Live coverage of the Scottish League Cup semi-final between Ross County and Celtic at the National Stadium. And highlights of yesterday's Hibernian v St Johnstone.
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Unbelievable! A spectacular opening goal in the Derby. The shop is an
absolute beauty. Is this a bit of history? It is. It is there. What a
finish. It is Celtic's League Cup. Every manager wants his name in the
history books. Jim McIntyre is the first ever Ross County boss to lead
his team to the League Cup semifinal.
The breakthrough made! Ronny Deila has already lifted this
trophy, but he wants another one of the first step towards an historic
trouble. Celtic have won the competition 15 times, they are top
of the Premiership, 22 points ahead of Ross County. But the Highlanders
do not to click back to many pages for inspiration.
Ross County are going to the Scottish Cup final!
We are live at Hampden Park for the latest chapter in the League Cup
story. What is the storyline for the second
semifinal? Do Celtic take another step towards the treble? Or does
lightning strike twice for Ross County against Celtic at Hampden
Park? It will unfold before your very eyes over the next couple of
hours. Who will take a step closer to getting their hands on this
trophy? It is the second semifinal of the Scottish League Cup, resented
by Utilita. It is live on the BBC. Accompanied by Alan Stubbs, Michael
Stewart and Pat Nevin. Look forward to your spying mission on your
opponents? It is nice to be able to sit here, knowing that whoever we
are going to face, I can relax and watch the game. Do you have a tip?
No, I don't mind who we play. We are looking forward to it, we are glad
we are already there, we will see what prevails. The second semifinal,
the teams arrived around an hour ago, Leigh Griffiths leading Celtic
off the bus. They are the firm favourites for this. Jim McIntyre
hoping he can do what Derek Adams did in 2010. Jackson Irvin and his
performing ponytail part of a reshuffled Ross County line-up.
Details of both teams to follow. That go to our commentary team.
I am not sure the weather will affect either team. A lot has been
made of the 2010 results, which was phenomenal for Ross County, but they
have played a lot since, and Celtic have won a lot. They will be
confident of doing so again today. Ross County are listed as the home
team. Jim McIntyre normally goes with two upfront. Against Celtic, a
little more cautious. A debut for Paul Quinn in defence, returning
from Aberdeen. An experienced player. He had to go strong in
midfield. Both teams are capable of scoring goals. Ross County have
conceded twice as many. If he can go in there and get parity with Celtic
in midfield, he can get players forward and pick off their defence.
But you have got to stop Celtic playing. Still no Liam Boyce. For
Celtic, there were rumours that Scott Brown would be back today, he
is, but only on the bench. It is big news, and a boost for Ronny Deila to
call upon his skipper at some point today. Jozo Simunovic chapters not
make it. He is injured. His place goes to Dedryck Boyata, who comes
back. When they lose a player, a quality player comes in. You look at
different four. Gary Mackay-Steven missed the final last year as did
Stuart Armstrong, they were not want that to happen again. Ross County
have to stop Leigh Griffiths. Those players were fantastic last year for
Dundee United against Aberdeen, devastated on missing out in the
final, but they can make amends today. Hibernian sitting at home
after their victory yesterday. All except their manager, Alan Stubbs,
who is in the studio, but he says he is sitting confidently. All of the
Hibs fans will find out who they will face in March very soon.
Those are the selections, let's get the stories behind the decisions.
Three changes for you today, it looks as though you had some tough
choices to make. Yes, Liam Boyce has come back into training, but we feel
it is too soon for him. It is a risk we are not there to take. We have
left out Brian Graham and change the system to 4-1- 4-1. We have used
that twice this season before against Celtic and we have made good
opportunities. First and foremost, you need to deny them space and be
hard to break down, but you have to carry the threat. We did that in
both matches, but we did not punish them when the chances arose. Can you
take much inspiration from 2010? That team are held in such high
regard, and rightly so, it was a fantastic achievement. We have got
to make our own memories. It would be great to do that today. We will
have to bring a top drawer performance. Hopefully we can.
No real surprises in your line-up, is there a problem with Jozo
Simunovic? He picked up an injury, he will be out for a while. It is
good to have Dedryck Boyata back. The rain is coming down, the picture
looks heavy, are you expecting a battle? It is always a battle, it is
a big game, so much to play for. But you need to play and get the tempo,
and we need to be in the last month, then we can have a good chance of
winning. There is always pressure on Celtic. It is about performances.
Ross County also want to get to the final. It will be tough, but we have
good confidence, we are looking forward to the game.
Celtic are aiming to reach their 86th major cup final, they have a
habit of getting the job done. Yes, they are a good team. I think it is
slightly harder for them to win the cups than it is to win the league,
because you can slip up in the lead and you can make up for it, but in
the cups, to do the trouble, it is a big ask. People together granted. It
is hard to do in Scottish football. It will be tough today. The
transformation in Ross County has been dramatic, a year ago they were
adrift at the bottom of the Premiership, now they are one step
away from a cup final. Jim has done a brilliant job, he has brought in
some good players. If you look at what he had and what he has now,
there has been a big overhaul. They are getting their rewards. Michael
Gardyne could be an interesting player in this game. He started his
career at Celtic, he is in his third spell at Ross County, he seems to
have this ability to make himself and his team-mates perform. It will
be important for Ross County, because they will play with one of
the top, rather than the normal two, so he will be vital to get up and
support. This is a perfect example of him coming in off the line. A
great header. These things will be important,
especially on a big part like this, getting up and supporting the
striker. And finishing off well as well. He is a big player for them.
Out in the wide area, attacking the full-back and finishing up with a
really good strike. It seems as if he has settled, sometimes you find
that with players, they are comfortable at certain clubs, it
does not work for him moving around, but Ross County is a nice fit. It
looks like an unfamiliar Ross County setup, it is all very simple what
they try to do, Alex Schalk is upfront, he is not an out and out
striker, but Jim McIntyre making the point, they have gone with one of
top before. He said you need to stay in the game and be early on. If you
look at the bench, they have got Liam Boyce, Brian Graham, he has to
make sure they still in the game as it develops. If you go open, you
could be well beaten. In the last five games, Celtic have been
stunning. You need to keep them quiet for as long as possible, hence
the little adaptation. I suspect a lot of the time it will be 4-5- one.
It is an interesting one for the opposition manager coming up against
Celtic, you have to be difficult to beat, but you cannot allow the game
to be taking part in your own half, you have to offer a threat to
Celtic. Sometimes when you set up like this, the game becomes what you
don't want, and you are on the back foot. Guys like Michael Gardyne will
be aborted as an outlet to get them up the park and pose the threat. We
were looking at Allen to pick out a key player for Celtic, it is
difficult to avoid Leigh Griffiths, and a lot of Ross County's plan is
to stop him. He has been on fire. You only have to look at his
movement as well as his golf and his linkup play. He is so clever. The
way he strikes a ball is different class. Everybody wants to try to
stop him, but they are not stopping him. He has really grown as a
player. All of his weaker points, they have strengthened. At Celtic,
you have to grow in stature as a player. You have to embrace the size
of the club. He is filling in the striker's shoes unbelievably well.
Do you mind if we look at the first semifinal? Not at all! Brief
highlights from Tynecastle yesterday, Hibs against St
Johnstone. A penalty kick. Chris Mellor takes
Henderson down just inside the box. The finger-pointing in the face from
Stephen Maclean. He is incensed by Henderson going down. The officials
have taken the decision. Stephen Maclean the referee being told in no
uncertain terms by this and Johnstone striker, who is shown the
yellow card. He goes to challenge. Henderson looked very keen to go
down. Regardless, Hibernian have the opportunity to take the lead at
Tynecastle. Jason Cummings rolls it into the bottom corner. Hibernian of
the CHAMPIONSHIP make the breakthrough. As cool as you like,
Jason Cummings /sit past the goalkeeper. Could Hibernian be on
their way to Hampden Park? St Johnstone are back on level
terms. They have only been behind the three minutes. They will feel it
is very much deserved. Joe Shaughnessy up from the free kick.
There was no chance the goalkeeper was going to keep that out, superbly
directed. A free kick right on the edge of the
box. It is Hibs' turn to be incensed by the decision. I am not sure there
was any more contact on this occasion than there was last time.
It clipped the top of the bar. Inches away from putting St
Johnstone in front. So unlucky. You could see he was going about.
So close to his first Hibernian goal. The Hibs fans really feel the
game is theirs for the taking at the moment.
A beautiful goal. A blistering effort from the midfielder.
Hibernian are back in front. This is no more than a half chance
John McGinn. But boy, did he let rip. His fourth macro goal of the
season. As he put Hibs into the final of the league cup?
He can't quite finish it. That is twice Dagnall has had a good
opportunity and twice he has just missed the target. It was a narrow
angle. What a pass. He could not squeeze it in at the far post.
Lovely turn away from Davidson. John McGinn is offside. What a run. He
went past three, four defenders before a despairing challenge.
It was some advert for a Scottish football. An electric atmosphere.
Both teams gave are delighted. They probably created more chances but we
still had good opportunities. The keeper made a great save. A couple
of header Blocked. We are disappointed but we will pick
ourselves up and go on with the league campaign.
Poor Tommy Wright, the victim of that terrible penalty decision. What
do you think of it? I have seen it a few times. I think Liam takes a
really good touch into the box. The player has made an action towards
the ball. And looking at it from Stephen's angle now, it looks like
it is a penalty. If you see the one from behind, they are again it looks
like a penalty. It does not make any difference if there is the slightest
bit of contact or it is heavy contact, if I was Tommy be
disappointed. The referee could not have been any closer. He could not.
But watching replays, it is unfortunate for St Johnstone. As
there is what you think is contact, Davidson was in Stephen McClane's
line-of-sight. Any contact would have happened on the other side of
Liam Henderson to where Steven MacLean is standing. I can
understand why he has given the penalty. It is quite clear that
there is not contact. But I can understand why Liam Henderson has
gone down. If you are running into the box at pace like that, nine
times out of ten Chris Mullen would have put his foot out to win the
ball. But he has been unfortunate to have the penalty given against him.
