Rodgers has this problem: Three things we learned about Celtic in victory v Rangers
By Matt Farr
Football Insider analyses three of the main talking points from Celtic’s 2-0 Scottish Cup semi final win over Rangers at Hampden on Sunday.
Dembele won’t be missed
Moussa Dembele has been arguably the standout performer for Celtic this season, scoring goals with relative ease following his summer move to Parkhead. The 20-year-old has scored 32 goals from 48 appearances in all competitions this season, but gave Celtic fans a potential scare when he limped off mid-way through the first-half. However, although it is not yet clear how serious the potential injury may be, the timing means he won’t be too bad a miss. Celtic have already done most of what has been required of them this season, winning the league title and the League Cup, and now they have booked their place in the Scottish Cup Final against Aberdeen. Even with one more title and an unbeaten record at stake, Celtic have more than enough left in the tank to accommodate the potential loss of their star goalscorer.
Rodgers boasts such vast quality in his pool of midfield talent, and that was once again on show in the win over Rangers. Scott Brown has been ever-present for years, while Stuart Armstrong has been given a new lease of life under Rodgers this season, becoming a crucial asset. But Celtic’s dominance this season has also allowed Rodgers to chop and change his midfield options, with Callum McGregor getting the nod on Sunday. The 23-year-old impressed, capping off his performance with a goal, and he has no doubt thrown his hat into the ring for a regular role in the coming weeks. However, Rodgers also has the likes of Tom Rogic back at his disposal, as well as youngsters Liam Henderson and Kouassi Eboue, so it will be interesting to see which direction Rodgers turns in the coming weeks, and at the start of next season. It could give him a problem or two, but it’s not a bad problem to have.
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Rodgers must snap up 20-year-old
If there was one player that really stepped up to the occasion and caused real problems, it was Patrick Roberts. Time and time again, the 20-year-old has come up with the goods for Celtic, and it will be a real shame to see him leave the club at the end of the season. Roberts is coming to the end of his two-year loan spell from Manchester City, but his impressive performance at Hampden gave Rodgers even further reason to pursue an even longer stay for the young winger. He has scored seven goals and contributed 15 assists from 41 appearances in all competitions, and ran the Rangers defence ragged with a typically energetic attacking display.
In other Celtic news, here is how the players rated during the Scottish Cup semi final victory.