Celtic swept aside the challenge of 10-man Rangers in convincing fashion with a 4-0 win in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final.
Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor had Brendan Rodgers’ side 2-0 up at the break and after Ross McCrorie was sent off in the second period, both Moussa Dembele and Olivier Ntcham netted from the spot.
The league champions were dominant and continued their charge towards another domestic treble, which will see them come up against Motherwell back at Hampden Park on May 19 in a repeat of the League Cup final from November.
Rodgers opted for Craig Gordon in goal ahead of Scott Bain and Dembele up front, with Scott Sinclair and Leigh Griffiths both on the bench.
Rangers included Andy Halliday in the middle of a midfield three and McCrorie alongside Russell Martin at centre-half. Bruno Alves and Josh Windass were both substitutes.
Dembele cracked his first effort off the woodwork with just five minutes gone, as he latched on to Olivier Ntcham’s cross and slammed his volley off the post.
Rangers struggled to get a foothold in the game in the first 20 minutes, giving away possession cheaply in their own half and struggling to bring Alfredo Morelos into the game.
The wave of pressure paid off on 22 minutes as James Forrest picked up Dembele’s lay-off and squared for Rogic. He had to contend with McCrorie but held off the Rangers defender, before squeezing a shot inside Foderingham’s far post.
Rogic was in his element and played a part in a lovely flowing move – involving Forrest and Dembele again – but got nowhere near as clean a contact on his finish this time.
Ntcham was next to come close with a half-volley that fizzed across goal, as Rangers continued to be hemmed in.
Celtic were two up before the break as Martin dangled a leg at Kieran Tierney’s cross, diverting it straight into McGregor’s path and he calmly swept home, much to the satisfaction of the raucous green-and-white half of Hampden.
Halliday was subbed off with five minutes left in the first half for Windass and as he walked up to the Rangers dugout, he reacted angrily to one of his own supporters who appeared to shout something at him before being escorted away.
Things got no better in the second half for Rangers as McCrorie was sent off by Bobby Madden for bringing down Dembele when he was through on goal. The French striker was on hand to dink his penalty down the middle to give Celtic a comfortable 3-0 lead.
This finally seemed to provoke a response from Graeme Murty’s side, with Morelos forcing two acrobatic saves from Gordon in quick succession.
Their afternoon was best summed up by a 56th minute miss from the Colombian, who seemingly had a tap-in after Mikael Lustig’s sliced clearance cannoned back off the crossbar with Gordon on the deck. Morelos took a touch to compose himself but allowed Gordon to get back to his feet, narrowing the angle enough to block the shot.
The rout was completed with 13 minutes to go as Jason Holt hacked down Patrick Roberts and the superb Ntcham strolled up to slide home the spot-kick.