April 14, 2018 Motherwell's Curtis Main (R) celebrates with Christopher Cadden and Tom Aldred after scoring their first goal Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
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.”
The attack on Manchester City’s team bus before last week’s Champions League quarter-final in Liverpool showed why the final Old Firm derby of the season should not offer Celtic the chance to secure their seventh successive Scottish title, according to Gordon Strachan. Strachan, who was Celtic manager between 2005 and 2009, agreed with the contention of his current successor, Brendan Rodgers that, in an ideal situation, a meeting of the country’s biggest clubs would be the desirable climax of the league campaign, but he cited events on Merseyside as reason to err on the side of prudence. “We’d all like that as we enjoyed the Manchester City v Manchester United game, but this is a game where we want to showcase Scotland as well and unfortunately we saw scenes last week at Liverpool,” Strachan said. “It was a wonderful game of football and what we ended up talking about was a bus getting attacked. It was a horrible sight. I hope that never happens here but it can and that’s why government and police think we maybe can’t take that gamble. “It wasn’t a surprise to me because I was on a bus which was attacked with CS gas at a Manchester United v Liverpool game and we got a brick thrown at the bus. It’s frightening when it happens. Nobody knew it was coming last week and if you take it for granted then something like that might happen here. “When you see the Liverpool scenes then you think, ‘Hmm - I don’t want that coming from my country’.” Before the SPFL embarks upon its post-split schedule, another Old Firm collision will occur at Hampden Park, which hosts this weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals. On Saturday, another of Strachan’s former clubs, Aberdeen, will meet Motherwell, followed by Celtic v Rangers on Sunday. Celtic, of course, are bidding for a second successive clean sweep of the Scottish honours, and a victory on Sunday would effectively bring them to within one victory of that feat, given the inevitability of another title win, but Strachan declared that the Hoops have had to work harder for reward in this campaign. “Last year anything that went into the box was going into the back of the net,” he said. “It’s not been easy this year. Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths have been injured. The magic from these two has not been there as consistently as it was last year when, if one was out, the other one would step in. “It’s not often you get four, five or six players on fire in a season and it’s not materialised this year through injuries and other things, but they’ve got people like Callum McGregor and James Forrest who have taken up the mantle and keep it going.” Highlights of Strachan’s involvement with Hampden Park inevitably include his Scotland side’s 2-2 draw with England in last season’s World Cup qualifier, when Griffiths scored a brace of spectacular free kicks. “There’s a case for Griff, because he’s never let Celtic down when he’s played. He’s become far better in the air over the last three or four years. You need to be brave to do that and he has taken things in from managers over the last three or four years that have made him a better player.” As for Saturday’s semi-final, Strachan praised both contenders for their efforts against the odds. “Aberdeen over the last three years are probably the only team that has given Celtic a challenge of some sort, although it didn’t work out the way Aberdeen would have liked,” he said. “For their hard work over the years under Derek McInnes and his team you would maybe like to see them getting something, but I am not biased for any team. Motherwell would be unwise to take on teams who are superior in other ways, but they have found a way to make it hard for teams. They enjoy what they do and they seem to take a pride in making it difficult, which in itself is a great thing.” Gordon Strachan was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup.
Gordon Strachan fears Old Firm repeat of Liverpool bus attack
The attack on Manchester City’s team bus before last week’s Champions League quarter-final in Liverpool showed why the final Old Firm derby of the season should not offer Celtic the chance to secure their seventh successive Scottish title, according to Gordon Strachan. Strachan, who was Celtic manager between 2005 and 2009, agreed with the contention of his current successor, Brendan Rodgers that, in an ideal situation, a meeting of the country’s biggest clubs would be the desirable climax of the league campaign, but he cited events on Merseyside as reason to err on the side of prudence. “We’d all like that as we enjoyed the Manchester City v Manchester United game, but this is a game where we want to showcase Scotland as well and unfortunately we saw scenes last week at Liverpool,” Strachan said. “It was a wonderful game of football and what we ended up talking about was a bus getting attacked. It was a horrible sight. I hope that never happens here but it can and that’s why government and police think we maybe can’t take that gamble. “It wasn’t a surprise to me because I was on a bus which was attacked with CS gas at a Manchester United v Liverpool game and we got a brick thrown at the bus. It’s frightening when it happens. Nobody knew it was coming last week and if you take it for granted then something like that might happen here. “When you see the Liverpool scenes then you think, ‘Hmm - I don’t want that coming from my country’.” Before the SPFL embarks upon its post-split schedule, another Old Firm collision will occur at Hampden Park, which hosts this weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals. On Saturday, another of Strachan’s former clubs, Aberdeen, will meet Motherwell, followed by Celtic v Rangers on Sunday. Celtic, of course, are bidding for a second successive clean sweep of the Scottish honours, and a victory on Sunday would effectively bring them to within one victory of that feat, given the inevitability of another title win, but Strachan declared that the Hoops have had to work harder for reward in this campaign. “Last year anything that went into the box was going into the back of the net,” he said. “It’s not been easy this year. Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths have been injured. The magic from these two has not been there as consistently as it was last year when, if one was out, the other one would step in. “It’s not often you get four, five or six players on fire in a season and it’s not materialised this year through injuries and other things, but they’ve got people like Callum McGregor and James Forrest who have taken up the mantle and keep it going.” Highlights of Strachan’s involvement with Hampden Park inevitably include his Scotland side’s 2-2 draw with England in last season’s World Cup qualifier, when Griffiths scored a brace of spectacular free kicks. “There’s a case for Griff, because he’s never let Celtic down when he’s played. He’s become far better in the air over the last three or four years. You need to be brave to do that and he has taken things in from managers over the last three or four years that have made him a better player.” As for Saturday’s semi-final, Strachan praised both contenders for their efforts against the odds. “Aberdeen over the last three years are probably the only team that has given Celtic a challenge of some sort, although it didn’t work out the way Aberdeen would have liked,” he said. “For their hard work over the years under Derek McInnes and his team you would maybe like to see them getting something, but I am not biased for any team. Motherwell would be unwise to take on teams who are superior in other ways, but they have found a way to make it hard for teams. They enjoy what they do and they seem to take a pride in making it difficult, which in itself is a great thing.” Gordon Strachan was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup.
Far from being troubled if he sees some of his players close to meltdown before next week’s Old Firm collision at Hampden Park, Graeme Murty will be relieved that Rangers’ build-up is going to plan. The William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be the Ibrox club’s last chance to prevent Celtic closing in on the unprecedented achievement of consecutive domestic trebles. For Murty, the looming showdown has evoked recollections of the mind games he employed as a footballer, ahead of such occasions. “As a player, I knew how to get myself to that state - I performed best about three or four percent short of panic,” he disclosed. “Anything more than that and I was too hyper and expended my energy straight away, which can happen in big games. Anything less than that and I felt really lethargic. You need to get yourself right into that zone to give yourself the best chance of performing, regardless of all the stuff around it. “You have to be walk on to that football pitch ready, prepped and at the right state of arousal to go and hit max and it’s our job to make sure that the players do that. I’ll be trying to get myself to that state on the side line.” Murty has a mixed record in charge of Rangers against the Hoops. In his first spell as interim manager, between the tenures of Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha he left Parkhead with an unexpected share of the points after a 1-1 draw and he repeated the feat in a goalless encounter in December. Murty wants his Rangers players to get into battle mode for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic Credit: PA A run of good form going into the most recent derby extended as far as Rangers going 1-0 up at Ibrox last month, an occurrence which almost overwhelmed Murty. “I must say that I’ve never experienced anything like the noise that hit me when we scored the goal after three or four minutes,” he said. “Being that bit removed at Hampden, where you’re further away from the crowd, I believe will allow me a bit more clarity in my thoughts to concentrate on remaining calm and giving the guys what they need if that’s what I need to do. Other than that, it will be a new experience for me. I’ll be like a sponge, I’ll soak everything up and hopefully the output will match the needs of the tie.” Asked if he felt that Rangers had been overconfident ahead of the game on March 11, Murty said: “I’m not sure our approach was any different. People came into the ground who had seen us in good form. They’d seen us score lots of goals and we were quite open. “We went toe to toe with Celtic in a football match to try to get one over on them. I thought that we represented most of our values quite well, although we didn’t come up with a positive result. “We have to make sure our level of performance matches the game plan. We have to be better at matching their threats because they have quality players all over the pitch. We have to understand that and adjust our game accordingly. “A clean sheet would be fantastic. So same again, because I’ve got no doubt that we possess the ability to go and hurt them, but they have such good players and I’m not sure how many others in the league could go and score a goal like Rogic scored. Rangers swept Dundee aside at Ibrox Credit: PA “We have to be tighter. We have to be more compact without the ball, while still posing them the threat that we did with the ball. But for the width of a goalpost, everything could be very, very different right now.” Rangers got their first league win since before the March derby when they rolled over Dundee at Ibrox. The Dens Park side travelled to Glasgow for the second time in three days, buoyed by their goalless draw against Celtic on Wednesday, but fell behind to a Kenny Miller goal before the break and were buried afterwards by strikes from Alfredo Morelos, Jamie Murphy and Daniel Candeias. The win put Rangers back in second place in the table, ahead of Aberdeen on goal difference after the Dons lost to Hearts at Tynecastle, where Steven Naismith and David Milinkovic were the scorers. Elsewhere, Partick Thistle are a point adrift of Ross County at the bottom. The Jags lost 1-0 at home to Stuart Findlay’s goal for Kilmarnock, while Billy McKay put County ahead against Hibs in Dingwall, before Oli Shaw’s late equaliser. The only goalless game of the day in the Scottish Premiership was between St Johnstone and Motherwell in Perth. Celtic can go 13 points clear with five games left if they beat Accies in Sunday's lunchtime kick-off at Hamilton.