There has not been contact. But I can understand why it has been
given. Very hard to take for St Johnstone. Pat, what did you think
it? At the risk of offending the manager, I think it was a soft
penalty. If there is the slightest bit of contact, and I did ask Alan
beforehand, and he said there was a bit of contact, if there is the
slightest bit of contact, it is a penalty kick. Tommy's reaction was
brilliant. OK, sometimes these go for you, sometimes they don't. We
did not play as well. It was the first goal 03. St Johnstone
equalised pretty quickly. In a way there was talk about who was under
pressure and who was not under pressure. It kind of was St
Johnstone. They came back into it. Hibs have looked really strong. They
are on a great run right now. Lots of confidence. It was a hard one.
Michael was mentioning it before is that five in a row? There is that
big crowd behind them and that certainly helped yesterday for Hibs.
Everything was against St Johnstone. They gave a good account of
themselves. John -- John McGinn was a standout? He was very good
yesterday. His overall game is going to a higher level all the time. His
energy, his pace, his power. His cleverness. In the second half he
got stronger as the game went on. He had a few chances. I think if
anything, some people might look at the goalkeeper's position, but the
fact John has hit it so well and he gets a little bit one-sided, which
catches him by surprise, it was a great strike. When I first saw that
clip, I thought Mannix might have been upset. But I totally agree with
Alan, because he strikes it so early. There are a lot of bodies in
the way. John McGinn rides the tackle well and strikes it so early.
It was also dipping. If it was coming at a straight angle, but it
was really dipping. It was quite harsh on the goalkeeper. A good hit.
Whoever we get today, whether it is Celtic, it will be a hugely
difficult game come for but we have got nothing to lose are fare. -- or
to fear. I fully believe in the group of players I have got. They
keep, not proving me wrong, but they keep getting over the questions I
have asked them and they keep delivering all the time. We are
enjoying what we are doing. We will see where it takes us and what we
can get at the end of it. It is not just about beating St Johnstone, it
is Dundee United and Aberdeen on the way to the final as well? Exactly.
Hibs have had a good season. There is a lot of pressure in the league,
trying to catch Rangers. But there is also something of, we can go out
and enjoy ourselves. When they play in the cup games, there is pressure
in every game, but may be slightly less in the cup. Celtic are under
more pressure here because they are expected to win the cup, they are
expected to win the trouble, they are hoping to win the travel. --
trouble. Hibs strike me as a, not typical Hibs team. There has been
this accusation for some time, and having been there myself I know how
apprehensive the fans are, it strikes me as if this Hibs teams
just embrace it. I felt that when I first came into the club. It was
always a mentality of, it always happens to Hibs. It was always us.
We tried to break that down. We feel there is a confidence now among the
fans, that they trust the players. It is great to see. Hibs are there.
Who will join them? Will it be Ross County? Will lightning strike twice?
Will Celtic take another step towards what they hope will be a
travel? Time to get to the action. The second semifinal. Commentary
from Craig Paterson and Leah McLeod. Celtic can move a step closer to the
holy grail of a domestic clean sweep if they can see off Ross County
today. This coming just a few short days before a trip to their closest
league challengers, Aberdeen, where they have already lost this season.
Big games. But these are big game players. Ross County have had some
12 months. A superb escape from relegation. They are a top 16 in the
Premiership. They are in their second major semifinal. What they
did in the first has provided the backdrop to this match. A lot has
changed since those days and Celtic have dominated the head-to-head
since, as they tend to do. Mikael Lustig continuing to set -- to
captain Celtic. He has been the deputy in the absence of Charlie
Mulgrew and Scott Brown. He has had that long spell out injured. We will
get to him in a moment. Andrew Davies is the Ross County skipper.
Paul Quinn back for a second spell. All things considered, it is a
fairly unusual Ross County line-up. Ian McShane... Liam Boyce not ready
to start. Craig: unavailable. There is a debut for Paul Quinn at the
heart of defence. Jackson Irvine gets a crack at his old team.
Scott Brown is back in the Celtic squad but only makes the bench.
Simunovic is out injured. Dietrich Boyata comes back after more than a
month out. Gary Mackay-Steven started his career at Ross County
and you would not bet on -- against Leigh Griffiths adding to his goal
tally already this season. Good news for Ronny Deila not just
for today but for the rest of the campaign, Scott Brown back. Boyce,
Graham and De Vita can all add -- ad attacking threat for Ross County
later today. Our referee today is Craig Thomson. The 43-year-old
enjoying his 14th season as a top-flight official.
There is Paul Quinn. He sealed his return here in the week from
Aberdeen. He scored the winner for the Dons at Pittodrie in November.
He has returned. Jackson Irvine came to Ross County for first-team
action. He did not get a crack of the whip at Celtic. There is
Dietrich Boyata. -- Dietrich Boyata. Craig Gordon was sent off in the
controversial Scottish Cup semifinal against Caledonian Thistle last
spring. Ross County looking to reach their first ever Scottish League Cup
final. Celtic aiming for a final number 31. They are big favourites.
The right to face Hibernian in the 70th staging of this showpiece is
the prize on offer back on the 13th of March. Craig Paterson, what do
you think? I am really looking forward to it. Mackay-Steven has
given Celtic a dream start! Inside 30 seconds. A sensational start for
the holders. Unbelievable. I was just about to say and would like to
see the team settle into the game and Celtic pick of Ross County in
the first minute. Leigh Griffiths is through, brilliant play. He could
have taken the goalkeeper on himself. Set it on a plate for his
team-mate. A dream start for Celtic. A nightmare for Jim McIntyre. I
thought he would go himself. Great team play. Gary Mackay-Steven got
off the market earlier in the week against St Johnstone. His third of
the season. That is the stuff that nightmares are made of four Jim
McIntyre. Ronny Deila has just watched Gary Mackay-Steven put his
team in front before we truly got started. Griffiths in again. There
is a shout for a penalty. It is all Celtic. They are all over Ross
County like a rash. Ross County have got to settle down and get
themselves into this game. Celtic can smell blood, having scored
early. This is a massive test of character
for Ross County. But here is the most recent assault on the Ross
County rearguard. Andrew Davies is deeper. It is a wonderful ball. If
the first touch is better, he is through. No penalty but as we say,
Celtic have started on the front foot, they got the goal. Ross County
have got to find a way to settle. An amazing start. Ross County had a
free kick. -- have a free kick. Alex Schalk one of those waiting for the
delivery. This would be some time to level
proceedings. Davis had to spin. Davis was
practical there. Gave away an opening penalty on the opening day
of the league season against Celtic. The pitch is slippery underfoot. A
great day for forwards. Players who want to go by players will have a
field day. We will see a few challenges like that as well.
Gary Mackay-Steven putting Celtic in front on 27 seconds. T-Dog by Leigh
Griffiths. Part of the Rangers squad that lost
to Celtic a year ago today in this competition. Stuart Armstrong was
part of the Dundee United side that beat Aberdeen, with Gary
Mackay-Steven. It is a corner. The movement of the Celtic front players
is causing problems for Ross County. A heavy touch, if he takes a better
touch, it would have been real trouble for Ross County.
Celtic looking for a quickfire second. It is off the line by
Richard Foster. Ross County are right up against the rotator. Celtic
are going for it, they think they can finish the game early. Good
defending, stay on the line, don't get carried away. Clear your lines.
Kieran Tierney has impressed so much this season.
Mikael Lustig will be surrendering the armband pretty soon. Scott Brown
is back among things. So many big games coming up Celtic hunt down
three trophies. It is not something that happens too often, only Jock
Stein and Martin O'Neill have guided Celtic to Troubles, it has only
happened three times in their history, but they need somebody like
Scott Brown around. To get him back on the pitch would be a massive
bonus. Having him in the dressing room is one thing, but you can
influence games on the park. His drive and enthusiasm are infectious.
Marcus Fraser one of the several Ross County players today who began
their career acts uptake. Michael Gardyne is another who began
his career at Celtic. And Scott Fox. Paul Quinn has recent experience of
going 1-0 down to Celtic and winning the game.
It is not a badge right at all, Craig Gordon had to look very
lively. A great save. That is more like it from Ross County, get into
the danger area. Slick passing. That is a magnificent hit, really strong.
Alex Schalk gets over the ball and fires it, a great save by Craig
Gordon. Alex Schalk scored against
Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup recently, in the fourth round. Ross
County needed a replay against the League 1 leaders. He fouled by
Martin Woods. I am sure there are many Celtic
supporters who are inside Hamden today who were here almost six years
ago, incredible to think it is almost six years since Ross County
shocked Celtic, that it is one thing that's back one way to exorcise the
ghosts, to score so early. Ross County wanted to block up the
midfield area, stop Celtic playing, and from there get players forward
into attacking areas. Now that plan that they have been working on is up
in the air, and Jim McIntyre has to trust his players to dig themselves
back into the contest. You might notice that the Celtic players are
wearing black armbands, for their former player John Dowie, who passed
away at the age of 60 the other week.
It is the same combination that led to the opener. Jim McIntyre will be
concerned, every time Celtic get into the final third, they are
slicing open the Ross County rearguard. It is the movement of
Leigh Griffiths, he is hard to pin down. His touch is good and he is
looking to feed in team-mates. He looks like the complete player.
It is Efe Ambrose again, he ought to have done better. That is a real
chance. He is up and over Andrew Davies, that he has to hit the
target. He knocks it a mile wide. A lot of players between him and the
back of the net, but the least he has to do is hit the target and work
the goalkeeper. Another sigh of relief for Ross County. They could
have conceded a couple if not three by
It looks as though Stewart Murdoch will be the ride's the wide right
midfielder. Michael Gardyne, the only survivor from the victory in
2010, in the starting XI. Scott Wood is on the bench.
