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Friday 24 November 2017

Brown happy as Celtic power into Cup final

Celtic’s Scott Sinclair and Scott Brown celebrate. Photo: PA
Celtic’s Scott Sinclair and Scott Brown celebrate. Photo: PA

Scott Brown applauded a "professional performance" as Celtic set up a Scottish Cup final clash with Aberdeen following a 2-0 semi-final victory over Rangers at Hampden Park.

Celtic took the lead after 11 minutes when Moussa Dembele picked up a long ball forward just inside the 18-yard box and cut it back for Callum McGregor, who fired past a wrong-footed Wes Foderingham from the edge of the area.

James Tavernier conceded a penalty for bringing Leigh Griffiths down in the box and Scott Sinclair stepped up to convert a powerful spot-kick past the diving goalkeeper.

Celtic captain Brown said: "It was a very professional performance. We knew if we tur ned up then we would win the game and we've done that on the day.

"I think in the first half we kept the ball and gave them no chances. We could have scored two or three but, I've got to be honest, the fans and the players gave everything today and we deserve to be in the final.

"We know when we turn up that our game is unbelievable. The gaffer's (Brendan Rodgers) taken us to another level and the lads have all responded."

Celtic are still on target to win the treble for the first time since 2001 and Brown admitted every game now is going to be difficult.

He said: "We need to turn up every game. Our fans expect us to put on a show for them and we've done that again today.

Turn up

"We've got six games left now and we need to make sure we turn up for every single one of them."

Aberdeen defeated Hibernian 3-2 to reach the final on Saturday and Brown knows it will be a tough tie on May 27.

He added: "Aberdeen are a great team and showed how well they can play yesterday, but we're a great team as well and there's a long way to go to the final.

"We play five games before that, but we'll take every game as it comes."

Hoops manager Brendan Rodgers hailed his side's performance, saying: "It was an outstanding team performance. There was a lot of control in the game, creating opportunities.

"I thought our football idea was very, very good. To come into a pressure game, Celtic (versus) Rangers is always a huge-pressure game but that level of composure and calmness was very, very good so I was very pleased."

Dembele went off injured to be replaced by Griffiths 10 minutes before the break and Rodgers confirmed the club would await the results from a scan to discover the extent of the problem.

On his side's treble hopes, Rodgers added: "There's an expectancy every time you play for Celtic. Not just in a cup final or here today.

"Thankfully these players have really, really stood up to that and showed great mentality and also great footballing qualities.

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