Captain salutes outstanding Celts after derby demolition

CAPTAIN Scott Brown hailed Celtic’s dazzling derby display at Hampden as ‘outstanding’ after the champions routed Rangers 4-0 to seal their spot in the Scottish Cup final.

The dominant Hoops had motored into a two-goal lead at the interval, with Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor netting with superb finishes.

And they tightened their grip on the contest early in the second period when Moussa Dembele converted from the spot after Ross McCrorie was red carded for pulling back the French striker in the box.

Olivier Ntcham’s late penalty, awarded for Jason Holt’s foul on Patrick Roberts, rounded off the scoring for Brendan Rodgers’ side on a memorable afternoon the National Stadium.

Brown, once again, was magnificent in the middle of the park alongside the likes of Tom Rogic, Olivier Ntcham and Callum McGregor as the Hoops outclassed their city rivals. 

And speaking exclusively to Celtic TV, the skipper said: “It was outstanding from start to finish – we dominated the game.  We knew as soon as we got the ball down on a half-decent pitch, with the speed we move the ball, Rangers didn’t know how to adapt and deal with it.

“They tried to close up the middle of the park, but our two full-backs are fantastic on the ball so I don’t know why they wanted to do that. We managed to get up the park and we’ve created the chances by the amount of time we had on the ball.”

"We’ve maybe not been as consistent as we were last season but that’s due to the pitches as well and, as soon as the grass starts growing, you can see how we move the ball and people can’t deal with it.”

When the draw was made for the semi-finals last month, it was revealed that the Ibrox side had cheered on hearing they'd been paired with the Bhoys.

“I don’t think they’ll be cheering now, will they,” said Brown. “The three of us in the middle of the park have dominated their three. That’s what we aim to do in every game and we did that with ease today.

"We got the ball down and created chances and Cal running off (James) Tavernier as well and Tom getting on the ball. Their defenders don’t how to deal with that and Ollie was fantastic yet again.”  

The Hoops will face Motherwell in the showpiece at Hampden on May 19, a day which could see them seal back-to-back trebles. But they will now turn their attentions to sealing a seventh successive league title, which they could do next weekend with a win away to Hibernian.

“It was a great performance but we don’t want to get carried away just yet," said Brown. "We’ve a huge cup final to look forward to, but we also need to get over the line in the league so we’ll take it one step at a time.”........

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