There is no hiding from the fact that Celtic were far from their best in the Scottish Cup semi-final against the Rangers. Except for a phase in the second half, when they took the lead and could have even won it, the Hoops seemed the second best side on the day. And Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side looked like the fresher of the two teams, despite having played 120 minutes of football in midweek.
Was it just an off day? Was it overconfidence after winning back-to-back Glasgow Derbies? Who knows!
One thing that must be said though is that despite Celtic’s terrible display on the day, one cannot overlook Bobby Madden’s performance either.
There was just no consistency in his decisions, and the Rangers could have easily had a man sent off on more than one occasion. It is understandable if some Celtic fans do feel a little hard done by and Chris Sutton was not impressed with the referee either. He tweeted out after the game:
“Celtic were poor but Bobby Madden turned in one of the worst refereeing performances I’ve seen in Scotland for a long time… and that’s saying something!!!”
What is next for Celtic as treble dreams are shattered?
Celtic had come into the game hoping to knock out the Rangers and keep their hopes of an unlikely treble alive. It is safe to say that those are completely gone now and the focus has to be completely on the league.
They are six points ahead with five more league games to go, one of which is a Glasgow Derby at Parkhead. Ange Postecoglou’s side have a significantly better goal difference than the Rangers as well and as a result, it does feel like three more wins could be enough for them to be crowned champions.
While this defeat against the Rangers is a huge blow for the Hoops, they cannot afford to brood over it for long. It is time to get up and bounce back as quickly as possible. They must make sure that they clinch the Premiership title and have the last laugh. Not many fans would have expected them to even come close at the start of the campaign.
This article was originally posted here