Rodgers hails brilliant win as Dembele puts Bhoys through
Celtic 1 Rangers 0
Published 24/10/2016 | 02:30
Brendan Rodgers insists Celtic's performance in their narrow win over Rangers at Hampden Park was every bit as good as the thrashing of the Ibrox men last month.
It looked like the Light Blues would take the semi-final to extra-time but in the 87th minute Moussa Dembele tucked away a pass from substitute Leigh Griffiths to set up a meeting with Aberdeen in the final on November 27 at the national stadium.
Despite the narrow scoreline, the Parkhead boss claimed the performance was as dominant as the one he witnessed in a 5-1 Premiership win over Mark Warburton's men at Celtic Park.
Matt Gilks, the Rangers goalkeeper in the Betfred Cup this season, made a series of saves, including stopping a Scott Sinclair free-kick with the aid of the crossbar, while Erik Sviatchenko had the ball in the net only for referee Craig Thomson to blow for a foul on Gers defender Clint Hill.
"Yes, I think it was just the goals," said Rodgers when asked if the performance had been the same as that at Parkhead.
"I think it was pretty clear. We had that same performance but we just didn't finish the opportunities.
"We had other chances that could have gone in but didn't, but again it shows the mentality in the team, they kept going, didn't get disappointed, had great discipline and eventually got their reward."
Rodgers admitted some relief at getting the winner in the nervy closing stages. He said: "Yes, because I thought we were very dominant today in terms of chances and power and strength and quality in our game.
"Sometimes you never know, if the chances don't go in and you don't get that little bit of luck you are always vulnerable to a counter-attack. Tactically the players were brilliant, we stopped them building.
"When we had the ball we created opportunities and looked a real threat going forward so every element of our game was at a high level."