Graeme Murty turns attention to Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic after Rangers sweep Dundee aside
Far from being troubled if he sees some of his players close to meltdown before next week’s Old Firm collision at Hampden Park, Graeme Murty will be relieved that Rangers’ build-up is going to plan. The William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be the Ibrox club’s last chance to prevent Celtic closing in on the unprecedented achievement of consecutive domestic trebles. For Murty, the looming showdown has evoked recollections of the mind games he employed as a footballer, ahead of such occasions. “As a player, I knew how to get myself to that state - I performed best about three or four percent short of panic,” he disclosed. “Anything more than that and I was too hyper and expended my energy straight away, which can happen in big games. Anything less than that and I felt really lethargic. You need to get yourself right into that zone to give yourself the best chance of performing, regardless of all the stuff around it. “You have to be walk on to that football pitch ready, prepped and at the right state of arousal to go and hit max and it’s our job to make sure that the players do that. I’ll be trying to get myself to that state on the side line.” Murty has a mixed record in charge of Rangers against the Hoops. In his first spell as interim manager, between the tenures of Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha he left Parkhead with an unexpected share of the points after a 1-1 draw and he repeated the feat in a goalless encounter in December. Murty wants his Rangers players to get into battle mode for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic Credit: PA A run of good form going into the most recent derby extended as far as Rangers going 1-0 up at Ibrox last month, an occurrence which almost overwhelmed Murty. “I must say that I’ve never experienced anything like the noise that hit me when we scored the goal after three or four minutes,” he said. “Being that bit removed at Hampden, where you’re further away from the crowd, I believe will allow me a bit more clarity in my thoughts to concentrate on remaining calm and giving the guys what they need if that’s what I need to do. Other than that, it will be a new experience for me. I’ll be like a sponge, I’ll soak everything up and hopefully the output will match the needs of the tie.” Asked if he felt that Rangers had been overconfident ahead of the game on March 11, Murty said: “I’m not sure our approach was any different. People came into the ground who had seen us in good form. They’d seen us score lots of goals and we were quite open. “We went toe to toe with Celtic in a football match to try to get one over on them. I thought that we represented most of our values quite well, although we didn’t come up with a positive result. “We have to make sure our level of performance matches the game plan. We have to be better at matching their threats because they have quality players all over the pitch. We have to understand that and adjust our game accordingly. “A clean sheet would be fantastic. So same again, because I’ve got no doubt that we possess the ability to go and hurt them, but they have such good players and I’m not sure how many others in the league could go and score a goal like Rogic scored. Rangers swept Dundee aside at Ibrox Credit: PA “We have to be tighter. We have to be more compact without the ball, while still posing them the threat that we did with the ball. But for the width of a goalpost, everything could be very, very different right now.” Rangers got their first league win since before the March derby when they rolled over Dundee at Ibrox. The Dens Park side travelled to Glasgow for the second time in three days, buoyed by their goalless draw against Celtic on Wednesday, but fell behind to a Kenny Miller goal before the break and were buried afterwards by strikes from Alfredo Morelos, Jamie Murphy and Daniel Candeias. The win put Rangers back in second place in the table, ahead of Aberdeen on goal difference after the Dons lost to Hearts at Tynecastle, where Steven Naismith and David Milinkovic were the scorers. Elsewhere, Partick Thistle are a point adrift of Ross County at the bottom. The Jags lost 1-0 at home to Stuart Findlay’s goal for Kilmarnock, while Billy McKay put County ahead against Hibs in Dingwall, before Oli Shaw’s late equaliser. The only goalless game of the day in the Scottish Premiership was between St Johnstone and Motherwell in Perth. Celtic can go 13 points clear with five games left if they beat Accies in Sunday's lunchtime kick-off at Hamilton.
Far from being troubled if he sees some of his players close to meltdown before next week’s Old Firm collision at Hampden Park, Graeme Murty will be relieved that Rangers’ build-up is going to plan. The William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be the Ibrox club’s last chance to prevent Celtic closing in on the unprecedented achievement of consecutive domestic trebles. For Murty, the looming showdown has evoked recollections of the mind games he employed as a footballer, ahead of such occasions. “As a player, I knew how to get myself to that state - I performed best about three or four percent short of panic,” he disclosed. “Anything more than that and I was too hyper and expended my energy straight away, which can happen in big games. Anything less than that and I felt really lethargic. You need to get yourself right into that zone to give yourself the best chance of performing, regardless of all the stuff around it. “You have to be walk on to that football pitch ready, prepped and at the right state of arousal to go and hit max and it’s our job to make sure that the players do that. I’ll be trying to get myself to that state on the side line.” Murty has a mixed record in charge of Rangers against the Hoops. In his first spell as interim manager, between the tenures of Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha he left Parkhead with an unexpected share of the points after a 1-1 draw and he repeated the feat in a goalless encounter in December. Murty wants his Rangers players to get into battle mode for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic Credit: PA A run of good form going into the most recent derby extended as far as Rangers going 1-0 up at Ibrox last month, an occurrence which almost overwhelmed Murty. “I must say that I’ve never experienced anything like the noise that hit me when we scored the goal after three or four minutes,” he said. “Being that bit removed at Hampden, where you’re further away from the crowd, I believe will allow me a bit more clarity in my thoughts to concentrate on remaining calm and giving the guys what they need if that’s what I need to do. Other than that, it will be a new experience for me. I’ll be like a sponge, I’ll soak everything up and hopefully the output will match the needs of the tie.” Asked if he felt that Rangers had been overconfident ahead of the game on March 11, Murty said: “I’m not sure our approach was any different. People came into the ground who had seen us in good form. They’d seen us score lots of goals and we were quite open. “We went toe to toe with Celtic in a football match to try to get one over on them. I thought that we represented most of our values quite well, although we didn’t come up with a positive result. “We have to make sure our level of performance matches the game plan. We have to be better at matching their threats because they have quality players all over the pitch. We have to understand that and adjust our game accordingly. “A clean sheet would be fantastic. So same again, because I’ve got no doubt that we possess the ability to go and hurt them, but they have such good players and I’m not sure how many others in the league could go and score a goal like Rogic scored. Rangers swept Dundee aside at Ibrox Credit: PA “We have to be tighter. We have to be more compact without the ball, while still posing them the threat that we did with the ball. But for the width of a goalpost, everything could be very, very different right now.” Rangers got their first league win since before the March derby when they rolled over Dundee at Ibrox. The Dens Park side travelled to Glasgow for the second time in three days, buoyed by their goalless draw against Celtic on Wednesday, but fell behind to a Kenny Miller goal before the break and were buried afterwards by strikes from Alfredo Morelos, Jamie Murphy and Daniel Candeias. The win put Rangers back in second place in the table, ahead of Aberdeen on goal difference after the Dons lost to Hearts at Tynecastle, where Steven Naismith and David Milinkovic were the scorers. Elsewhere, Partick Thistle are a point adrift of Ross County at the bottom. The Jags lost 1-0 at home to Stuart Findlay’s goal for Kilmarnock, while Billy McKay put County ahead against Hibs in Dingwall, before Oli Shaw’s late equaliser. The only goalless game of the day in the Scottish Premiership was between St Johnstone and Motherwell in Perth. Celtic can go 13 points clear with five games left if they beat Accies in Sunday's lunchtime kick-off at Hamilton.
