Paul Lambert: This is why Rangers were second best to Celtic in Old Firm semi-final
By Will Butcher
Paul Lambert believes Rangers gave Celtic too much respect during Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park.
Pedro Caixinha’s side suffered a 2-0 loss against the Bhoys, who took a giant leap towards confirming a treble in Brendan Rodgers’ first season by booking their place in the final.
Paul Lambert told Sky Sports 2’s live coverage of the Old Firm derby immediately after the match that there was not enough pressure on the ball when Celtic were in possession.
“I think they were poor. They started poorly at the back, no pressure on the ball and gave Celtic too much respect and too much freedom,” Lambert claimed.
“To beat Celtic you need to be in their face and hard to beat, Rangers weren’t. They changed the shape and they were better.
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“Rangers didn’t turn up. Fans will have been expecting a lot more than they but they just didn’t show up. It showed in the first half, they were nowhere near Celtic.”
Midfielder Callum McGregor gave Celtic the lead in the first half with an inch-perfect finish after Moussa Dembele had controlled a long ball forward.
His calm finish left Wes Foderingham motionless, but the goalkeeper was unlucky not to save Scott Sinclair’s penalty in the second half as he tipped the attacker’s effort on to the post.
The Gers did rally towards the end of the game but failed to find the back of the net as goalkeeper Craig Gordon made crucial saves from Martyn Waghorn and Kenny Miller.
The win sees Celtic progress to the final of the Scottish Cup where they will face Aberdeen on May 27, as they look to add the trophy to their league title and league cup triumphs.
In other Rangers news, fans have reacted to Myles Beerman’s display on Twitter.