Despite Rangers resurgence under Steven Gerrard, Celtic managed to maintain their supremacy in Scottish football and conquered a historic treble ‘treble’ over the course of the past three seasons. But they had a tricky test this afternoon at Hampden Park, and the Scottish League Cup final between these two Old Firm rivals produced yet another nail-biting thriller.
Although Rangers dominated the show entirely, a masterclass from Fraser Forster inspired the 10-man Hoops to protect a one-goal lead and therefore, defend the title successfully defying the odds.
Below are the Celtic players rated in their dramatic win against Rangers.
Fraser Forster: 10
Forster, on loan from Southampton, delivered a stellar show between the sticks. He kept on denying Alfredo Morelos from open play as well as from the spot to secure a clean sheet despite being down to ten men.
Jeremie Frimpong: 6.5
Was enjoying his time on the pitch as he kept on troubling the Bears with his marauding runs from the right-hand flank. But the youngster received his marching order midway through the second half as he pushed Alfredo Morelos down inside the box. The Colombian stepped in for the spot-kick but was denied spectacularly by the majestic Forster.
Kristoffer Ajer: 8
Had some nervy occasions against Morelos but the Norwegian uplifted his game when it mattered the most and took added responsibility following Frimpong’s dismissal.
Christopher Jullien: 9.5
Scored the solitary goal of the game which, however, looked slightly offside from the replays. He was towering with his presence inside the box, played through pain in the final minutes yet managed to protect the lead and conquer the crown.
Jonny Hayes: 8
His profound experience and game reading attributes helped the Hoops maintain composure at the back. Did well to deny James Tavernier from making cut insides and frequent crosses, and also surged forward at times to convert defence into attacking threats.
Scott Brown: 8.5
The skipper made his presence known in the middle of the park. Was destructive as he kept on breaking down the Gers’ moves with timely tackles and challenges. Led from the front yet again on the big occasion.
Callum McGregor: 8
The Scotsman dominated possession and exhibited his calmness and control over the ball. His tactical fouls often disordered Rangers’ set-up allowing the Bhoys to regroup and threaten on the counter.
James Forrest: 6
Was not as effective as he has been so far this term. Borna Barisic did exceptionally well to contain him on the flank, and Neil Lennon opted to take him off following Frimpong’s dismissal. Made way for Nir Bitton who was brought in to add depth to the Celtic defence.
Ryan Christie: 6.5
Was swift with his movements and link-up play but struggled to break down the resilient Rangers backline. Showed great commitment towards the end as the Scotsman helped his teammates defend the lead to clinch their tenth title in a row.
Mohamed Elyounoussi: 5.5
Tried to utilise the space from the right-hand flank but the Norwegian had an underwhelming afternoon overall as he was taken off to be replaced by Michael Johnston at the break.
Lewis Morgan: 6
Was handed a start ahead of Odsonne Edouard and the youngster did everything he could have done to keep the Gers’ defence on their toes. However, lack of deliveries from midfield isolated him later on, and the gaffer decided to take the youngster off to make way for the prolific Frenchman.
Michael Johnston: 6.5
Looked more purposeful than Elyounoussi and tried his level best to win the second ball when Rangers were pushing for an equaliser.
Odsonne Edouard: 6
Had to spend the majority of minutes in his own half following Frimpong’s marching order.
Nir Bitton: 6.5
Slotted in deep defence and succeeded in protecting the goal and clinching Cup glory for the fourth successive season.
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