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  • Ten-man Celtic defeat Rangers to win League Cup final

    Ten-man Celtic defeat Rangers to win League Cup final

    By: Tony Connelly on 08 Dec, 2019 17:02

  • League Cup Final
    Sunday, December 8, 2019
    Hampden Park, Glasgow

    CELTIC…1
    (Jullien 60)

    RANGERS…0

    A TEN-man Celtic side came out on top in a hard-fought Glasgow derby cup final to win 1-0 and clinch their 10th consecutive trophy in three years. The Hoops retained the League Cup at Hampden thanks to Christopher Jullien’s all-important goal on the hour mark.

    The Ibrox side made the better start and Celtic were kept busy in their defensive duties throughout much of the first half. Jeremie Frimpong handled the occasion well and was undoubtedly one of Celtic’s best players in the first half.

    He drew a roar from the Celtic fans early on when he outmuscled Ryan Kent on the right before quickly initiating a Celtic attack. The young full-back continued to nullify the threat posed by the winger and tormented the opposition whenever he was on the ball.

    Celtic’s first chance came when Forrest’s cross took a deflection on its way into the box. Lewis Morgan was in the right position to get on the end of it but the angle wasn’t ideal and his attempt to curl the ball into the near post was off target.

    The pressing from the opposition proved to be difficult to handle and Celtic responded with long balls from the back when under pressure.

    Rangers had the majority of the possession and the bulk of the chances in the first half, but the champions still threatened on the counter attack and in the wide areas.

    The best chance came from a counter attack sparked by Callum McGregor in the middle of the park. He broke forward and slipped the ball out wide to Jonny Hayes and the Irishman whipped in a good cross which was intercepted before Morgan could get on the end of it.

    Unfortunately, opportunities in front of goal were few and far between for Celtic in the first half and Fraser Forester had to come to his side’s rescue numerous times.

    He pulled off a world class save to deny Ryan Jack what would have been a spectacular goal from 25-yards. The ball was fizzing towards the far corner and the Hoops stopper flew across his goal to get a hand to it.

    The Hoops stopper denied Alfredo Morelos several times. There were two from a tight angle which were straight at him but the third attempt saw Forster made an excellent reaction save with his foot as he spread himself well to cover the angle.

    Morelos missed another chance early in the second half when he got on the end of Jack’s cross towards the back post. His directed the ball back across the goal line and it drifted out for a goal kick.

    Neil Lennon brought on Odsonne Edouard shortly after the restart and the Frenchman was cynically chopped down by Goldson out on the wing. It proved to be a costly mistake for Rangers. Christie swung in the free-kick and Jullien side footed the ball in from close range in front of the Celtic fans.

    Celtic were dealt a blow shortly after when Morelos went down in the box under a challenge from Frimpong. The referee issued a straight red card and awarded Rangers a penalty.

    The Columbian stepped up but he was no match for Forster who dived low to his right to make the all-important save.

    Despite being a man down, Celtic looked determined to increase their lead and came agonisingly close to doing so with 20 minutes remaining.

    Edouard held off a challenge on the half way line and played a brilliant ball into the path of the on rushing Mikey Johnston. The Hoops winger dribbled his way into the box and had a clear sight at goal, but his right-footed shot was wide of the far post.

    Celtic grew in confidence as the second half wound down and enjoyed their best spell in attack with around 15 minutes remaining. Edouard was linking up well with the other forwards and Celtic looked a threat every time they broke forward.

    The game was wide open with 10 minutes remaining but Celtic worked hard to keep their opponents at bay and Rangers were continuously plagued by their inability to take their chances. That was made clear in injury time when Morelos passed up another opportunity when he had a glimpse at goal.

    The Celtic fans erupted in joy as the final whistle blew at a rain soaked Hampden, confirming Celtic as the League Cup champions for a fourth consecutive year, a feat, until now, only ever achieved by Jock Stein’s Celtic side.

    CELTIC: Forster; Frimpong, Jullien, Ajer, Hayes; Brown, McGregor, Forrest (Bitton 66), Christie, Elyounoussi; Morgan (Edouard 58)
    Subs: Gordon, Johnston, Rogic, Ntcham, Bolingoli

    RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Helander (Katic 83), Barisic, Kamara (Defoe 71), Jack, Aribo (Barker 74), Arfield, Kent, Morelos.
    Subs: Foderingham, Ojo, Stewart, Flanagan

    Website Man of the Match: Fraser Forster

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