Graeme Murty turns attention to Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic after Rangers sweep Dundee aside
Far from being troubled if he sees some of his players close to meltdown before next week’s Old Firm collision at Hampden Park, Graeme Murty will be relieved that Rangers’ build-up is going to plan. The William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be the Ibrox club’s last chance to prevent Celtic closing in on the unprecedented achievement of consecutive domestic trebles. For Murty, the looming showdown has evoked recollections of the mind games he employed as a footballer, ahead of such occasions. “As a player, I knew how to get myself to that state - I performed best about three or four percent short of panic,” he disclosed. “Anything more than that and I was too hyper and expended my energy straight away, which can happen in big games. Anything less than that and I felt really lethargic. You need to get yourself right into that zone to give yourself the best chance of performing, regardless of all the stuff around it. “You have to be walk on to that football pitch ready, prepped and at the right state of arousal to go and hit max and it’s our job to make sure that the players do that. I’ll be trying to get myself to that state on the side line.” Murty has a mixed record in charge of Rangers against the Hoops. In his first spell as interim manager, between the tenures of Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha he left Parkhead with an unexpected share of the points after a 1-1 draw and he repeated the feat in a goalless encounter in December. Murty wants his Rangers players to get into battle mode for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic Credit: PA A run of good form going into the most recent derby extended as far as Rangers going 1-0 up at Ibrox last month, an occurrence which almost overwhelmed Murty. “I must say that I’ve never experienced anything like the noise that hit me when we scored the goal after three or four minutes,” he said. “Being that bit removed at Hampden, where you’re further away from the crowd, I believe will allow me a bit more clarity in my thoughts to concentrate on remaining calm and giving the guys what they need if that’s what I need to do. Other than that, it will be a new experience for me. I’ll be like a sponge, I’ll soak everything up and hopefully the output will match the needs of the tie.” Asked if he felt that Rangers had been overconfident ahead of the game on March 11, Murty said: “I’m not sure our approach was any different. People came into the ground who had seen us in good form. They’d seen us score lots of goals and we were quite open. “We went toe to toe with Celtic in a football match to try to get one over on them. I thought that we represented most of our values quite well, although we didn’t come up with a positive result. “We have to make sure our level of performance matches the game plan. We have to be better at matching their threats because they have quality players all over the pitch. We have to understand that and adjust our game accordingly. “A clean sheet would be fantastic. So same again, because I’ve got no doubt that we possess the ability to go and hurt them, but they have such good players and I’m not sure how many others in the league could go and score a goal like Rogic scored. Rangers swept Dundee aside at Ibrox Credit: PA “We have to be tighter. We have to be more compact without the ball, while still posing them the threat that we did with the ball. But for the width of a goalpost, everything could be very, very different right now.” Rangers got their first league win since before the March derby when they rolled over Dundee at Ibrox. The Dens Park side travelled to Glasgow for the second time in three days, buoyed by their goalless draw against Celtic on Wednesday, but fell behind to a Kenny Miller goal before the break and were buried afterwards by strikes from Alfredo Morelos, Jamie Murphy and Daniel Candeias. The win put Rangers back in second place in the table, ahead of Aberdeen on goal difference after the Dons lost to Hearts at Tynecastle, where Steven Naismith and David Milinkovic were the scorers. Elsewhere, Partick Thistle are a point adrift of Ross County at the bottom. The Jags lost 1-0 at home to Stuart Findlay’s goal for Kilmarnock, while Billy McKay put County ahead against Hibs in Dingwall, before Oli Shaw’s late equaliser. The only goalless game of the day in the Scottish Premiership was between St Johnstone and Motherwell in Perth. Celtic can go 13 points clear with five games left if they beat Accies in Sunday's lunchtime kick-off at Hamilton.
Far from being troubled if he sees some of his players close to meltdown before next week’s Old Firm collision at Hampden Park, Graeme Murty will be relieved that Rangers’ build-up is going to plan. The William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be the Ibrox club’s last chance to prevent Celtic closing in on the unprecedented achievement of consecutive domestic trebles. For Murty, the looming showdown has evoked recollections of the mind games he employed as a footballer, ahead of such occasions. “As a player, I knew how to get myself to that state - I performed best about three or four percent short of panic,” he disclosed. “Anything more than that and I was too hyper and expended my energy straight away, which can happen in big games. Anything less than that and I felt really lethargic. You need to get yourself right into that zone to give yourself the best chance of performing, regardless of all the stuff around it. “You have to be walk on to that football pitch ready, prepped and at the right state of arousal to go and hit max and it’s our job to make sure that the players do that. I’ll be trying to get myself to that state on the side line.” Murty has a mixed record in charge of Rangers against the Hoops. In his first spell as interim manager, between the tenures of Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha he left Parkhead with an unexpected share of the points after a 1-1 draw and he repeated the feat in a goalless encounter in December. Murty wants his Rangers players to get into battle mode for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic Credit: PA A run of good form going into the most recent derby extended as far as Rangers going 1-0 up at Ibrox last month, an occurrence which almost overwhelmed Murty. “I must say that I’ve never experienced anything like the noise that hit me when we scored the goal after three or four minutes,” he said. “Being that bit removed at Hampden, where you’re further away from the crowd, I believe will allow me a bit more clarity in my thoughts to concentrate on remaining calm and giving the guys what they need if that’s what I need to do. Other than that, it will be a new experience for me. I’ll be like a sponge, I’ll soak everything up and hopefully the output will match the needs of the tie.” Asked if he felt that Rangers had been overconfident ahead of the game on March 11, Murty said: “I’m not sure our approach was any different. People came into the ground who had seen us in good form. They’d seen us score lots of goals and we were quite open. “We went toe to toe with Celtic in a football match to try to get one over on them. I thought that we represented most of our values quite well, although we didn’t come up with a positive result. “We have to make sure our level of performance matches the game plan. We have to be better at matching their threats because they have quality players all over the pitch. We have to understand that and adjust our game accordingly. “A clean sheet would be fantastic. So same again, because I’ve got no doubt that we possess the ability to go and hurt them, but they have such good players and I’m not sure how many others in the league could go and score a goal like Rogic scored. Rangers swept Dundee aside at Ibrox Credit: PA “We have to be tighter. We have to be more compact without the ball, while still posing them the threat that we did with the ball. But for the width of a goalpost, everything could be very, very different right now.” Rangers got their first league win since before the March derby when they rolled over Dundee at Ibrox. The Dens Park side travelled to Glasgow for the second time in three days, buoyed by their goalless draw against Celtic on Wednesday, but fell behind to a Kenny Miller goal before the break and were buried afterwards by strikes from Alfredo Morelos, Jamie Murphy and Daniel Candeias. The win put Rangers back in second place in the table, ahead of Aberdeen on goal difference after the Dons lost to Hearts at Tynecastle, where Steven Naismith and David Milinkovic were the scorers. Elsewhere, Partick Thistle are a point adrift of Ross County at the bottom. The Jags lost 1-0 at home to Stuart Findlay’s goal for Kilmarnock, while Billy McKay put County ahead against Hibs in Dingwall, before Oli Shaw’s late equaliser. The only goalless game of the day in the Scottish Premiership was between St Johnstone and Motherwell in Perth. Celtic can go 13 points clear with five games left if they beat Accies in Sunday's lunchtime kick-off at Hamilton.
