By Alex Stevens
Maurice Johnston hailed Rangers as “by far the better team” in their pulsating Old Firm win over Celtic on Sunday.
Rangers won a penalty shoot-out 5-4 in the Scottish Cup semi-final clash at Hampden Park after the score had finished at 2-2 following extra time.
The win for the Scottish Championship club over their bitter rivals, who stand on the verge of fifth consecutive Premiership title, is a major upset given the different divisions the clubs play in.
Johnston, who is only one of two men to play for both of the Scottish giants, told Sky Sports 2 afterwards: “Congratulations to Rangers, who were by far the better team. The last 30 minutes was terrific, it was end to end, a couple of goals scored in between and then obviously the penalty kicks.
“The way Rangers played was tremendous. They were composed, everything about them today was top notch.”
Goals from Kenny Miller and Barry McKay had twice give Rangers an advantage in the semi-final showdown but Erik Sviatchenko and Tom Rogic produced equalisers for Ronny Deila’s side.
The match then went to a shoot-out, which was won 5-4 by Mark Warburton’s team to prompt ecstatic celebrations from their supporters.
Former Parkhead manager Neil Lennon not only hailed Rangers as deserved winners but claims their win marks a shift in the landscape of the Old Firm rivalry following years of Celtic dominance.
“The better football team came through,” Lennon told Sky Sports 2 after the match. “It pains me to say that. For years, Celtic have had the history of playing good football. It was always a physical battle with Rangers but we always felt were the better football team. On today’s evidence the tide has definitely turned.
“Rangers handled the occasion and the nerves brilliantly. Celtic were disappointing, even though they had good chances to win the game. They didn’t do enough and didn’t have enough spells of pressure.”
The latest Rangers news is that the Light Blues will face Hibernian in the Scottish Cup final on 21 May.