A slight misunderstanding between Dedryck Boyata and Efe Ambrose. They
will not have played together to often. Jozo Simunovic has been the
preferred option since he got himself fit. He is out injured
today. I wonder if we will see Erik Sviatchenko today, the Danish new
signing, among the subs. Effie Armstrong was signalling to the
bench earlier. The game is settling down a bit. It was a whirlwind
start. Celtic looking for back-to-back League Cup triumphs
after beating Dundee United last year. 2-0.
Callum McGregor has worked his socks off to get back into the side. Good
covering by Stefan Johansen. A good response from Ross County.
That is what they need to do, have a bit of time in the Celtic off, get
their foot on the ball, get over the early blow.
It is another red card for Celtic in a semi-, and it is Efe Ambrose who
goes. This has turned on a sixpence. It is a big decision for the
referee. Effie Ambrose brings the player down. Is it a goal-scoring
opportunity? I am not sure he has any option at all. The referee is
having none of it. Celtic were reduced to ten against Inverness in
last season's Scottish Cup final. It just crept through. Does he catch in
with a knee? As soon as the referee things it is a penalty,
unfortunately he has got to give the red card. A lot of people do not
like the double whammy, it is like getting two prizes, but Ross County
could be right back in this game. Martin Woods will take the spot
kick. Liam Boyce amongst the substitutes. Effie Ambrose has come
off, there will be a debut for Erik Sviatchenko in a moment. The has to
decide who he will sacrifice. It will be Callum McGregor coming off.
He is the unfortunate man, but this has been a huge blow for Celtic in
the last minute or so. It is Erik Sviatchenko who is on for a debut.
Celtic are down to ten. Ross County have a penalty. Martin Woods against
Craig Gordon. Martin Woods has yet to score this season. He has now.
Ross County level the semifinal, and has the pendulum swung the way of
the highlanders? Celtic protested loudly in the wake
when Ambrose brought down Alex Schalk. Did not look like there was
too much contact. Just enough for him to point to the spot.
The referee has no option. The minute he says penalty, red card,
Celtic are down to ten men. Celtic do not have to look back very far to
find a recent example where Ross County lost the game of football
against the team playing with ten men. It was in Dingwall against
Aberdeen. I am sure that will be fresh in the
mind of Jim McIntyre. A very different semifinal from the one we
thought after one minute. I wonder if Jim McIntyre is now looking at
the formation thinking, now I have the extra man, do you bring Jim
Boyce on now? Free kick. Margaret gets a yellow.
The player has skinned him. How much will the recent game
against Aberdeen play on the minds of these county players? It is
almost the same personnel and there? Paul Quinn has arrived. Playing a
team with a man less and yet you lose the game. The differences this
is a semifinal. In the early part of their work goal down, Celtic were on
top. It is a huge lift. I think Ross County will fancy their chances.
Sviatchenko was signed for 1.5 million from his club in Denmark.
Scored against France in a recent friendly.
Just crept away from Leigh Griffiths. Celtic's man of the
season. Almost got it back from Mackay-Steven. They have combined
well in the early stages. It was that combination that led to the
Celtic goal. Sviatchenko is not exactly coming
and cold. He is new to Scottish football but he has played for his
Danish club regularly. Trying to strike up some kind of understanding
with your fellow defenders is not easy in this situation. You are down
to ten men. Gary Mackay-Steven and Armstrong will have to leave Leigh
Griffiths up there as a lone striker. A foul by Marcus Fraser on
Armstrong. Mackay-Steven and Armstrong made
immediate impressions when they arrived at Celtic. Both scored on
their debut. The 16th meeting between the clubs.
Ross County won only one other than that semifinal.
Celtic have been relatively convincing winners in the league
games between the teams. 2-0 on the opening day of the season. The
second game, more recently, was a 4-1 win for Celtic at Dingwall.
A young player coming through, given the opportunity. He has grabbed it
with both hands. He does look a real prospect. He has been trusted by
Ronny Deila in the European matches as well.
Good play. Mackay-Steven has had a burst of confidence. It is amazing
what a goal will do for you. It was a slow start to the season for him.
Boyata is very advanced, the centre have. -- half.
Armstrong... Off Fraser Forster is Celtic corner. This chance all about
Tierney and his ability to drive past players. The minute you do
that, defenders have to readjust. Celtic must get themselves in. A
good block by the defender. That will please Jim McIntyre, that
one of his players has won the ball from one of these Celtic's corners.
It was Paul Quinn who dealt with that one. Efe Ambrose, before he was
sent off, had a couple of headers from that situation. Yes, one good
header and one poor effort. He should have hit the target at least.
Griffiths. He chose his weaker foot. No offside. Armstrong was not far
away! A good effort. You could see the goalkeeper scrambling. A few
Ross County players switching off. You have got to react quickly.
Stuart Armstrong did. It is fine margins because Ross
County stopped for a split second in anticipation of an offside flag.
That could have cost them dear. By all means ask the question but do it
while you are getting back. Hibs already through to the final.
The 70th edition of this tournament. A 2-1 win over St Johnstone at
Tynecastle yesterday. The place was buzzing as Hibs marched through to
another cup final. A good squad being built by Alan Stubbs. He and
his men watching this with interest. Jim McIntyre might be considering
throwing the dice here. I am much if it is tactical or if there is a
problem. It looks as if Jonathan Franks will be on in a moment.
Franks is a wide man. Maybe just more natural width. Stewart Murdoch
down this side. Possibly in today for his defensive abilities. Now
they have the extra man, Ross County probably want a player with more
drive. It does not matter, as a player you will not like being
hooked. The manager does things for the good of the club. That is why
Jim McIntyre is in charge. He has to make these decisions. In particular
in a national semifinal. Stewart Murdoch is being replaced by
Jonathan Franks. Started his career at Middlesbrough,
Murdoch. Franks is on. A right-sided player. They must have feared the
worst inside 30 seconds of this game.
There has certainly been plenty to talk about. Even the award of the
penalty kick will cause some debate and consternation among the Celtic
supporters. Celtic have been in the the League
Cup final 30 times, they have won to 15.
Ross County well beaten by Dundee United in the 2010 cup final after
they had caused their semifinal shock.
The overlap from Forster. He tried to do too much himself, Gardyne.
Third spell at Ross County for Michael Gardyne. He is always going
to be an important player for them. Perhaps even more so now. When you
have an extra man you make the flanks as wide as possible. Get
themselves right on the touchline and try to spread Celtic. There will
be space in there somewhere. If you get width involved in the game, that
would give all the players a chance to get themselves into the box at
the right time. -- that will give other players.
A third of the way through, one apiece. Mackay-Steven scoring the
opener in the first minute. Efe Ambrose was sent off after spurning
a couple of good opportunities himself. Red card, penalty, stroked
home by Martin Woods. How do you play this now if you are
Ronny Deila? All you can do is play how you are. When you get the ball,
you still want Armstrong and Mackay-Steven to get forward. But
when you lose possession, get back and stop Ross County. A huge game
for a Ronny Deila. Aberdeen in midweek as well.
I just wonder how much of his long-term prospects rest on winning
all three trophies. The expectation is huge as manager of Celtic.
Good challenge. It is no mean feat getting past Tierney. A good
challenge by the 18-year-old. Craig Gordon looked a little bit
awkward in dealing with that one. Goalkeepers will always tell you the
modern-day ball moves from side to side. But you cannot take chances.
Ross County's second corner of the afternoon.
A potential Celtic counterattack. Ross County are getting back.
East Kilbride taking on Celtic a week today in the Scottish Cup. Live
on radio, television and online. And indeed the League Cup final next
month. How have Celtic reacted to going a
man down? Dealing with it well enough, the fact is, in order to win
a semifinal, you have got to score at some point, unless we go to
penalty kicks, so they have themselves settled... But Celtic are
hoping for one of those from three to produce a little bit of magic.
The days of replays in the League Cup long gone, and at this stage of
the Scottish Cup, gone as well. County boss Jim McIntyre scored a
memorable winner for Dunfermline. County are seen a lot of the ball,
as you would expect, given the circumstances, ten minutes to
half-time. Jackson Irvine... Taking his time...
Taking too long over it. Pressure remains. Trying to be patient, Ross
County, at this stage of the game, it is an advantage to get the ball
into the danger area. Probing and prodding here, the stag
is -- the Staggies. The one difference, the one big
difference, between this game and that Ross County Aberdeen match,
when county had the numerical advantage, it is the fact that the
pitch is enormous in comparison to the one up at Dingwall. And you get
the next wide man on. When you wide man is free it will come into the
box, you need players trying to get onto the end of the crosses.
Celtic maintaining their superb scoring record this season, they
have only failed to score in four matches this campaign, twice
domestic, against Heart of Midlothian and, incredibly,
Kilmarnock. Two games in Europe. Both away from home, the Azerbaijan
team, and Malmo, Sweden. Ronnie Deila is hoping that he can
guide them into the group stage of the Champions League, it is a long
way off though, 1-1, against a stubborn Ross County side. Davis has
come of the worse. -- the Azerbaijan team Qarabag. Difficult to see if it
team Qaraba . Difficult to see if it was a facial knock, he has come down
awkwardly, they do not want to lose him. May have come down on the back
of an Drew Davis, as they were falling. They will be hoping it is
not a bad injury. Eyes on the ball. Andrew Davis, part of the Bradford
side that Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, in the FA Cup, last season.
Coming from behind to win that one, 4-2, in London.
They get the consolation prize of a corner. Great area, difficult for
defenders, goes out of a corner kick on and they are pleased to see that
one. The goalkeeper does well, new knows
that the boots will be flying, great flick at the front post, goalkeeper
getting a hand to it, he's hoping his defenders can deal with it.
