Back to Parkhead and looking forward to Eindhoven

After the Old Firm cup tie, enough has been said about the managers and the players getting into fights and arguments. So before we forget about the most important thing (football) here is a recap of the game.

Don’t worry folks, next Tuesday, the Jumpers For Goalposts lads will debate settle the debate on the Old Firm once and for all so tune in for the podcast on Champions Chat.

We will also discuss Rangers and their chances against PSV Eindhoven in Europe, with a special contribution by host and professional Dutchman Stef Meens on PSV, a team he knows inside out. Ewan McQueen will provide a preview from a Scottish point of view so keep an eye out for the Champions Chat blog page!

In the meantime, let’s go back to Parkhead with Ashleigh McGinley

Celtic  1 – 0  Rangers

Ally McCoist and Neil Lennon bust up as 3 Rangers players are sent off in a stormy Scottish Cup fifth round replay.

Steven Whittaker was the first to be sent off by referee Calum Murray in the 35th minute after picking up his second booking for fouling Emilio Izaguirre and consequently the remaining time became an almost impossible uphill struggle for the injury stricken visitors.

Mark Wilson became the hero of the night three minutes into the second half when he fired home what turned out to be the only goal of the night.

Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra, was sent off in injury time after picking up his second caution of the night for a foul on Kris Commons, and after the game, the unruly El-Hadji Diouf’s dissent came when he approached Murray as the two benches clashed.

With a victorious win at their home ground, Celtic booked themselves a place in the quarter-finals away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle and will be firm favourites to win the tournament and end the season with a domestic treble.

With Rangers losing two players in the run up to kick off, as Nikica Jelavic dropped out with a knee injury and Kyle Lafferty with tonsillitis, Walter smith opted for the same side which battled through the Europa League tie last week against Sporting Lisbon. The 5-4-1 formation was for strong defence.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon drafted in Georgios Samaras at the expense of Anthony Stokes who was dropped to the bench.

In the early stages of the match, it was clear that the injury ravaged Rangers side were struggling as they barely managed to get out their own half and Sasa Papac escaped an early yellow card after felling Wilson.

However, in the 12th minute, the away side were faced with a half chance when former Liverpool striker, Diouf raced through right wide leaving Zaluska off his line and his goals unprotected. Diouf’s cross in from the byline was quickly cleared by a swift header from Celtic defender Daniel Majstorovic.

Skipper, Scott Brown who continued his on-going feud with Diouf in the first half, took advantage of a clear run with the ball through the away sides defence but was unable to get past McGregors quick grasp.

Celtic midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung took a chance with a fierce left foot from the distance without any success.

Murray’s patience began to wear thin in the 28th minute and Whittaker picked up the first yellow card for fouling Ki. The Rangers midfielder made his early walk down the tunnel just seven minutes later with a reckless challenge on Izaguirre resulting in a further yellow card and then a red card.

The incident threw the game into further disorder after a touchline confrontation between Diouf and Lennon resulted in the Rangers striker being booked and both Neil Lennon and Ally McCoist receiving a warning from referee, Murray.

When play resumed a nearly costly mistake by Maurice Edu helped Georgios Samaras with a free shot at the Rangers goal but goalkeeper McGregor made a good block and the ball ended up out of play.

As the eventful first half drew to a close, Brown became the next player to join the book shortly followed by Rangers John Fleck who was also cautioned.

The tension on the pitch was carried on down the tunnel at half time when another altercation broke out between Celtic assistant, Johan Mjallby and Rangers defender, Kyle Bartley.

Celtic were in the driving seat at the start of the second half when Wilson took them into the lead just 3 minutes in.

Izaguirre’s cross from the left found fellow full-back, Wilson at the far side of the box but was superbly headed off the line by Papac – but the ball rebounded back to Wilson who quickly found the target.

Papac failed to recover from his headed clearance and was stretchered off the pitch and replaced by Gregg Wylde.

Bougherra was given his first caution of the night for a foul on Celtic striker, Gary Hooper who required treatment off the park before returning to play.

It was clear the home side were dominating and in the 63rd minute Samaras fired a shot against the left hand side of the Rangers post. The Hoops striker had a further two chances to score which were quickly cleared by McGregor and Wylde.

Rangers only real shot at a goal came in the final stages of the second half after a foul on Bartley gave Diouf a free kick, but the striker fired the ball straight at Zaluska.

In the last few minutes of injury time, Bougherra was given his marching orders after fouling Commons.

As the final whistle went, Diouf quickly followed Bougherra after approaching referee, Murray and another touchline clash between Lennon and McCoist ended in both being separated as the controversial match drew to a close.

 

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