Graeme Murty turns attention to Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic after Rangers sweep Dundee aside
Far from being troubled if he sees some of his players close to meltdown before next week’s Old Firm collision at Hampden Park, Graeme Murty will be relieved that Rangers’ build-up is going to plan. The William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be the Ibrox club’s last chance to prevent Celtic closing in on the unprecedented achievement of consecutive domestic trebles. For Murty, the looming showdown has evoked recollections of the mind games he employed as a footballer, ahead of such occasions. “As a player, I knew how to get myself to that state - I performed best about three or four percent short of panic,” he disclosed. “Anything more than that and I was too hyper and expended my energy straight away, which can happen in big games. Anything less than that and I felt really lethargic. You need to get yourself right into that zone to give yourself the best chance of performing, regardless of all the stuff around it. “You have to be walk on to that football pitch ready, prepped and at the right state of arousal to go and hit max and it’s our job to make sure that the players do that. I’ll be trying to get myself to that state on the side line.” Murty has a mixed record in charge of Rangers against the Hoops. In his first spell as interim manager, between the tenures of Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha he left Parkhead with an unexpected share of the points after a 1-1 draw and he repeated the feat in a goalless encounter in December. Murty wants his Rangers players to get into battle mode for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic Credit: PA A run of good form going into the most recent derby extended as far as Rangers going 1-0 up at Ibrox last month, an occurrence which almost overwhelmed Murty. “I must say that I’ve never experienced anything like the noise that hit me when we scored the goal after three or four minutes,” he said. “Being that bit removed at Hampden, where you’re further away from the crowd, I believe will allow me a bit more clarity in my thoughts to concentrate on remaining calm and giving the guys what they need if that’s what I need to do. Other than that, it will be a new experience for me. I’ll be like a sponge, I’ll soak everything up and hopefully the output will match the needs of the tie.” Asked if he felt that Rangers had been overconfident ahead of the game on March 11, Murty said: “I’m not sure our approach was any different. People came into the ground who had seen us in good form. They’d seen us score lots of goals and we were quite open. “We went toe to toe with Celtic in a football match to try to get one over on them. I thought that we represented most of our values quite well, although we didn’t come up with a positive result. “We have to make sure our level of performance matches the game plan. We have to be better at matching their threats because they have quality players all over the pitch. We have to understand that and adjust our game accordingly. “A clean sheet would be fantastic. So same again, because I’ve got no doubt that we possess the ability to go and hurt them, but they have such good players and I’m not sure how many others in the league could go and score a goal like Rogic scored. Rangers swept Dundee aside at Ibrox Credit: PA “We have to be tighter. We have to be more compact without the ball, while still posing them the threat that we did with the ball. But for the width of a goalpost, everything could be very, very different right now.” Rangers got their first league win since before the March derby when they rolled over Dundee at Ibrox. The Dens Park side travelled to Glasgow for the second time in three days, buoyed by their goalless draw against Celtic on Wednesday, but fell behind to a Kenny Miller goal before the break and were buried afterwards by strikes from Alfredo Morelos, Jamie Murphy and Daniel Candeias. The win put Rangers back in second place in the table, ahead of Aberdeen on goal difference after the Dons lost to Hearts at Tynecastle, where Steven Naismith and David Milinkovic were the scorers. Elsewhere, Partick Thistle are a point adrift of Ross County at the bottom. The Jags lost 1-0 at home to Stuart Findlay’s goal for Kilmarnock, while Billy McKay put County ahead against Hibs in Dingwall, before Oli Shaw’s late equaliser. The only goalless game of the day in the Scottish Premiership was between St Johnstone and Motherwell in Perth. Celtic can go 13 points clear with five games left if they beat Accies in Sunday's lunchtime kick-off at Hamilton.
Neil McCann has never earned a living in the freight transfer business, but he has the character for it, to judge by the ease with which the Dundee manager dispatched a sizeable chunk of baggage to his opposite number at Ibrox. Dundee have taken two points from a possible nine in their three most recent outings and would be in immediate peril of dropping into the Scottish Premiership play-off place had it not been for Partick Thistle’s midweek defeat at Ross County, which has opened a four-point gap between the two bottom clubs and the Dens Park side. Rangers, meanwhile, have shed eight points in three games against Celtic, Kilmarnock and Motherwell and have slipped back to third in the table, a circumstance which McCann interpreted in terms of the stress borne by Graeme Murty, who is in charge at Ibrox on an interim basis. “I’d imagine Graeme would be under an enormous amount of pressure because it’s a short-term appointment,” McCann said. “The expectation levels at Rangers are enormous anyway so he probably has to get results quicker. McCann was encouraged by Dundee's display at Celtic Park Credit: PA “I certainly think he has grown into that job since the last time he was here and we beat them (in November). He probably looks a little more comfortable in his own skin as being Rangers manager. To be a manager of an Old Firm team, I can only imagine it must be an incredible thing to deal with.” Ahead of Dundee’s visit to Ibrox on Saturday, McCann has been buoyed by his players’ sound showing in Wednesday’s goalless draw at Celtic Park, where Murty was impressed by their display. “Dundee were excellent at Celtic Park in midweek,” said the Rangers manager. “Their organisation, structure, intensity and work rate for one another was great and they caused Celtic a threat at times so we have to be aware of what they’re going to do, but we have to go and push the issue and press the game and make sure we play the right intensity and tempo to put them on the back foot and make them as uncomfortable as possible.” Aberdeen leapfrogged Rangers into second place in midweek and, given that the aim specified by the Ibrox chairman, Dave King, was to finish midway between the Dons and Celtic, Murty has a daunting task to achieve that target, especially after having had to berate his players at half-time at Motherwell last week, before they recovered to earn a 2-2 draw. “I think it will go down to the wire,” he said. “Everyone is playing well and everyone is capable of beating one another. It’s good for the league, it’s really good for the neutral. Murty's Rangers side have slipped back to the third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: PA “I don’t think it’s necessarily good for the managers in terms of stress levels, but it’s the most competitive it’s been in a while. Sometimes you are scratching your head as to why it doesn’t translate into a good performance.” In Rangers’ case, one obvious factor was defeat by the odd goal in five to a Celtic side reduced to 10 men in the Old Firm derby last month. “Given the expectancy in the air going into the game - from the players, from the fans, from Ibrox - going up twice and coming away with a negative in that game has possibly had more of an impact that we had foreseen,” Murty said. “But we have to reinforce the players’ belief in one another in themselves and what we’re doing to continue our journey on an upward path.” Since he was asked to take charge of the team until the end of the season, after the hapless Pedro Caixinha was sacked in October, Murty has presented a courteous and level-headed demeanour, both to the public and his players. The notion that he is perennially mild-mannered, though, evaporated during his interval rant at Fir Park, following an embarrassing display of ineptitude which Motherwell exploited to take a 2-0 lead. “That’s a side they wouldn’t have seen of me,” he said. “We’re all capable of being many different people. You have to be able to utilise the right tool for the right situation and the time was right I felt to be a wee bit angry. “It hasn’t been necessary before. When I’ve had to change things before it’s been more tactical or personnel based. “I just felt we didn’t stand up to the challenge in the first half and I said to the players they had to step up because I couldn’t do it for them. You can cajole and change shape structurally but once they cross the white line the players have to step up and do it because I can’t pass the ball and put it in the net for them.”
