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Old Firm clash set for latest chapter as Rangers face Celtic in Scottish Cup

Scott Brown and Alfredo Morelos clash during the most recent Celtic-Rangers semi-final (Ian Rutherford/PA)
Scott Brown and Alfredo Morelos clash during the most recent Celtic-Rangers semi-final (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Rangers and Celtic will meet in the Scottish Cup semi-finals for the fourth time in six seasons on Sunday.

There had previously been eight Old Firm encounters in the last four, with Celtic enjoying three high-scoring wins in the early years and Rangers winning in 1900 and 1960. There were three meetings in the 1990s with the Light Blues coming out on top each time.

Here, we look back at the most recent meetings between the teams.


Rangers v Celtic
Barrie McKay puts Rangers 2-1 ahead from long distance (Danny Lawson/PA)

Championship leaders Rangers shocked Ronny Deila’s Celtic by beating the favourites on penalties after a 2-2 draw. The Hoops had easily beaten Rangers 2-0 in the previous season’s League Cup semi-finals and Gers boss Mark Warburton admitted after his side’s win that he was “irritated by people underestimating Rangers”.

He added: “I read reports about them getting battered by Celtic today. Well they showed today that they’ve got quality, they’ve got the commitment and the work ethic and that gap is a lot, lot narrower than people are talking about.”

Rangers twice led during the game through Kenny Miller and Barrie McKay’s wonder-strike with Erik Sviatchenko and Tom Rogic equalising. Rogic missed the crucial spot-kick as Gers wrapped up a 5-4 shoot-out win to set them up for the final, which they would lose against Hibernian.

Celtic were well on their way to a fifth consecutive league title but manager Ronny Deila’s position came under scrutiny after the defeat. “There is a lot of emotions going on, but with bad results you of course get the questions,” he said in the immediate aftermath. “You know you are going to get that pressure all the time when you don’t get the results you wanted.” Celtic announced three days later that the Norwegian would depart at the end of the season.


Celtic v Rangers
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha and Celtic counterpart Brendan Rodgers greet each other at Hampden (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Both sides were under new management 12 months later and it appeared the gap had widened as Celtic comfortably overcame another obstacle on their way to an invincible treble under Brendan Rodgers.

Celtic were utterly dominant for the first hour as a precise finish from Callum McGregor and Scott Sinclair’s penalty earned the Hoops a 2-0 victory.

Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha later admitted that assistant Helder Baptista had warned him about his players’ frame of mind during the warm-up. The Portuguese said: “He thought they were totally focused but not enjoying it. Maybe when you are not feeling that freedom, you don’t enjoy it and perform
the way you need. It wasn’t a question of being frightened, it was a question of not letting things flow in the direction you need to take them.”

In contrast, Rodgers was delighted with his side’s mental approach. “We know the consequences of this game, we also know what it means to people, but you have to perform,” he said. “And you can only perform when you stay concentrated and stay calm. What we have been able to do over the course of the season is keep adding to the games when you perform under pressure.”


Graeme Murty
Graeme Murty endured a difficult day at Hampden (Ian Rutherford/PA)

There was another, temporary, incumbent in the Rangers dugout the following year as Celtic inflicted a 4-0 defeat on their way to a second consecutive treble and caretaker Light Blues boss Graeme Murty apologised to his supporters following a one-sided encounter.

First-half goals from Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor put Celtic in command and Moussa Dembele and Olivier Ntcham both added penalties after Ross McCrorie was sent off for the Ibrox side.

Murty, who substituted midfielder Andy Halliday immediately after McGregor’s 38th-minute goal, said: “It is a lonely place standing on the sideline when that is going on. But I don’t think words is enough to convey how I am feeling right now.”

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon admitted he had been happy to face a brief second-half flurry from Rangers. “We did go through 10 minutes where we did struggle to get our foot on the ball and during that time I had to make a few saves,” he said. “It’s always nice to contribute to a win by making saves like that. I was quite happy with the workload, especially after going an hour with not doing very much at all.”