- Dark Blues brushed aside
The Betfred Cup holders seen off a hard working Dundee side without reaching 2nd gear in a physical battle with Neil McCann's team at Dens Park. Celtic's winning mentality and patient approach in the game, added to the quality of in-form wingers Scott Sinclair and James Forrest took them into their 4th straight semi-final in the Scottish League cup.
League Cup quarter-final
Dens Park, Dundee
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
(Sinclair 24, Forrest 42, 92, McGregor 87)
It was a repeat scoreline from the weekend as the invincibles racked up another 4 goals and a clean sheet in what proved to be a routine victory for the Glasgow side. The home team gave it their all to stop the Celtic players breaking through them, but Scott Sinclair showed great technique and skill to drive into the opposition box where he drew a foul from Jack Hendry to win, and subsequently score, a penalty kick halfway through the first half.
It was then the turn of James Forrest to get on the scoresheet, as he continued his scoring run and tucked away a Kieran Tierney cut-back to double the Hoops' advantage. The second half seen more frustration for Celtic's forwards despite an overwhelming share of possession, as the dark blue's negated any free-flowing moves from Brendan Rodgers' team, but their hard work at trying to match Celtic resulted in some tired legs which were exposed late on in the game when substitute Callum McGregor slotted away on the counter to confirm a trip to Hampden for the Green & White. Forrest got another brace as he put the cherry on top of the cake to make it 0-4.
Brendan Rodgers' post match said post match "It was a very professional performance. We played very well and had a good rhythm in the game. I thought Dundee set up well but you have to be patient and once we worked the ball we looked very good. Two good finishes from James Forrest tonight. Scott Sinclair had brilliant speed and skill for the first one. I was really impressed with Callum McGregor's goal. It was a wonderful finish.
"Dedryck looked calm and composed. All the boys are contributing very well, they are moving along nicely. Every game is tough in a different way. We'll go there [Ibrox] and look forward to it. I expect a tough game, I look at Rangers and they have brought one or two men into the team. Bruno Alves and Graham Dorrans, who I have always liked and tried to sign when I was at Swansea."
Rodgers' men will be keen to emulate the successes of his debut season in charge and retain all 3 major trophies for the first time in their history, and await the draw for the semi-final matches which include Hibernian, Rangers, and one of Motherwell or Aberdeen. Next up it's league action against 3rd place Rangers before a vital away journey to Anderlecht in the UEFA Champions League, where they will hope to continue on an impressive run since the last defeat to Paris Saint-Germain...
With the final now being played in November, it's an early chance to grab some silverware for all Scottish clubs, which can be a big boost to your season so early on. The current holders began their defence when Scott Sinclair converted a penalty on 24 minutes. James Forrest doubled the tally just before half time, continuing his excellent start to the season.
The Man of the Match award went to Forrest, who looks to have made himself undroppable, before the trip to Ibrox on Saturday. With the talented Roberts also available, Brendan Rodgers has the type of selection problem all managers love to have. With Moussa Demebele (not in the squad tonight) also returning to action at the weekend, Celtic are almost close to full strength as they look to once again humiliate Scotland's Shame in front of their own rancid fans.
CELTIC (3-4-2-1) Gordon; Lustig, Boyata (Ralston 67), Bitton; Forrest, Brown, Ntcham, Tierney; Roberts (McGregor 72), Sinclair; Griffiths (Edouard 84)
Not Used: De Vries, Armstrong, Hayes, Rogic,
DUNDEE (4-5-1) Bain; Kerr, Holt, O’Dea, Hendry; Leitch-Smith, Kamara, O’Hara, Wolters (Deacon 63) Spence (McGowan 72), Bakhtaou
Not Used: Parish, Williams, Aurtenetxe, Waddell, Henvey
Jointly written by Minty & @Junglist Jim