Dundee manager Neil McCann happy to let Rangers' Graeme Murty take the pressure ahead of Ibrox game
Neil McCann has never earned a living in the freight transfer business, but he has the character for it, to judge by the ease with which the Dundee manager dispatched a sizeable chunk of baggage to his opposite number at Ibrox. Dundee have taken two points from a possible nine in their three most recent outings and would be in immediate peril of dropping into the Scottish Premiership play-off place had it not been for Partick Thistle’s midweek defeat at Ross County, which has opened a four-point gap between the two bottom clubs and the Dens Park side. Rangers, meanwhile, have shed eight points in three games against Celtic, Kilmarnock and Motherwell and have slipped back to third in the table, a circumstance which McCann interpreted in terms of the stress borne by Graeme Murty, who is in charge at Ibrox on an interim basis. “I’d imagine Graeme would be under an enormous amount of pressure because it’s a short-term appointment,” McCann said. “The expectation levels at Rangers are enormous anyway so he probably has to get results quicker. McCann was encouraged by Dundee's display at Celtic Park Credit: PA “I certainly think he has grown into that job since the last time he was here and we beat them (in November). He probably looks a little more comfortable in his own skin as being Rangers manager. To be a manager of an Old Firm team, I can only imagine it must be an incredible thing to deal with.” Ahead of Dundee’s visit to Ibrox on Saturday, McCann has been buoyed by his players’ sound showing in Wednesday’s goalless draw at Celtic Park, where Murty was impressed by their display. “Dundee were excellent at Celtic Park in midweek,” said the Rangers manager. “Their organisation, structure, intensity and work rate for one another was great and they caused Celtic a threat at times so we have to be aware of what they’re going to do, but we have to go and push the issue and press the game and make sure we play the right intensity and tempo to put them on the back foot and make them as uncomfortable as possible.” Aberdeen leapfrogged Rangers into second place in midweek and, given that the aim specified by the Ibrox chairman, Dave King, was to finish midway between the Dons and Celtic, Murty has a daunting task to achieve that target, especially after having had to berate his players at half-time at Motherwell last week, before they recovered to earn a 2-2 draw. “I think it will go down to the wire,” he said. “Everyone is playing well and everyone is capable of beating one another. It’s good for the league, it’s really good for the neutral. Murty's Rangers side have slipped back to the third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: PA “I don’t think it’s necessarily good for the managers in terms of stress levels, but it’s the most competitive it’s been in a while. Sometimes you are scratching your head as to why it doesn’t translate into a good performance.” In Rangers’ case, one obvious factor was defeat by the odd goal in five to a Celtic side reduced to 10 men in the Old Firm derby last month. “Given the expectancy in the air going into the game - from the players, from the fans, from Ibrox - going up twice and coming away with a negative in that game has possibly had more of an impact that we had foreseen,” Murty said. “But we have to reinforce the players’ belief in one another in themselves and what we’re doing to continue our journey on an upward path.” Since he was asked to take charge of the team until the end of the season, after the hapless Pedro Caixinha was sacked in October, Murty has presented a courteous and level-headed demeanour, both to the public and his players. The notion that he is perennially mild-mannered, though, evaporated during his interval rant at Fir Park, following an embarrassing display of ineptitude which Motherwell exploited to take a 2-0 lead. “That’s a side they wouldn’t have seen of me,” he said. “We’re all capable of being many different people. You have to be able to utilise the right tool for the right situation and the time was right I felt to be a wee bit angry. “It hasn’t been necessary before. When I’ve had to change things before it’s been more tactical or personnel based. “I just felt we didn’t stand up to the challenge in the first half and I said to the players they had to step up because I couldn’t do it for them. You can cajole and change shape structurally but once they cross the white line the players have to step up and do it because I can’t pass the ball and put it in the net for them.”
Neil McCann has never earned a living in the freight transfer business, but he has the character for it, to judge by the ease with which the Dundee manager dispatched a sizeable chunk of baggage to his opposite number at Ibrox. Dundee have taken two points from a possible nine in their three most recent outings and would be in immediate peril of dropping into the Scottish Premiership play-off place had it not been for Partick Thistle’s midweek defeat at Ross County, which has opened a four-point gap between the two bottom clubs and the Dens Park side. Rangers, meanwhile, have shed eight points in three games against Celtic, Kilmarnock and Motherwell and have slipped back to third in the table, a circumstance which McCann interpreted in terms of the stress borne by Graeme Murty, who is in charge at Ibrox on an interim basis. “I’d imagine Graeme would be under an enormous amount of pressure because it’s a short-term appointment,” McCann said. “The expectation levels at Rangers are enormous anyway so he probably has to get results quicker. McCann was encouraged by Dundee's display at Celtic Park Credit: PA “I certainly think he has grown into that job since the last time he was here and we beat them (in November). He probably looks a little more comfortable in his own skin as being Rangers manager. To be a manager of an Old Firm team, I can only imagine it must be an incredible thing to deal with.” Ahead of Dundee’s visit to Ibrox on Saturday, McCann has been buoyed by his players’ sound showing in Wednesday’s goalless draw at Celtic Park, where Murty was impressed by their display. “Dundee were excellent at Celtic Park in midweek,” said the Rangers manager. “Their organisation, structure, intensity and work rate for one another was great and they caused Celtic a threat at times so we have to be aware of what they’re going to do, but we have to go and push the issue and press the game and make sure we play the right intensity and tempo to put them on the back foot and make them as uncomfortable as possible.” Aberdeen leapfrogged Rangers into second place in midweek and, given that the aim specified by the Ibrox chairman, Dave King, was to finish midway between the Dons and Celtic, Murty has a daunting task to achieve that target, especially after having had to berate his players at half-time at Motherwell last week, before they recovered to earn a 2-2 draw. “I think it will go down to the wire,” he said. “Everyone is playing well and everyone is capable of beating one another. It’s good for the league, it’s really good for the neutral. Murty's Rangers side have slipped back to the third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: PA “I don’t think it’s necessarily good for the managers in terms of stress levels, but it’s the most competitive it’s been in a while. Sometimes you are scratching your head as to why it doesn’t translate into a good performance.” In Rangers’ case, one obvious factor was defeat by the odd goal in five to a Celtic side reduced to 10 men in the Old Firm derby last month. “Given the expectancy in the air going into the game - from the players, from the fans, from Ibrox - going up twice and coming away with a negative in that game has possibly had more of an impact that we had foreseen,” Murty said. “But we have to reinforce the players’ belief in one another in themselves and what we’re doing to continue our journey on an upward path.” Since he was asked to take charge of the team until the end of the season, after the hapless Pedro Caixinha was sacked in October, Murty has presented a courteous and level-headed demeanour, both to the public and his players. The notion that he is perennially mild-mannered, though, evaporated during his interval rant at Fir Park, following an embarrassing display of ineptitude which Motherwell exploited to take a 2-0 lead. “That’s a side they wouldn’t have seen of me,” he said. “We’re all capable of being many different people. You have to be able to utilise the right tool for the right situation and the time was right I felt to be a wee bit angry. “It hasn’t been necessary before. When I’ve had to change things before it’s been more tactical or personnel based. “I just felt we didn’t stand up to the challenge in the first half and I said to the players they had to step up because I couldn’t do it for them. You can cajole and change shape structurally but once they cross the white line the players have to step up and do it because I can’t pass the ball and put it in the net for them.”
Dundee manager Neil McCann happy to let Rangers' Graeme Murty take the pressure ahead of Ibrox game
Neil McCann has never earned a living in the freight transfer business, but he has the character for it, to judge by the ease with which the Dundee manager dispatched a sizeable chunk of baggage to his opposite number at Ibrox. Dundee have taken two points from a possible nine in their three most recent outings and would be in immediate peril of dropping into the Scottish Premiership play-off place had it not been for Partick Thistle’s midweek defeat at Ross County, which has opened a four-point gap between the two bottom clubs and the Dens Park side. Rangers, meanwhile, have shed eight points in three games against Celtic, Kilmarnock and Motherwell and have slipped back to third in the table, a circumstance which McCann interpreted in terms of the stress borne by Graeme Murty, who is in charge at Ibrox on an interim basis. “I’d imagine Graeme would be under an enormous amount of pressure because it’s a short-term appointment,” McCann said. “The expectation levels at Rangers are enormous anyway so he probably has to get results quicker. McCann was encouraged by Dundee's display at Celtic Park Credit: PA “I certainly think he has grown into that job since the last time he was here and we beat them (in November). He probably looks a little more comfortable in his own skin as being Rangers manager. To be a manager of an Old Firm team, I can only imagine it must be an incredible thing to deal with.” Ahead of Dundee’s visit to Ibrox on Saturday, McCann has been buoyed by his players’ sound showing in Wednesday’s goalless draw at Celtic Park, where Murty was impressed by their display. “Dundee were excellent at Celtic Park in midweek,” said the Rangers manager. “Their organisation, structure, intensity and work rate for one another was great and they caused Celtic a threat at times so we have to be aware of what they’re going to do, but we have to go and push the issue and press the game and make sure we play the right intensity and tempo to put them on the back foot and make them as uncomfortable as possible.” Aberdeen leapfrogged Rangers into second place in midweek and, given that the aim specified by the Ibrox chairman, Dave King, was to finish midway between the Dons and Celtic, Murty has a daunting task to achieve that target, especially after having had to berate his players at half-time at Motherwell last week, before they recovered to earn a 2-2 draw. “I think it will go down to the wire,” he said. “Everyone is playing well and everyone is capable of beating one another. It’s good for the league, it’s really good for the neutral. Murty's Rangers side have slipped back to the third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: PA “I don’t think it’s necessarily good for the managers in terms of stress levels, but it’s the most competitive it’s been in a while. Sometimes you are scratching your head as to why it doesn’t translate into a good performance.” In Rangers’ case, one obvious factor was defeat by the odd goal in five to a Celtic side reduced to 10 men in the Old Firm derby last month. “Given the expectancy in the air going into the game - from the players, from the fans, from Ibrox - going up twice and coming away with a negative in that game has possibly had more of an impact that we had foreseen,” Murty said. “But we have to reinforce the players’ belief in one another in themselves and what we’re doing to continue our journey on an upward path.” Since he was asked to take charge of the team until the end of the season, after the hapless Pedro Caixinha was sacked in October, Murty has presented a courteous and level-headed demeanour, both to the public and his players. The notion that he is perennially mild-mannered, though, evaporated during his interval rant at Fir Park, following an embarrassing display of ineptitude which Motherwell exploited to take a 2-0 lead. “That’s a side they wouldn’t have seen of me,” he said. “We’re all capable of being many different people. You have to be able to utilise the right tool for the right situation and the time was right I felt to be a wee bit angry. “It hasn’t been necessary before. When I’ve had to change things before it’s been more tactical or personnel based. “I just felt we didn’t stand up to the challenge in the first half and I said to the players they had to step up because I couldn’t do it for them. You can cajole and change shape structurally but once they cross the white line the players have to step up and do it because I can’t pass the ball and put it in the net for them.”