Comes in and catches him but that is a genuine challenge. Lovely flick
from Mikael Lustig. You can see where the problem lies for Scott
Fox. No problem with the challenge, the goalkeeper does not have the
ball gathered, you have every right to knock that into the back of the
net. Looks like he will be OK. Arrived last summer, from Partick
Thistle, Scott Fox. What a start Celtic made through Gary
Mackay-Steven. Laid on a plate by his team-mate, and at that point,
Celtic looked absolutely unstoppable. But one incident, one
decision, the penalty plus the sending-off, and Ross County are
right back in it. Aggrieved after the Scottish Cup final of last
season, the Josh Meekings handball that was not spotted. They have a
reason to be eye rake, and they are eye rake right now as well. He felt
that he was fouled, rather than complain to the referee, he wants to
get up and white into the challenge and he is penalised.
Waiting inside the box now. Griffiths... Does not normally need
an invitation, difficult one to take, that.
Celtic supporters trying to rouse their side.
Still a couple of minutes left in the first half, as it stands, there
will be a minimum of three minutes added on at the end of it full --
added on at the end of it. Fouled by Fraser, he is going to be booked.
Talking about players trying to be a little bit too clever, Fraser was
put in that situation, but it was cynical. He knew what he was doing,
when the player gets cold side, you do not know if you are short of men
at the back, taking one for the team, but the danger is not over, it
is a real chance for Celtic, with the free kick. I remember Virgil van
Dijk scoring a free kick from this kind of area here, into that goal,
in the semifinal against Caley Thistle last season. -- Inverness
Caledonian Thistle. Johannson, Armstrong, among the
players over this, it is Armstrong... Could not get the
purchase on the header. From the reaction from the Stig, you could
see that this was a chance, good ball in there, and he gets nothing
on the header. -- from the reaction from Mikhail Nastenko. -- Mikael
Lustig. Only 17 appearances last season, 29 this month. He had an
ankle injury. -- 29 last month. Lovely ball through... Gordon meets
him. Quality goalkeeping. Off his line quickly. The action swings the
other way. Three minutes of stoppage time have just been confirmed.
Lively first half. Onside... Gets it all wrong...
Tackled himself. Free kick. Operating on the
periphery of this game, Griffiths, albeit he did set up the goal from
Gary Mackay-Steven. The game has become scrappy, neither team is any
good at holding onto the ball. Penny for your thoughts, to the
Bernie and players on loan from Celtic who will not be able to
feature for Hibs in the final if their parent club gets through
today, Anthony Stokes and Liam Henderson. -- -- Darfur
-- the two Hibernian players. Finishing the half strongly. You do
not want to knock it in like this. Challenge on Griffiths, the referee
nonplussed. It is now Ross County, in the opening minute of the first
half they went behind, now they are looking to do some damage in the
final minute. Vinyl first half minutes of great.
It has been interesting, early on Celtic looked on stoppable, they got
the goal, but things change. -- final first half minutes of Craig.
The sending-off has given Ross County a real chance, Celtic, ten
men, working that little bit harder, it is going to take its toll on the
legs, and that is when county will hope they can take advantage. Big
pitch, heavy pitch, rain continuing to tumble down onto the Hampden Park
surface. Half-time. BOOING Again, the referee making headlines,
Gary Mackay-Steven made the early headlines, tapping into the empty
net after good setup led by Leigh Griffiths, county work are bright
open, Celtic were lightning in the early stages. Efe Ambrose had a
couple of opportunities before he was sent off by professional on Alex
Schalk, the spot kick was converted, by Martin Woods, and that means that
it is 1-1. STUDIO: Looked as if the second
League Cup semifinal might be done and dusted inside the first three
minutes, Celtic ahead, inside 30 seconds, and it could have been
worse for Ross County, but back they came, against ten man Celtic, Efe
Ambrose sent off, Martin Woods scored the penalty, and it is 1-1 at
the national stadium at half-time. Let's get the thoughts of my guests.
We might have thought, you know who you would be facing in the final. I
think Jim would have been dreading those first few minutes, it could
have been over before it started. The chances Celtic had... Luckily
enough, they have got themselves back in the game, they had a nervous
start. As the game has gone on they have grown in confidence and they
are posing problems for Celtic. Jim McIntyre and Ross County must feel
they have won a watch. It was a nervous start as we said. They were
all over the place at the back and allowed Celtic to cause them real
problems. That sending off and penalty has got them back into it.
Not only had it allowed them back in but they have exploited that and
caused Celtic problems. Where is the match now, 11 against ten? It is
still fairly well balanced. Interesting substitution that the
manager made. I think it is very brave, bringing on an attack minded
player. He is going for it and you might as well, it is a semifinal.
But right at the start, anybody who watched Andy Murray starting this
morning, it wasn't very good and neither was it good for Ross County!
But they got that break. I think Celtic are still well in this,
Griffiths is making fantastic positional moves and getting into
good areas and there are chances for Celtic to score. But we were talking
about the pitch, it is heavy, tough to play on, ten against 11. We might
have imagined part of Jim McIntyre's pre-match talk was to keep things
tight and Celtic scored after 27 seconds. You listen to his interview
and they wanted to contain Celtic and be hard to beat. And then this
happens. It is played up. This is straight from kick-off, we are
seeing all 27 seconds for the they were slightly asleep. They got
attracted to the ball. You have one centre-back staying back and three
pushing up and that leaves the gap. To be fair to Leigh Griffiths, you
are expecting him to finish that himself and it is unselfish. Very
unselfish. It just sneaks in from Mackay-Steven, I don't know why he
hasn't taken it with his left. He could have opened his body up, but
great play from Leigh Griffiths and Celtic were ruthless. As we said,
there were huge gaps in the Ross County backline and you can't have
that. If you are going to be hard to beat and put your stall out as being
difficult to beat, you can't have three pushing up and your full-back
five yards deeper because a team like Celtic will exploit it. And Jim
McIntyre put in Paul Quinn alongside Andrew Davies, getting to know each
other? Yes, and against very good players. Griffiths, it tells you
everything about how he has mature. It is phenomenal really. He is 90%
going to score but he knows it is 99% if he makes the pass. Very
impressed, everybody is talking about his percentages against other
fantastic players from the Celtic past but he does the might think.
There were more chances -- the right thing. There were two or three
minutes of chaos at the back for Ross County after that and fortune
favoured them. There is Leigh Griffiths again pulling off the
centre-back and he is in. As a manager on the touchline, you are
thinking, come on come get yourselves together, settle down and
get some shape back. He pulled into a wider area this time. Foster is
running right across, Davies comes out to make the tackle and that
highlights what is going on. Ambrose wins this in the air from the
corner, it really was a nervous start and as a manager, you are
hoping that somebody at the back can grab it and say, let's concentrate.
A lot of that is down to a lack of concentration. The chance for
Griffiths, Paul Quinn is in a position where he has to see that
Davies is five yards further deep and he has to drop off as well.
Whether that is through not playing a lot of late, I don't know, but it
is a lack of concentration. Luckily for Ross County, they got away with
it. They did start to collect themselves and get a foothold in the
game. This was a sign of their growing confidence. A good effort.
They started playing better, Gardyne got quite involved. There were a
couple that Craig Gordon had to parry out. I thought this was a good
save because it is dipping, almost like the one against Hibs yesterday.
The keeper gets down well. They needed something like that to give
them a lift and a bit of belief because it had been sucked out of
them and they just about survived and then they got lucky. But is it
like? Or should be defended not be going in? 13th minute, unlucky for
Celtic. What about this? You look at it, initially you wonder if there
was contact but when you see the replay there is another angle that
will show you that his knee comes across and catches him. He does not
alter his stride pattern, he keeps running and he catches him. Do you
think Craig Gordon might have got the ball? This is a great penalty,
but, obviously it's a free kick, if he's not getting their then it's not
a red card because he will not get it. You can talk about that all day
long but it is poor defending. You look along the line as well, an
absolute disaster, the full-backs are the deepest players, the centre
halves are in front of them and that is a nightmare for a defence.
Ambrose is further in front, he is reacting slowly. We were in line
with the run and you think, you've got to stop. You have to be aware of
the fact that he's going to collide with him and he simply ran into him.
Either make the tackle and run the risk of a penalty, but he just ran
into him full sucked it is absolutely craving defending. Efe
Ambrose has looked a bit clumsy at big moments at times this season.
You can't do that at the back, if you turn off for a minute, it only
takes a minute as a centre-back. Maybe it was best to have just left
it for Craig Gordon. It was well done by the referee. I did not see
the touch. And well done to Martin Woods because what a delay there was
between a penalty being awarded and taken because they made the
substitution. They are supposed to be at an advantage. They are making
the substitution, he has to wait and keep his composure and he has dealt
with it really well and put it away. We were talking about it, I don't
know what the roles are but it strikes me as odd, was County have
got the penalty and Celtic can make the substitution. -- Ross County.
Surely it has to happen after the penalty has been taken. I believe it
is in the laws that you can do it. If that's the case, there are
enough, that I think it was a bit odd that they had to wait even
longer for the substitution. We talked about Ross County
re-gathering themselves after the start and Celtic did so and then got
back into it even with ten. Again it is Leigh Griffiths who was central
to it. He looked sharp. This looked like it was dipping in, he has
caught it so well. A lot of the Celtic fans in front of us thought
it was in, it catches the top of the net. You wondered if it had gone in.
Ross County had a lot of bodies behind the ball but Celtic have the
quality to still fashion a chance. And a glorious scramble inside the
box after a corner. Fox made a couple of saves and he was brave and
he had to be. The ball was just dropping. He does it twice, goes for
the first and gets a good palm on it, it comes back and he reacts
quickly. He is brave again and throws his body on the line. It
underlines again, Celtic, typical Celtic, a man down but they are not
sitting back, they are trying to win the game. This is where it becomes
an interesting tactical battle between the managers. Jim McIntyre
has gone with two wide men, bring on Franks and push Gardyne on. It was
partly to stop Tierney. There has been a lot of action where Tierney
has had to defend. Irvine has picked up a lot of balls and there has been
a lot of two against ones. He has shown himself to be a good defender
but it is difficult at full-back when it is too on one. For Jemima --
for Jim McIntyre, he might take a lot of insight from the semifinal
last year where the Inverness kept laying against Celtic down to ten
men and that is what they have to do -- kept playing. Let's have a look
at the roller-coaster of emotions on the touchline and they have been
ever-changing. Jim McIntyre must have been suffering in the opening
moments as Ronny Deila's team made such an impressive start. Then the
sending of an all change, they have been practising that! They have been
spending too much time together! How have Ross County done with 11
against ten? They have grown in confidence. Since the penalty, it
gave them a lift and more belief to get on the ball. They have been
better with the ball. Early on they could not get hold of it. Now they
have started to cause Celtic a few problems, vetting into better areas
and they are starting to play further up the pitch -- getting.
