Sunday 20 January 2019

Celtic paired with Rangers in Cup semi-final draw

Celtic 4 St Mirren 1

Celtic's Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring his side's third goal
Celtic's Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring his side's third goal

Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers will meet in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup, with holders Hibernian facing Aberdeen.

Ladbrokes Premiership champions in waiting Celtic have beaten their Glaswegian rivals three times already this season, but when the teams met at the same stage of the cup last year it was Rangers, then in the Championship, who came out on top.

The game finished in a 2-2 draw, with the Gers winning on penalties - a game that went a long way to ending Ronny Deila's time with the Hoops.

It was Hibernian who went on win the competition, though, and the defending champions will face a Dons side who sit second in the Premiership table.

Hibs, the Championship pace-setters, are outsiders against the top three in the country but have pedigree, having appeared in the last four in each of the last three seasons.

Last year's success was their third Scottish Cup victory but first in 114 years. The matches will take place at Hampden Park on April 22 and 23.

Meanwhile, Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers claimed St Mirren were the best team his side have faced in Scotland this season following yesterday's 4-1 Scottish Cup quarter-final win over the Buddies at Parkhead.

Harry Davis stunned the Hoops support with his goal from close range in the 13th minute and only the crossbar prevented the Championship's bottom side doubling that lead in the 53rd minute.

However, two goals in a minute or so through right-back Mikael Lustig and attacker Scott Sinclair ended any prospects of a shock defeat for the runaway Premiership leaders with striker Moussa Dembele and substitute Leigh Griffiths adding further goals to take them into the semi-final.

He said: "They are the best team that we have played domestically, including Premiership teams, without any shadow of a doubt.

"How they are at the bottom of the league I do not know. They are a very good side.

"We played Alloa here so I've got an idea of his coaching ability. He's obviously a very good coach. He's gone in there and he's obviously got them very well organised. They have good speed, they have young players with enthusiasm."

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