Neil McCann has never earned a living in the freight transfer business, but he has the character for it, to judge by the ease with which the Dundee manager dispatched a sizeable chunk of baggage to his opposite number at Ibrox. Dundee have taken two points from a possible nine in their three most recent outings and would be in immediate peril of dropping into the Scottish Premiership play-off place had it not been for Partick Thistle’s midweek defeat at Ross County, which has opened a four-point gap between the two bottom clubs and the Dens Park side. Rangers, meanwhile, have shed eight points in three games against Celtic, Kilmarnock and Motherwell and have slipped back to third in the table, a circumstance which McCann interpreted in terms of the stress borne by Graeme Murty, who is in charge at Ibrox on an interim basis. “I’d imagine Graeme would be under an enormous amount of pressure because it’s a short-term appointment,” McCann said. “The expectation levels at Rangers are enormous anyway so he probably has to get results quicker. McCann was encouraged by Dundee's display at Celtic Park Credit: PA “I certainly think he has grown into that job since the last time he was here and we beat them (in November). He probably looks a little more comfortable in his own skin as being Rangers manager. To be a manager of an Old Firm team, I can only imagine it must be an incredible thing to deal with.” Ahead of Dundee’s visit to Ibrox on Saturday, McCann has been buoyed by his players’ sound showing in Wednesday’s goalless draw at Celtic Park, where Murty was impressed by their display. “Dundee were excellent at Celtic Park in midweek,” said the Rangers manager. “Their organisation, structure, intensity and work rate for one another was great and they caused Celtic a threat at times so we have to be aware of what they’re going to do, but we have to go and push the issue and press the game and make sure we play the right intensity and tempo to put them on the back foot and make them as uncomfortable as possible.” Aberdeen leapfrogged Rangers into second place in midweek and, given that the aim specified by the Ibrox chairman, Dave King, was to finish midway between the Dons and Celtic, Murty has a daunting task to achieve that target, especially after having had to berate his players at half-time at Motherwell last week, before they recovered to earn a 2-2 draw. “I think it will go down to the wire,” he said. “Everyone is playing well and everyone is capable of beating one another. It’s good for the league, it’s really good for the neutral. Murty's Rangers side have slipped back to the third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: PA “I don’t think it’s necessarily good for the managers in terms of stress levels, but it’s the most competitive it’s been in a while. Sometimes you are scratching your head as to why it doesn’t translate into a good performance.” In Rangers’ case, one obvious factor was defeat by the odd goal in five to a Celtic side reduced to 10 men in the Old Firm derby last month. “Given the expectancy in the air going into the game - from the players, from the fans, from Ibrox - going up twice and coming away with a negative in that game has possibly had more of an impact that we had foreseen,” Murty said. “But we have to reinforce the players’ belief in one another in themselves and what we’re doing to continue our journey on an upward path.” Since he was asked to take charge of the team until the end of the season, after the hapless Pedro Caixinha was sacked in October, Murty has presented a courteous and level-headed demeanour, both to the public and his players. The notion that he is perennially mild-mannered, though, evaporated during his interval rant at Fir Park, following an embarrassing display of ineptitude which Motherwell exploited to take a 2-0 lead. “That’s a side they wouldn’t have seen of me,” he said. “We’re all capable of being many different people. You have to be able to utilise the right tool for the right situation and the time was right I felt to be a wee bit angry. “It hasn’t been necessary before. When I’ve had to change things before it’s been more tactical or personnel based. “I just felt we didn’t stand up to the challenge in the first half and I said to the players they had to step up because I couldn’t do it for them. You can cajole and change shape structurally but once they cross the white line the players have to step up and do it because I can’t pass the ball and put it in the net for them.”
Dundee manager Neil McCann happy to let Rangers' Graeme Murty take the pressure ahead of Ibrox game
Neil McCann has never earned a living in the freight transfer business, but he has the character for it, to judge by the ease with which the Dundee manager dispatched a sizeable chunk of baggage to his opposite number at Ibrox. Dundee have taken two points from a possible nine in their three most recent outings and would be in immediate peril of dropping into the Scottish Premiership play-off place had it not been for Partick Thistle’s midweek defeat at Ross County, which has opened a four-point gap between the two bottom clubs and the Dens Park side. Rangers, meanwhile, have shed eight points in three games against Celtic, Kilmarnock and Motherwell and have slipped back to third in the table, a circumstance which McCann interpreted in terms of the stress borne by Graeme Murty, who is in charge at Ibrox on an interim basis. “I’d imagine Graeme would be under an enormous amount of pressure because it’s a short-term appointment,” McCann said. “The expectation levels at Rangers are enormous anyway so he probably has to get results quicker. McCann was encouraged by Dundee's display at Celtic Park Credit: PA “I certainly think he has grown into that job since the last time he was here and we beat them (in November). He probably looks a little more comfortable in his own skin as being Rangers manager. To be a manager of an Old Firm team, I can only imagine it must be an incredible thing to deal with.” Ahead of Dundee’s visit to Ibrox on Saturday, McCann has been buoyed by his players’ sound showing in Wednesday’s goalless draw at Celtic Park, where Murty was impressed by their display. “Dundee were excellent at Celtic Park in midweek,” said the Rangers manager. “Their organisation, structure, intensity and work rate for one another was great and they caused Celtic a threat at times so we have to be aware of what they’re going to do, but we have to go and push the issue and press the game and make sure we play the right intensity and tempo to put them on the back foot and make them as uncomfortable as possible.” Aberdeen leapfrogged Rangers into second place in midweek and, given that the aim specified by the Ibrox chairman, Dave King, was to finish midway between the Dons and Celtic, Murty has a daunting task to achieve that target, especially after having had to berate his players at half-time at Motherwell last week, before they recovered to earn a 2-2 draw. “I think it will go down to the wire,” he said. “Everyone is playing well and everyone is capable of beating one another. It’s good for the league, it’s really good for the neutral. Murty's Rangers side have slipped back to the third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: PA “I don’t think it’s necessarily good for the managers in terms of stress levels, but it’s the most competitive it’s been in a while. Sometimes you are scratching your head as to why it doesn’t translate into a good performance.” In Rangers’ case, one obvious factor was defeat by the odd goal in five to a Celtic side reduced to 10 men in the Old Firm derby last month. “Given the expectancy in the air going into the game - from the players, from the fans, from Ibrox - going up twice and coming away with a negative in that game has possibly had more of an impact that we had foreseen,” Murty said. “But we have to reinforce the players’ belief in one another in themselves and what we’re doing to continue our journey on an upward path.” Since he was asked to take charge of the team until the end of the season, after the hapless Pedro Caixinha was sacked in October, Murty has presented a courteous and level-headed demeanour, both to the public and his players. The notion that he is perennially mild-mannered, though, evaporated during his interval rant at Fir Park, following an embarrassing display of ineptitude which Motherwell exploited to take a 2-0 lead. “That’s a side they wouldn’t have seen of me,” he said. “We’re all capable of being many different people. You have to be able to utilise the right tool for the right situation and the time was right I felt to be a wee bit angry. “It hasn’t been necessary before. When I’ve had to change things before it’s been more tactical or personnel based. “I just felt we didn’t stand up to the challenge in the first half and I said to the players they had to step up because I couldn’t do it for them. You can cajole and change shape structurally but once they cross the white line the players have to step up and do it because I can’t pass the ball and put it in the net for them.”