Will there be a time for Liam Boyce, Craig Curran? I am sure Jim McIntyre
will have an idea in his head, especially for getting boys onto the
park. We looked at their formation and wondered if Schalk would be
isolated. -- Boyce. But they will have to continue to push up in the
second half. Will there be a time for Scott Brown? That might be the
most interesting thing, the subsidiary is made by Ronny Deila
burqas he will have to -- the substitutions made by Ronny
Deila because he will have to use them. What he does from here on in,
big moments. It is intriguingly poised. This is the story so far.
Celtic striking inside 27 seconds, Gary Mackay-Steven set up by Leigh
Griffiths. It could have got worse but it got better for Ross County
with a red card for Efe Ambrose and the penalty expertly converted by
Martin Woods and that is where we are. 11 man Ross County against ten
man Celtic. 1-1 at half-time. Over to the second half with Craig
Patterson and Liam McLeod. COMMENTATOR: It would be a big risk
bringing on Scott Brown unless they have to, he has not played since the
21st of November, a draw at home against Kilmarnock. No further
changes at the interval for either team. County have beaten a united,
Falkirk and the cup-holders Inverness Caley Thistle to get to
this stage -- Ayr United. Leigh Griffiths scored what he described
as his favourite Celtic goal at Tynecastle. Ross County Boss last
win over Celtic was in 2013. -- Ross County's last win over Celtic. Their
only other victory over them was here in that Scottish Cup semifinal.
It is Celtic attacking the east end of Hampden Park. In the green and
white. Ross County in the navy blue. We have seen him score goals with
his head many times in the Celtic shirt. CO-COMMENTATOR: Too far away
for Leigh Griffiths, not enough on the ball, tries to generate power
but never going to beat the goalkeeper. Scored a terrific goal
for Hibernian in that sensational 4-3 victory over Falkirk in the
Scottish Cup, proved to be the winner, the day after, Celtic came
here and won 4-3 against Andy United! Scored the winner. Usual go
to player. In situations like this. Some afternoon for him if he can
help Celtic through to the final against his boyhood heroes, does not
disguise the fact that he loves Hibernian football cup, they lie in
wait for the victors of this tussle. -- he is your go to player. Extra
time and penalties can be the decider tonight. But you would bet
against that. Extra time, that reduces the ability to make
substitutions for the manager, you have got to hold one back for extra
time, in case there is sudden cramp or an injury, so before the end of
the 90 minute I should imagine there will only be one change by either
manager. Playing the same system as the end of the first half. Woods and
Irving trying to support Alex Schalk through the middle. Celtic
conserving energy, dropping back. Squeezing it through... Could not
find Alex Schalk. What a ball. Horrible ball for the defender to
deal with, and he does so well, superb ball through, great run,
onside, one touch, get it in early... Brilliant defending,
absolutely brilliant. Would will take the corner, first of the second
half. -- Woods. Headed back across, and into the net it goes! Would you
believe it, Paul Quinn, on his debut, who scored the winner against
Celtic for Aberdeen early in the season has given Ross County the
lead early in the second half in the League Cup semifinal! What a story!
Would you believe it, we have been talking about set pieces. The two
centre-backs, brilliant by Davis, and Paul Quinn, burying it into the
back of the net, great flick back, and a lovely finish from Paul Quinn.
That is one from the training ground. Here at Hampden, the big
occasion, it has worked a treat for Jim McIntyre's side. He was brought
back for his defensive qualities, but what a moment it is for the
returning hero. A complete turnaround for Ross County. It seems
a world ago that Gary Mackay-Steven put a vibrant Celtic in front at the
start of the game. And now, Ronnie Deila faces a mammoth 41 minutes of
his Celtic career here at Camden, he has had some big matches in the
past, in his Celtic career, but defeat today would be unthinkable in
the eyes of many of the Celtic supporters with regards their
manager. -- Hampden He needs his team back into the game, he needs to
think about players like Scott Brown and James Forrest, game changers.
It is the Ross County supporters enjoying their afternoon. Really
dodgy opening period. If they weren't favourites after the
red card, surely Ross County are favourites now the first time since
the draw was made. Alex Schalk now...
County supporters who made the trip down the a nine motorway today have
been rewarded at the moment, horrible conditions. That Italy over
the last 24 hours. -- A9. The band of fans who have made the trip have
seen their team come from 1-0 down, to lead, Paul Quinn, hero, near as
return. -- horrible conditions particularly over the last 24 hours.
Ironically, Paul Quinn went to Aberdeen in search of trophies,
Aberdeen Art out about competitions, his first game back at Ross County
is a semifinal. -- Aberdeen are out of both competitions. He was on the
bench in Aberdeen's one and only League Cup tie at Easter Road, he
did not play. Making his Celtic debut, Erik
Sviatchenko, because he had to, more than anything else.
If it does go against Celtic today, the pressure will mount on Ronnie
Dilo, but circumstances have dictated this is the way it has
gone, because they started on fire. They looked like they were going to
run away with it. Running to try to get back, clips a player, finds
himself giving away a penalty. Armstrong to his left. Just delayed.
To the ire of the Celtic fans. Really good positive play by Stuart
Armstrong down the left flank. That is what they need, they need players
to take responsible at it, move players on, move the defence, see if
they can create space for the striker. Who will take this himself.
Hibernian so close to -- McShane on the six yard line got
that one away. Armstrong again. Second bite for him.
Never looked very convincing, coming across the park, slightly away from
goal, never gets hold of it at all. Jim McIntyre took a while to get
going at Ross County, when he replaced Derek Adams. Last year.
Just two of his last 21 in charge. Winning 11 of the last 13, that took
them from 12 to ninth Ross County had their feet in the
alligators mouth last season. Thematic recovery. That is a foul by
Erik Sviatchenko. This is a chance for McShane to whip the ball into
the mixer. Paul Quinn waiting again. Davis was up, but the legally. --
but illegally. The referee figuring that he was climbing over the top of
the Celtic player to get there, arms over the top.
Scott Fox would not have been too keen to see that come back to him
there. Talking about goalkeepers not
wanting the past, conditions making that difficult for him. More about
him in just a moment, here come Ross County. Celtic free kick. We will
get back to Craig Gordon he was booked in the wake of the second
Ross County goal scored by Paul Quinn, felt he was being found, does
he have a case? Certainly looks like it, no chance the referee will spot
that. He has his arms around him, he cannot come off his line, so many
bodies, so much going on, there is not much chance the referee can pick
that out. So of you see decisions like that go in favour of the
goalkeeper. It inevitably petulant, Mikael Lustig has talked his way
into the book as well. Down to ten men, 2-1 down, you still have a
chance, but if you go down to nine men, then the opportunity is gone,
you have got to keep your cool in this situation.
Celtic players certainly driven on by a sense of injustice. At the
moment that they saw the referee flash the red card in the direction
of Efe Ambrose. Who will be yellow carded next?
Andrew Davies felt he was up early, you can see the arm over the
shoulder, that is what he has been pinged for, his reaction almost got
him yellow carded. Celtic have more than enough quality
out there to win a football match. Scrappy at the moment. Inserting a
little bit of cool into the situation.
Gary Woods the sub goalkeeper for Ross County. They have so many
options on the bench, including Raffaele De Vita.
Here is Tierney. Tracking was Ian McShane who concedes a needless
corner. How often do you see these punished? These are the situations
when you have to think safety first, 2-1 ahead, you don't want to be
clever, he could have cleared his lines but he has put his team-mates
under pressure. We are beyond the hour mark, Celtic have been posed
one of the biggest questions of their season. Do they have an
answer? They do have another corner. They are winning a lot in the air,
Celtic. Set pieces are key because you can load up the box and put in
the centre-backs and if you win the first header it can fall to anyone.
'S Stefan Johansen will take from the right. It was not the worst ball
in. Now they are away on the counter. Too much on it for Schalk.
Why does he try to play the killer ball? Play it right, you are on the
break, it is great ambition but the final pass...
Lifted up by Foster. Woods trying to help it on its way.
A real midfield battle going on as Irvine twist it into the path of
words who has found Schalk, big chance! It looks like deja vu here
at Hamden! Alex Schalk puts Ross County into a 3-1 lead against the
holders! Great finish from Alex Schalk but I tell you what, Martin
Woods was super cool with the penalty and what a ball this is,
perfect weight and Schalk just has to pick his spot. Wonderful finish
but what a ball, he put it perfectly for his team-mate. He still had a
lot to do, the Dutchman, but it was Woods to Schalk, to the net, and it
is Ross County 3-1 Celtic. Celtic Boss travel macro -- treble hopes
potentially in smithereens again, being put to the sword by the
highlanders of Ross County. Does the Celtic manager go for it? Put on a
couple of substitutions to see if that makes a difference? Ross County
will be looking to hit them on the break if they push forward. That
might just be the biggest goal of the game because that 2-goal
cushion, as well as the new marital advantage on the pitch, that is
cushion, as well as the new marital massive as we head towards the final
quarter -- numerical advantage. Hibs are waiting for the victors. This is
a mountainous task for Celtic. There credentials as Scottish champions
and holders of the League Cup are being tested to the max here also it
is a long way back. Some Celtic fans in the wake of that
are heading for the exit door. No doubt about the finish. Before the
game, we were talking about how much of a blow it was for county not to
be able to call on Craig Curran and Liam bench only being on the bench
but Alex Schalk, arguably more of a wide player that are sent forward,
has not mattered, not yet. -- than a centre forward.
