Celtic’s sensational domestic run had a relatively difficult challenge this afternoon when they locked horns with age-old rivals Rangers FC in the semifinal of the Scottish Cup competition at Hampden Park. The Hoops clinched a domestic treble last season under Brendan Rodgers and are on course of replicating the same this term as well having already clinched the League Cup title and also on the verge of confirming their seventh successive Premiership title to showcase their supremacy in Scottish football.
The Light Blues have been thoroughly dominated by the great rivals in recent years but had the ultimate opportunity to salvage something from another season of mediocrity. The Old Firm derby, however, proved to be a one-sided affair yet again as the Hoops humbled the Gers by a thumping 4-0 scoreline and set a date against Motherwell in next month’s final.
Below are the Celtic players rated and slated in their comprehensive win against Rangers.
Craig Gordon: 8
Returned between the sticks and made it remarkable with a couple of sensational saves to deny Alfredo Morelos from close range early in the second half. The veteran thoroughly earned his clean-sheet against the Old Firm rivals.
Mikael Lustig: 6.5
Fumbled at times, almost cost his side a goal in the second half after gifting the ball to Morelos. But Gordon, the rescuer, pulled off a miraculous stop to deny Morelos from six yards out.
Dedryck Boyata: 7
A much better display from the Belgian international compared to his recent outings as he maintained his composure and dealt well with the occasional attacking movements of his opponents.
Kristoffer Ajer: 7.5
A revelation in the Celtic backline. Delivered another towering display and dominated the game aerially as well as physically inside the box. Kept his cool while making blocks, tackles, and clearances and also did well to retain possession and play out from the deep defensive line.
Kieran Tierney: 8
Russell Martin of Rangers failed to deal with his excellent swinging low cross inside the box and Callum McGregor made no mistake to double the lead in the first half.
Scott Brown: 7.5
Was combative as always, kept the ball rolling in the middle of the park and switched it in both the flanks to disorganize the Rangers midfield.
Olivier Ntcham: 8.5
What an outstanding game from the French youngster who not only kept on finding the attackers with sensational deliveries but also made his name on the scoresheet by converting a spot-kick to make it 4-0 for the reigning champions.
James Forrest: 7.5
Kept troubling Declan John down the left of Rangers’ ‘back four’ and assisted Tom Rogic to break the deadlock midway in the first half. Was replaced by Patrick Roberts at around 72nd-minute mark after yet another comprehensive performance.
Tom Rogic: 8
The Australian wizard continues his sheer excellence versus the Glasgow rivals as he scored once again after cutting inside banking on his quick movement and slotting it in the bottom corner. Was replaced by Scott Sinclair at around an hour mark.
Callum McGregor: 8
Finished into the far corner capitalizing on Martin’s defensive howler, thus, earned his side a 2-0 lead inside the first half. Could have had his second in the closing minutes of the game but failed to keep his strike low.
Moussa Dembele: 8.5
Hit the woodwork in early minutes but kept on troubling the Rangers defensive line all afternoon. Was fouled inside the box by Ross McCrorie and scored via a panenka from the spot to make it 3-0 minutes into the second half. Was replaced by Leigh Griffiths late in the game.
Scott Sinclair: 7
Has lost his first-team status in recent weeks but impressed down the right-hand flank in limited game-time as his runs and smart one-twos often created trouble in a depleted and dejected Rangers backline.
Patrick Roberts: 7
Was brought down inside the box by Jason Holt minutes into his introduction and earned his side a spot-kick which was calmly slotted home by Olivier Ntcham.
Leigh Griffiths: 7
The game was pretty much done and dusted when he was introduced. He, however, was impressive in final few minutes as he bullied the Gers backline with his runs and swift movements.
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