Celtic are three victories away from a seventh successive Scottish title. When they secure the prize, the champions might want to strike a personal medal for Scott Brown and engrave it with the Duke of Wellington’s appraisal of Waterloo – “Hard pounding”. Certainly, no player in Scotland is clattered more frequently than the Celtic captain and, while it can be said that in some instances he gets back only what he hands out, an element of vindictiveness has been evident in opponents’ treatment of him in recent weeks. Red cards have been produced for challenges on Brown in three of Celtic’s last four league outings, although one – shown to Cedric Kipre of Motherwell – was rightly reduced to a caution on appeal. The other two, however, went beyond acceptable combativeness, first when Sam Cosgrove scythed the Hoops skipper late in Aberdeen’s 2-0 home defeat last month and then on Saturday when the Ross County captain, Andrew Davies, planted his studs into Brown’s groin as the Celtic man went down in a challenge by Billy McKay shortly before the interval. Davies’ intervention was branded “dangerous” and “disgraceful” by Brendan Rodgers and there was no argument from the Dingwall side. Brown’s midfield colleague, Callum McGregor, meanwhile, observed that it had been pretty well a quotidian afternoon for the 32-year-old. “He’s been doing it for many, many years now at Celtic, but especially the last two seasons,” McRegor said. “He’s a massive inspiration for the boys on the pitch. “To see him getting kicked that many times, people trying to wind him up - he always seems to come out on top. That’s just Broony, the way he is. “I think it was a bad one, from what the boys were saying, so the referee made a good decision. From then on, they were hanging on.” The chances are that County, lodged at the foot of the Scottish Premiership table, would not have left the east end of Glasgow with reward, whatever the circumstances, but Davies’ reckless intervention virtually guaranteed another fruitless afternoon for his team-mates. Already trailing to a Moussa Dembele penalty conversion at the moment of Davies’ dismissal, the Staggies were swiftly dealt another blow by the loss of their goalkeeper, Aaron McCarey, to injury. Scott Fox, who replaced McCarey, did not bound on to the field replete with hope. “It wasn't the ideal time to come off the bench,” Fox said. “Celtic Park is a hard place to go to at the best of times, never mind when you are down to ten men. We stuck at it but Celtic killed the game at 3-0. We just had to look forward to the next game at that point.” Of Davies’ wild lunge at Brown, Fox said: “There was no argument in the changing room at all. It was one where he just rushed in and committed early, where he should maybe have waited. He knows himself it was a red. In the changing-room, he felt like he'd let the boys down.” Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring from the penalty spot to put Celtic ahead against Ross County Credit: PA County were fortunate to sustain comparatively light damage thereafter, in the shape of goals by Stuart Armstrong and Tom Rogic. They even mustered a flurry of upfield forays late in the proceedings, but by that stage the Hoops faithful had calculated that they might be able to celebrate another title success as early as next weekend. If Celtic beat Dundee when they play their postponed fixture on Wednesday and if Rangers and Aberdeen drop points on Saturday, Celtic can annexe the title by beating Hamilton at the Superseal Stadium on Sunday. “When you look at that last period, especially last season, we really had our foot to the floor,” McGregor said. “We won the games and got the title wrapped up. That’s what our aim will be over the next week or so and try to get the title won.” Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers acknowledges the home supporters following their win on Saturday Credit: PA When it was suggested that Brown could duplicate his 2009 accomplishment of winning the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award, McGregor grinned at the notion of so many bruised opponents casting their ballot in favour of his captain. “He’ll never get voted - maybe he needs to calm down a bit,” McGregor said. “I think, if you ask anybody, they will respect what he has done at this club. To be at that level for 10-plus years is incredible. He is a massive inspiration and a great example for our boys. “People actually underestimate how good a player he is. Everybody mentions his work rate and the intensity of everything he does, but he is actually a really good footballer as well. “You can see that in the Champions League games when his pass success rate is always massive. It’s credit to how good a footballer he is.”
Brendan Rodgers blasts 'disgraceful' Andrew Davies after Ross County captain puts boot in on Scott Brown
Celtic are three victories away from a seventh successive Scottish title. When they secure the prize, the champions might want to strike a personal medal for Scott Brown and engrave it with the Duke of Wellington’s appraisal of Waterloo – “Hard pounding”. Certainly, no player in Scotland is clattered more frequently than the Celtic captain and, while it can be said that in some instances he gets back only what he hands out, an element of vindictiveness has been evident in opponents’ treatment of him in recent weeks. Red cards have been produced for challenges on Brown in three of Celtic’s last four league outings, although one – shown to Cedric Kipre of Motherwell – was rightly reduced to a caution on appeal. The other two, however, went beyond acceptable combativeness, first when Sam Cosgrove scythed the Hoops skipper late in Aberdeen’s 2-0 home defeat last month and then on Saturday when the Ross County captain, Andrew Davies, planted his studs into Brown’s groin as the Celtic man went down in a challenge by Billy McKay shortly before the interval. Davies’ intervention was branded “dangerous” and “disgraceful” by Brendan Rodgers and there was no argument from the Dingwall side. Brown’s midfield colleague, Callum McGregor, meanwhile, observed that it had been pretty well a quotidian afternoon for the 32-year-old. “He’s been doing it for many, many years now at Celtic, but especially the last two seasons,” McRegor said. “He’s a massive inspiration for the boys on the pitch. “To see him getting kicked that many times, people trying to wind him up - he always seems to come out on top. That’s just Broony, the way he is. “I think it was a bad one, from what the boys were saying, so the referee made a good decision. From then on, they were hanging on.” The chances are that County, lodged at the foot of the Scottish Premiership table, would not have left the east end of Glasgow with reward, whatever the circumstances, but Davies’ reckless intervention virtually guaranteed another fruitless afternoon for his team-mates. Already trailing to a Moussa Dembele penalty conversion at the moment of Davies’ dismissal, the Staggies were swiftly dealt another blow by the loss of their goalkeeper, Aaron McCarey, to injury. Scott Fox, who replaced McCarey, did not bound on to the field replete with hope. “It wasn't the ideal time to come off the bench,” Fox said. “Celtic Park is a hard place to go to at the best of times, never mind when you are down to ten men. We stuck at it but Celtic killed the game at 3-0. We just had to look forward to the next game at that point.” Of Davies’ wild lunge at Brown, Fox said: “There was no argument in the changing room at all. It was one where he just rushed in and committed early, where he should maybe have waited. He knows himself it was a red. In the changing-room, he felt like he'd let the boys down.” Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring from the penalty spot to put Celtic ahead against Ross County Credit: PA County were fortunate to sustain comparatively light damage thereafter, in the shape of goals by Stuart Armstrong and Tom Rogic. They even mustered a flurry of upfield forays late in the proceedings, but by that stage the Hoops faithful had calculated that they might be able to celebrate another title success as early as next weekend. If Celtic beat Dundee when they play their postponed fixture on Wednesday and if Rangers and Aberdeen drop points on Saturday, Celtic can annexe the title by beating Hamilton at the Superseal Stadium on Sunday. “When you look at that last period, especially last season, we really had our foot to the floor,” McGregor said. “We won the games and got the title wrapped up. That’s what our aim will be over the next week or so and try to get the title won.” Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers acknowledges the home supporters following their win on Saturday Credit: PA When it was suggested that Brown could duplicate his 2009 accomplishment of winning the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award, McGregor grinned at the notion of so many bruised opponents casting their ballot in favour of his captain. “He’ll never get voted - maybe he needs to calm down a bit,” McGregor said. “I think, if you ask anybody, they will respect what he has done at this club. To be at that level for 10-plus years is incredible. He is a massive inspiration and a great example for our boys. “People actually underestimate how good a player he is. Everybody mentions his work rate and the intensity of everything he does, but he is actually a really good footballer as well. “You can see that in the Champions League games when his pass success rate is always massive. It’s credit to how good a footballer he is.”