What do Celtic have left here? This is Griffiths, if anybody can get
them back into it it is he. Armstrong. They need the next goal.
They have the next corner. The problem was that Griffiths is going
out wide to get involved and there is not a soul in the box for Celtic.
He looked up and there was not one green and white jersey. When there
is an emergency, affordable team would love to be able to call upon
their captain and that is exactly what Celtic are about to do. Celtic
has not played in over two months. The skipper of his club and his
country is going to be on in a moment but not before this corner.
Not quite. I tell you what, it is a tall order for Scott Brown. It is
Nir Bitton who he is going to replace.
Scott Brown normally a sitting midfielder, controlling the game, I
wonder if that is the position he will play. When he broke into the
team at Easter Road as a youngster, he was electric, bursting forward
and looking to score goals and Celtic need something like that just
now. Certainly the man for the big occasion. Perhaps a little earlier
than Ronny Deila and the player himself might have thought. He had a
knee ligament injury which savaged part of his season. Heavy, slippery
Hampden Park pitch, he has got the armband back from Mikael Lustig.
Here is Johannson, lovely touch, he was cynically tripped by Ian McShane
who is the latest to go into Craig Thomson's little black book. --
Stefan Johansen. He realised he was always going to be booked for that,
he just brings him down, plain and simple. The second yellow card for
County, Marcus Fraser was booked earlier. Gordon and Lustig have both
been hooked. Celtic's need is urgent, we are into the final
quarter. They would rip your arm off for extra time right now. That is
the keeper's. There has been some serious
inconsistency in Ross County's recent form, loss, win, loss, win,
win, loss, draw, win, win. They are winning the odd game, and that is
what is keeping them up. They have played a couple games more than that
closest challenger. It is a good way to go about your business, just one
point for a draw so they are doing it the right way. Into their fourth
season as a top-flight side. Armstrong, took a deflection. Fox
holds on. Stuart Armstrong, side foot from there, he has to put his
laces through it. More chance of hitting the target but Celtic need
one to fly into the top corner at this stage. Celtic have won six of
their last seven League Cup semifinals, defeat to St Mirren
three years ago the only loss. That is towards Mackay-Steven from
Griffiths. Johansen. The Celtic fans and indeed the players felt he was
impeded in the box but nothing doing. I think that is more in hope
than anticipation, they are looking for anything to get back into the
game. Shoulder to shoulder. A big shout but the referee having none of
it. Ross County are going to bring on Brian Graham. He is on for Alex
Schalk, who scored their third. What an impression he has made today with
just his second goal of the season. He scored against Dunfermline in the
Scottish Cup at East End Park. This will mean so much more can certainly
as things stand as it is the goal that has given Ross County and
insurance policy against the holders. The manager stuck him up
there, he had a good effort saved by Craig Gordon in the first half, he
is involved in the big incident, going down for the penalty, and he
has also scored the third gold which has put Ross County in the box seat.
-- third goal. It is a bit huff and puff for Celtic at the moment as
they try to work out a way back into this. 19 minutes left of the 90.
Mackay-Steven. Corner. That is better from Celtic, the passing was
sharper and the running better and they get a corner. The centre-backs
come forward yet again to see if they can get their head on this.
Sviatchenko one of those waiting for this delivery.
It is over. Again, an opportunity for Mikael Lustig. I think he has to
flick this on, he is trying to generate power and go for goal. He
is ahead of the front post and it is very difficult to score from their,
he just has too flicked it on. This would not be the kind of shock it
was six years ago simply because Ross County were a First Division
side in those days against a Celtic team, albeit struggling at the time.
The end of the failed Tony Mowbray era. But it was still -- is still a
result that will send shock waves. You talked to so many people in the
game, and they hate that decision where the referee had to send a man
off. The penalty is a big enough problem for the team, and to lose a
man makes it impossible. There was no flag there. County snuff it out.
It just has not fallen for Griffiths. When he teed up
Mackay-Steven for the opener, you thought Celtic could win this by
however many they wanted. He is still the man Celtic need, working
away, in the wide areas and through the middle but that first touch let
him down. Leigh Griffiths has scored 47 goals in his last season and a
half, it is phenomenal. His record stand up with any of those who have
gone before him in the green and white hoops. It has not been his
day. There are still 15 minutes and despite the fact that it is 3-1, it
will still be a slow 15 minutes for their supporters, unless they can
add another and then it would surely be game over. Johansen. Could be a
break here. Griffiths. Celtic need something to happen. Griffiths.
There were plenty back in the end for Ross County. Ian McShane ran
back to cut that out. About eight of their players got back to make sure
there was no space in the box. It has been a feature of how they have
gone about their business, they have looked sharp. They started poorly
but when they got themselves level, they have been a good match for
Celtic. Forrest and Ciftci still on the bench for Celtic, Ciftci was a
winner for Dundee United in this competition last year.
Less than 15 to play. Celtic corner... They are keeping the
pressure on the Staggies. Celtic, one man down, hamstrung
since the 13th minute of the game. Efe Ambrose was red carded. Corner
from Johannson. It is a penalty! Handball! And used inside the box,
Craig Thomson has pointed straight to the spot, this is a lifeline.
Looking at Ross County players, one or two players asking the question,
comes in here, he has gone to head it, headed it onto his own hand...
It is the substitute... He has managed to shut his eyes, certainly
the referee sees that, I don't know if the referee sees it coming from
his head but they has given a penalty. Celtic were about to bring
an James Forrest, who I just mentioned. Leigh Griffiths has the
chance to launch a stunning fightback.
Saved by the Ross County goalkeeper! The lifeline has been spurned,
Celtic let down in the semifinal. That sums up the afternoon for
Celtic. You would have put your mortgage on Leigh Griffiths whacking
that into the back of the net. The goalkeeper has made a good save. He
has gone for power. Shades of the Scottish Cup semifinal for
Hibernian, where he eventually got one past the goalkeeper before
scoring that wonderful winner, denied from the spot against yellow
not his best penalty, nowhere near the corner. Good height for the
goalkeeper to save. Celtic have time... Would have been a wonderful
situation to put themselves in. Fox is there. Would have just given them
the impetus, would have got the supporters onside. Ross County
survive thanks to goalkeeper Scott Fox. All you can do is make yourself
big and hope for the best. If that goes into the back of the net,
really nervous for Ross County. Scott Fox left in limbo for six
months when he left Celtic initially because they were demanding a
training feed for him. Nobody touched him until his contract ran
down. Scott Fox will be feeling good about that penalty save. Retribution
for him. The two substitute combining. Claims
of handball against Fraser, bounced back off him, potentially. The Ross
County sub digit upfront, Graham, he will be breathing a massive sigh of
relief, because he conceded the penalty. The referee reaching for
the yellow card again. Not his first foul, you see the referee gesturing
to all points of the park. The totting up process means that he has
been booked for persistent fouling. Griffiths standing over this
commonly made fancy a pop for goal. -- Griffiths standing over this, he
may fancy a pop for goal. If he does, it may go in, conditions dicey
for the goalkeeper. Getting there... Slightly awkward for the goalkeeper,
but does the job. Cleans up at the second time of asking. Ten to play.
Another historic victory. Ross County against Celtic at Hampden.
Lovely ball in! Irvin! Had the chance to seal it. Could not take
it. -- Irvine. How important will that proved to be? -- prove. Foster
has stuck to his guns. Still the Celtic supporters believe
they can get back into this. Ross County so close to going 4-1
up. Another lovely move, set up on the far post, straight at the
keeper, Michael Gardyne sets it up nicely. Irvin shoots straight at the
keeper. -- Irvine. Wonder what is going through the
mind of Ronny Deila, right now, as it's turns, -- as he stands on the
edge of his technical area. He was confident his side could deliver on
all fronts this season. Another campaign of European
disappointments... Change coming for Ross County, this
will be music to the ears of the supporters, Liam Boyce is going to
come on, after a hand injury, still having to wear bandages on his hand
because of the break. Could have been a Celtic player, Liam Boyce.
Spotted while at Cliftonville, in Belfast. Playing against Celtic for
Cliftonville, in a Champions League qualifier.
Jim McIntyre, just over seven minutes away from replicating what
Derek Adams's team did. Tortuous debut for the Dane, Erik
Sviatchenko. A goal now, for Celtic, and you never know...!
Again shouting for handball. Not even sure if the referee has any
chance of seeing that stop the player sliding across. Johannson
tries to get the ball across goal. It is actually off the need and then
of the arm. Got a shout for the penalty, not sure if you are going
to get it. I have seen them even. Here comes the corner...
Very good game pulling the strings, Gary Woods, on loan at Ross County
last season. -- Martin Woods. He had his contract cancelled. Returning to
county. Header away by Davies. Boyce.
Bounced straight back up, in any case.
We just did not see this coming after the first minute of this game.
Mikhail listed now... -- Colly stick -- Mikhail Lustig. Running out of
time, just over five minutes to play.
Scooping it out to Mikael Lustig. There is a man in navy blue winning
every ball inside the box right now, look at this run... Burning away
from Brown, trying to eat up the clock on Jonathan Franks... He has
won his team a throw as well. That is exactly what you want from your
wide player, get the ball, head to the touchline, get yourself a throw
in as far away from your goal as possible.
Dream debut for Quinn, underneath that. Scoring county's second, and
resolute in defence. Good run ahead of him. Spotted quickly enough.
Write down into the corner. Another fine season that Liam Boyce is
having. -- what a fine season. Jackson Irvine losing sight as it
goes out for the goalkick. Ticks down the clock. We saw John McGinn
picking up a Man of the Match award in the first semifinal yesterday
against St Johnstone, midfield masterclass from the man who proved
to be the matchwinner. We are going to get to today's Man of the Match
in just a moment. There comes Celtic, James Forrest, and now Gary
Mackay-Steven. Griffiths was hunting.
Brilliant goalkeeping by Scott Fox. That took at least one deflection!
How is that for improvisation. Keep That took at least one deflection!
it out of the back of the net, nicks off the heel, magnificent save,
great goalkeeping, because he makes it so awkward, how he gets it over
the bar, I have no idea. In it comes again. The goalkeeper does not...
Does just enough there... He saved a Griffiths penalty earlier, I think
he is thinking that he was failed, it may have been his own man who
took him down. Smaller goalkeepers have a problem when they come into
traffic, it does not look like they are being fouled. Court Davies when
he went up for the original ball, scrambled behind, and it comes off
Graham and out all the corner, he has gone down injured, need is not
want treatment, need is not want to go off. About to go into the final
minute. Celtic wait and wait to take go off. About to go into the final
the corner. Does not have long to score twice. That misses everyone.
It has been one of those afternoons for Celtic, nothing has fallen for
them, really up against it, as soon as Efe Ambrose was sent off, I
mentioned John McGinn's Man of the Match performance, Craig Paterson
needs to tell us who his Man of the Match is in the League Cup
semifinal. Martin Woods has impressed me all afternoon, great
composure, in the middle of the park, high-pressure penalty, to get
his team back into the game, and what a through ball for the third
goal which sealed the victory. Martin Woods is my Man of the Match.
Special mention to Scott Fox, penalty save. Celtic will have to
pick themselves up double quick. They go to Aberdeen in midweek. Four
minutes of injury time added on at the end. This is looking all the way
like a Hibernian Ross County League Cup final. Andrew Davis off, getting
attention, you can clearly see the blood draining away from him. He
will be feeling no pain in a few minutes, you would think!
Decided to retain possession, Irvine was rather fortunate to retain it
himself. Could we be in the position in a
month and a half where both Scotland's national trophies will be
sitting in the Highlands, for a couple of months at least? Caley
Thistle the Scottish Cup holders, Ross County look to be one game away
from winning the League Cup. Both of those clubs have only been in the
senior Scottish ranks for 22 years. Certainly in the major football
leagues in this country. Johansen chasing, this is Lustig.
Thomson keeping his BDI on this. Irvine just does enough. -- BD I.
That is frustration, that is all that is, Craig Thomson will be under
pressure to red card and a Celtic player. It is a poor challenge and
born of frustration. When it broke out wide, seven Johansen has --
Stefan Johansen has thrown himself into the challenge and the referee
has a big decision to make. The game is over as a contest but will this
be red or yellow? Celtic's domestic season has been underpinned by the
mention of the treble at every single opportunity. Ronny Deila has
been asked about it on an almost weekly basis. He was confident his
team could do it this season. It was a double last season and for many
people, anything less than the league, the League Cup and the
Scottish Cup this season was not going to be good enough will stop it
is certainly a naughty challenge. The referee decides yellow will
suffice. Faster and Griffiths get involved and they picked up yellow
cards as well -- Foster. Five yellow cards for Celtic today as the red
card to Efe Ambrose which was a massive turning point in the game
because therefore that Celtic were lightning. 1-0 up inside 28 seconds.
Mackay-Steven is stroked into an empty net and Celtic pounded at the
Ross County defence for the next ten minutes, they could have been 3-0 up
but in the blink of an item of Ambrose brings down Schalk, a red
card, a penalty, 1-1 and it is Ross County will be going into the final
here on the 13th of March. A stunning turnaround. Woods, the Man
of the Match, he finds Brian Graham. It's all over! Ross County are into
the League Cup final! It is disaster for Ronny Deila! What will the
repercussions be for the big Norwegian? There will be no treble
for Celtic, but joy for the Staggies, this is Thaiday! Look at
the facial expressions of those wearing a Ross County badge, and so
proudly they do so -- this is their day. Mackay-Steven put Celtic in
front inside 30 seconds, County levelled through the woods spot kick
after Ambrose was sent off. Second-half goals from Quinn and
Schalk have sent the Staggies through to their second major final
and their first in the League Cup. It finishes here, Ross County 3-1
Celtic. STUDIO: Year ago Ross County were
staring relegation in the face but they are fourth in the top division
now and through to the second major cup final. On both occasions they
have beaten Celtic in the semifinal. Celtic's semifinal misery continues
and their treble dream is over. We can hear from the Ross County
manager, Jim McIntyre. Congratulations your thoughts
initially? I thought the players were magnificent, to lose their goal
the way we did, the exact opposite of the game plan. We had to show
courage and character to come back from that. The goal knocked the
stuffing out of us and Celtic were all over us and we had to hang in
there. We get the penalty, a good through ball and obviously Martin
Woods sticks it away and from then on, at times we could have
controlled it better but I'm thrilled with the effort they gave
us. Celtic are a top side. Absolutely thrilled. Did you fear
the worst after the first goal? Of course. We set up to be tight and
have a threat on the counterattack and we have gifted a goal. You have
to credit Celtic, Leigh Griffiths is brilliant at playing on the shoulder
and that was the worst possible start but the character this team
keeps showing, when they go behind, we might not always win but we
always come back into it and make chances. I'm absolutely chuffed for
them will stop you mentioned character. Not many gave you hope
before the game, does that make it all the sweeter? That's normal. They
are favourites and rightly so. There was a belief in the dressing room.
We created chances against them in both games this season and even
though we lost them, we knew that if we could create again it was a
matter of taking them and I can't ask for any more than what they
gave. I'm delighted for the chairman because he has put so much into this
and they have been tough times in the last couple of years so for him
to get to a final, delighted. Well done. That is one League Cup final
and it, let's hear from the other, Alan Stubbs. What about that from
Ross County? Fantastic for them, they had to enjoy a difficult start
and they have come through it and they have managed to see themselves
through to a final against ourselves. We are looking forward to
it. It is the stuff of dreams for Ross County. Definitely. Jim touched
on it, the chairman and everything he has put into the club. You look
at the comparisons between 2010 when they beat Celtic and this team, and
the thing that springs to mind for me is the character and they needed
that in abundance with how they started. Let's hear from the Man of
the Match, Martin Woods. Congratulations, how does it feel?
Absolutely brilliant, delighted for the boys and the staff, we have
worked hard and it was a big result. Although they've went down to ten,
it is still a fantastic result to beat Celtic. Not many would have
given new hope after the first 30 seconds? Some of the journalists
were asking Alan Stubbs questions and it gave us some motivation, what
it would be like to face Celtic in the final. It made us go at it. I'm
just delighted. Your heart pumping as you stepped up to take the
penalty? Yes, it was a big delay! He is a big frame in the goal so I was
delighted. Can you go all the way? Of course, if you beat Celtic it
gives you great confidence. We have them next week in the league and we
want to finish top six. We are looking for a fourth position, to
finish as high as we can. We have a good squad and of course we can with
it. Well done, you have some bubbles as well, you are the Man of the
Match. Thank you. The secret to their success, Alan Stubbs! I will
take the credit! When I spoke yesterday, it was about we will see
who we get. Obviously Celtic were favourites. That has not
materialised and Ross County deserve to come through it. I know Martin, I
was at Sunderland with him so I will have a few words! Hopefully we will
hear from Ronny Deila before we go. We will have action from the English
FA Cup, MK Dons against Chelsea which is 3-1 to Chelsea at the
moment. We hope to hear from Ronny Deila. What do you think he will
tell us? He will be hugely disappointed and it will be down to
one massive talking point at the start. You have to make that sort of
decision, who is going to play as your centre-backs. Celtic fans, all
of the fans, have noticed the mistakes he has made and he has been
a bit rash with the challenge. And it changes in that moment, 11th
against 11, Celtic are massive favourites. They had started great
and looked good. It might have sounded odd at the start, it is
sometimes harder for Celtic to win the cups because even slip up in the
league and you can't in a cup and that slip-up was one tackle. It was
looking ominous for Ross County and strong for Celtic inside 27 seconds.
You heard Jim McIntyre saying that is what Leigh Griffiths is all
about, playing on the shoulder. It was great awareness and it showed
his maturity to cross it for Mackay-Steven. This is it, the
moment we are talking about. Not a lot of contact but enough and he
definitely can't keep on running. I might be clutching at straws for
ducted fans to say Craig Gordon might have got to -- Celtic fans.
And most referees will send the player off for that. No doubt he
will do that, big moment in the game have an impact and they went for
Ross County. Ultimately, it is the decision of the manager who plays
and far too often when Efe Ambrose is on, he makes mistakes and they
are costly. That is something that ultimately cost Celtic the game. Was
the match still not there for them even with ten against 11? You still
fancied it at 1-1, even though they were a man down because of their
quality. Ross County started to come into it and yet more belief and get
further up the pitch and ask questions of Celtic more. There were
a few moments in the second half, we can talk about them, pivotal
moments. And they have probably contributed towards the final
outcome. What a return to Ross County for Paul Quinn. Not a bad
start to your Ross County career. Fantastic. Obviously we came with a
game plan, circumstances change in the game but we are delighted to get
to the final, it is huge for the club and ourselves. Is there a
growing feeling you can go there, are you the favourites? I don't
know, Hibs are probably playing a lead below where they should be,
they have fantastic players and staff but we have to go with the
attitude that we had today, we came here to win even though we were the
underdogs. We came to progress and it is about looking forward to the
final and enjoying ourselves just now and focusing on another positive
result. It looked like a tough shift, the manager talked about
character and it was there. It was called into after the first minute.