Celtic are three victories away from a seventh successive Scottish title. When they secure the prize, the champions might want to strike a personal medal for Scott Brown and engrave it with the Duke of Wellington’s appraisal of Waterloo – “Hard pounding”. Certainly, no player in Scotland is clattered more frequently than the Celtic captain and, while it can be said that in some instances he gets back only what he hands out, an element of vindictiveness has been evident in opponents’ treatment of him in recent weeks. Red cards have been produced for challenges on Brown in three of Celtic’s last four league outings, although one – shown to Cedric Kipre of Motherwell – was rightly reduced to a caution on appeal. The other two, however, went beyond acceptable combativeness, first when Sam Cosgrove scythed the Hoops skipper late in Aberdeen’s 2-0 home defeat last month and then on Saturday when the Ross County captain, Andrew Davies, planted his studs into Brown’s groin as the Celtic man went down in a challenge by Billy McKay shortly before the interval. Davies’ intervention was branded “dangerous” and “disgraceful” by Brendan Rodgers and there was no argument from the Dingwall side. Brown’s midfield colleague, Callum McGregor, meanwhile, observed that it had been pretty well a quotidian afternoon for the 32-year-old. “He’s been doing it for many, many years now at Celtic, but especially the last two seasons,” McRegor said. “He’s a massive inspiration for the boys on the pitch. “To see him getting kicked that many times, people trying to wind him up - he always seems to come out on top. That’s just Broony, the way he is. “I think it was a bad one, from what the boys were saying, so the referee made a good decision. From then on, they were hanging on.” The chances are that County, lodged at the foot of the Scottish Premiership table, would not have left the east end of Glasgow with reward, whatever the circumstances, but Davies’ reckless intervention virtually guaranteed another fruitless afternoon for his team-mates. Already trailing to a Moussa Dembele penalty conversion at the moment of Davies’ dismissal, the Staggies were swiftly dealt another blow by the loss of their goalkeeper, Aaron McCarey, to injury. Scott Fox, who replaced McCarey, did not bound on to the field replete with hope. “It wasn't the ideal time to come off the bench,” Fox said. “Celtic Park is a hard place to go to at the best of times, never mind when you are down to ten men. We stuck at it but Celtic killed the game at 3-0. We just had to look forward to the next game at that point.” Of Davies’ wild lunge at Brown, Fox said: “There was no argument in the changing room at all. It was one where he just rushed in and committed early, where he should maybe have waited. He knows himself it was a red. In the changing-room, he felt like he'd let the boys down.” Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring from the penalty spot to put Celtic ahead against Ross County Credit: PA County were fortunate to sustain comparatively light damage thereafter, in the shape of goals by Stuart Armstrong and Tom Rogic. They even mustered a flurry of upfield forays late in the proceedings, but by that stage the Hoops faithful had calculated that they might be able to celebrate another title success as early as next weekend. If Celtic beat Dundee when they play their postponed fixture on Wednesday and if Rangers and Aberdeen drop points on Saturday, Celtic can annexe the title by beating Hamilton at the Superseal Stadium on Sunday. “When you look at that last period, especially last season, we really had our foot to the floor,” McGregor said. “We won the games and got the title wrapped up. That’s what our aim will be over the next week or so and try to get the title won.” Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers acknowledges the home supporters following their win on Saturday Credit: PA When it was suggested that Brown could duplicate his 2009 accomplishment of winning the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award, McGregor grinned at the notion of so many bruised opponents casting their ballot in favour of his captain. “He’ll never get voted - maybe he needs to calm down a bit,” McGregor said. “I think, if you ask anybody, they will respect what he has done at this club. To be at that level for 10-plus years is incredible. He is a massive inspiration and a great example for our boys. “People actually underestimate how good a player he is. Everybody mentions his work rate and the intensity of everything he does, but he is actually a really good footballer as well. “You can see that in the Champions League games when his pass success rate is always massive. It’s credit to how good a footballer he is.”
Brendan Rodgers blasts 'disgraceful' Andrew Davies after Ross County captain puts boot in on Scott Brown
Celtic are three victories away from a seventh successive Scottish title. When they secure the prize, the champions might want to strike a personal medal for Scott Brown and engrave it with the Duke of Wellington’s appraisal of Waterloo – “Hard pounding”. Certainly, no player in Scotland is clattered more frequently than the Celtic captain and, while it can be said that in some instances he gets back only what he hands out, an element of vindictiveness has been evident in opponents’ treatment of him in recent weeks. Red cards have been produced for challenges on Brown in three of Celtic’s last four league outings, although one – shown to Cedric Kipre of Motherwell – was rightly reduced to a caution on appeal. The other two, however, went beyond acceptable combativeness, first when Sam Cosgrove scythed the Hoops skipper late in Aberdeen’s 2-0 home defeat last month and then on Saturday when the Ross County captain, Andrew Davies, planted his studs into Brown’s groin as the Celtic man went down in a challenge by Billy McKay shortly before the interval. Davies’ intervention was branded “dangerous” and “disgraceful” by Brendan Rodgers and there was no argument from the Dingwall side. Brown’s midfield colleague, Callum McGregor, meanwhile, observed that it had been pretty well a quotidian afternoon for the 32-year-old. “He’s been doing it for many, many years now at Celtic, but especially the last two seasons,” McRegor said. “He’s a massive inspiration for the boys on the pitch. “To see him getting kicked that many times, people trying to wind him up - he always seems to come out on top. That’s just Broony, the way he is. “I think it was a bad one, from what the boys were saying, so the referee made a good decision. From then on, they were hanging on.” The chances are that County, lodged at the foot of the Scottish Premiership table, would not have left the east end of Glasgow with reward, whatever the circumstances, but Davies’ reckless intervention virtually guaranteed another fruitless afternoon for his team-mates. Already trailing to a Moussa Dembele penalty conversion at the moment of Davies’ dismissal, the Staggies were swiftly dealt another blow by the loss of their goalkeeper, Aaron McCarey, to injury. Scott Fox, who replaced McCarey, did not bound on to the field replete with hope. “It wasn't the ideal time to come off the bench,” Fox said. “Celtic Park is a hard place to go to at the best of times, never mind when you are down to ten men. We stuck at it but Celtic killed the game at 3-0. We just had to look forward to the next game at that point.” Of Davies’ wild lunge at Brown, Fox said: “There was no argument in the changing room at all. It was one where he just rushed in and committed early, where he should maybe have waited. He knows himself it was a red. In the changing-room, he felt like he'd let the boys down.” Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring from the penalty spot to put Celtic ahead against Ross County Credit: PA County were fortunate to sustain comparatively light damage thereafter, in the shape of goals by Stuart Armstrong and Tom Rogic. They even mustered a flurry of upfield forays late in the proceedings, but by that stage the Hoops faithful had calculated that they might be able to celebrate another title success as early as next weekend. If Celtic beat Dundee when they play their postponed fixture on Wednesday and if Rangers and Aberdeen drop points on Saturday, Celtic can annexe the title by beating Hamilton at the Superseal Stadium on Sunday. “When you look at that last period, especially last season, we really had our foot to the floor,” McGregor said. “We won the games and got the title wrapped up. That’s what our aim will be over the next week or so and try to get the title won.” Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers acknowledges the home supporters following their win on Saturday Credit: PA When it was suggested that Brown could duplicate his 2009 accomplishment of winning the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award, McGregor grinned at the notion of so many bruised opponents casting their ballot in favour of his captain. “He’ll never get voted - maybe he needs to calm down a bit,” McGregor said. “I think, if you ask anybody, they will respect what he has done at this club. To be at that level for 10-plus years is incredible. He is a massive inspiration and a great example for our boys. “People actually underestimate how good a player he is. Everybody mentions his work rate and the intensity of everything he does, but he is actually a really good footballer as well. “You can see that in the Champions League games when his pass success rate is always massive. It’s credit to how good a footballer he is.”

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