We were sloppy to start with and we don't in and got a break which
changed the game and we took advantage -- we dug in. We worked
ever so hard, the goalkeeper made saves, all-round delighted and the
character was evident. Well done. A great linkup between Davis and Quinn
for the goal even though they struggled to link up defensively
earlier -- Davies. Was there a foul on Craig Gordon? We have a look at
him in the middle and he is held. He doesn't have a chance. This happens
all the time in football and at the top level but he is getting shoved
off the ball and can't react. You can argue, it is a free header, but
Gordon is seriously held back. You are right, it is a foul, it is
difficult for the referee to see with the bodies around them but as
much as Gordon is being held, Celtic, defensively, allowed Davies
to spin around the back and it was Bitton and Lustig, they were on the
six yard box marking Quinn and Davies and Davies get a free header
and Quinn is first to react. Then there is the argument of men on the
posts. It is tough when you are a man short anyway. On top of that,
the keeper is held, it is tough. Celtic have to get on with it
because you can't guarantee the referee will be looking at that.
A lot of incidents going on, in Ronnieis, I would expect the
defenders to be reacting better when the ball goes their head will
they stop, the ball drops to Quinn, there is a lot of incidents. They
should deal with the cross better, Mikael Lustig and Nir Bitton. Lovely
pace on the pass from Martin Woods, great finish here from the Dutchman,
Alex Schalk. You see as the ball is played in, it is about pass
appreciation, plays it right into the path of Alex Schalk, great
finish, looking at the next angle, I wonder why Mikael Lustig narrows so
much rather than deepening of many goes far too far in the field rather
than trying to get background the other side, but you have got to give
credit to Ross County, great ball, slide rule pass, fantastic finish.
Celtic had a lot of the play before that, you have got to remember,
there were breaks and they looked dangerous on the break, before that,
slide rule pass which was not a slide rule, it was too long, this
time, it was perfect, and the take was perfect. Understandably
completely delighted with that but still it was not all over, Celtic
had chances. Even though it was 3-1, you could not write them off. We
will delay joining the in dish FA Cup action, because we would like to
wait to hear from Ronny Deila, Celtic manager, the door of the
dressing room shut at the moment, unsurprisingly, when he emerges, we
will get a word with him, the treble dream for Celtic is over. Of course,
they had the chance, late on, to bring the game back to life, with a
penalty. Given against Graham's handball. You could argue whether it
was deliberate. I think when you look at the player reaction, Graham
is not arguing against it being given, but when you see Leigh
Griffiths stepping up to take it, everyone was expecting this to go
into the back of the net, tries to blast it down the middle, Scott Fox
manages to get it away. When that happens, you realise that it is not
going to be your day. The big moments have gone in the favour of
Ross County, they have capitalised. The remarkable an orthodox saved
late on by Scott Fox, when you are making those, you are not losing the
game. More and more you could see the belief as it went on, that it
was going to be their day, you could see their heads go down, with the
Celtic players knowing that as time went on it was not going to be their
day. Moments have gone against them today. But, you have got to give a
lot of credit to Ross County because from a really difficult start the
game they have stuck in there, they been adopted when they had to. --
they have been dogged. A couple of really good goals, they deserve to
be in the final. A lot of headlines tomorrow will centre on Celtic's
treble dream in tatters, but Dingwall, population 5000, this is a
fairy tale. We almost take it for granted because they have grown so
well so quickly but it is an astounding thing that they have
managed to do this, that group of players look fantastic. They had one
or two injuries as well. A really good job that has been done. They
have rebuilt a strong looking group, a strong looking squad. It is a
fairy tale, of course it is, every time you beat 18 the size of Celtic,
it is, a should be applauded. There will be a lot of column inches about
Ronnie Deila, there will be a few about Efe Ambrose as well, but that
is the real story. -- when you beat -- every time you beat a team the
size of Celtic. We will try to get the smile wiped off the face of Alan
Stubbs, if we can, could be difficult, all started with a
controversial penalty award leading to Jason Cummings firing Hibernian
in front, much has been said about it. Quite clearly for me, it is not
a penalty, but we have spoke about it at length, you can see commonly
goes right across. -- you can see, he goes right across, as he makes
the tackle. You can understand why he has given it. Pictures show there
was not a great deal of contact. Are you pleased he is still your player?
We were never in any doubt, as a football club, we had no desire to
lose our best players, Jason falls into that. I was comfortable at the
start of the month and I am comfortable at the end of the month.
What about in the middle of the month? LAUGHTER
Probably even more comfortable in the middle of the month(!) LAUGHTER
He's getting better and better, we feel that... We are in negotiations,
we would love him to sign a new deal. He is part of what we want to
build. If we can get that done, fantastic. We feel as if being at
Hibernian right now is the best place for him. First goal of three,
St Johnstone equalising here, at that point, came on against. What
takes some of the sting out of it... The way that they reacted to it, you
understand, his team were probably second-best, good fight, good
battle, a lot of pressure and expectation on them. His team have
played better. Tough round recently. It tends to happen, but when they
are flying, they are fantastic to watch. They all worked really hard,
but in comparison to what Hibernian had... You were a top-class
Hibernian midfielder in your time, so you have told me, anyway, not
sure I believe it(!) but John McGinn is also fantastic. He is coming onto
his game, when he joined Hibernian, I thought that it was a weak player,
but he has impressed me the times I have seen in this season, taking it
to a different level. This goes to prove it. Is becoming an all-round
midfielder, driving forward, tackling, pitching in with important
goals, as a manager armour that is something that you want to look for,
he has a promising career in front of him. -- as a manager, that is
something you want. You will have your feet up watching this, looking
forward to the final. We are delighted that we can involve them
in the final now... Are you still cup tied by Celtic? LAUGHTER
Bringing a lot of quality to the team... Henderson, he had some
really good moments in the game and played a good part and it would have
been a shame for him not to be involved in the final, once we get
Anthony Stokes up and running, he will play a huge contribution
towards the end of the season. This is the way that it is, live and
exclusive on the BBC, March 13, Scottish League Cup final.
How does that change the whole complexion of the occasion,
delighted to be there, in a sense, does not matter who you play,
Hibernian are there already, but it is not Celtic, it is not scanty.
What is your immediate reaction? It is different, if we were playing
Celtic, then we would have been huge underdogs, to face the game, no
point lying about it. It would have been a really difficult game to come
through. And to overcome. But now, we enter the game, both sides will
probably be fancying their chances to win the game. We know that it is
going to be difficult. You only have to look today at how many problems
they will be able to cause us. We will be able to cause Ross County
and Jim and Billy problems ourselves. It is going to be a good
game, it will be intriguing, it will be exciting... It will be two teams
trying to win a game of football and have a realistic chance as well. Is
what we were talking about, it is two teams that will have a genuine
belief that they can go out there and win it, not a case of trying to
hit one on the counterattack... It is a completely different dynamic,
two teams squaring up, going toe to toe, it should make for an
interesting match. 4-1 Chelsea, in the FA Cup, beating MK Dons.
Hat-trick from Moscow. Who are the favourites for the Scottish FA Cup
final? The bookies will think long and hard. In the end, if you are the
lower league team, you should not be favourites, but actually I think
there is nothing between the two teams, showing no offence
whatsoever, talking about what will happen, if there is half as much
incident as we had this afternoon, we will all be very entertained.
That is something you have always got to remember at the end of these
games. People upset and happy but a lot of entertainment and decent
football. What exciting season for you and the Hibernian fans. Chasing
promotion at Greenock, and League Cup final and you have an Edinburgh
derby coming up in the Scottish Cup. This could be incredible. It could
be, but all that we have done is give ourselves an opportunity right
now... We are in the final, in one competition, still in the mix for
the league. And we have a really exciting game against our local
rivals next week, however you look at it, fantastic tie. And we are all
looking forward, everyone is looking forward to it. Two really good
teams. Full house, Tynecastle again, great atmosphere. And you know, this
is what we want, we want to be involved in big games, somebody
asked me today about pressure. It is not pressure, it is excitement. It
could be a fantastic end to the season for us, we are certainly
hoping it is going to be. Our main objective is to get promotion. The
cup is a complete bonus for us. Amey fans will you take back for the
League Cup final? Certainly more than 20,000. -- how many fans. The
support we have had not just from the club from the fans since I have
come in has been nothing short of remarkable. There will be a huge
following. I think that we will bring 20 5000. That speaks volumes,
for the club, we want to get the club first and foremost back into
the top division. Fundamental, priority number one. We want to have
a good day out here, on March 13. If you have missed any of the second
League Cup semifinal, you can catch up with it at 10:30pm. A Celtic fan
League Cup semifinal, you can catch probably will not want to! You will
have seen enough of it already, if you are a Ross County fan, you can
see it over and over. Final word today before we head to
the English FA Cup, for Ross County, what a performance, what a day for
them, what a night, dancing in the streets of Dingwall(!) we talked
about comparisons with 2010, real character shown, great night to
celebrate, and a final to look forward to. Not just Dingwall, but
the rest of the country, will be looking forward to it. The other
side of the calling? I remember looking down when John Collins was
manager, fantastic day for Hibernian fans, so emotional. Fantastic win
for them, and Hibernian fans will want to see that again. I want to
see a good open game of football. We have a couple of teams that will
play a very good open game of football. We have given it our best
shot to have a word with Ronnie Deila but that dressing room door is
nailed shut! There will be some harsh words being said in that
particular area, we will have the reaction later on the BBC sport
Scotland website, and so you may be able to get the reaction there are,
we have run out of time, thank you very much to my guests. All of the
best for the final on March 13, Alan Stubbs. We wondered whether
lightning can strike twice between Ross County and Celtic in a
Scottish League Cup semi-final.
Live from Hampden Park, Glasgow
Ross County v Celtic (kick-off 3pm)
Introduced by Rob Maclean with studio guests Pat Nevin and Michael Stewart.
The Sportscene cameras are at the National Stadium for this all-Premiership tie with a place in the Scottish League Cup final at stake. Celtic are holders, having beaten Dundee Utd in last season's final. Ronny Deila's side overcame Hearts to reach the last four this time. Meanwhile, County beat Highland rivals Inverness Caledonian Thistle in their quarter-final. Celtic have the upper hand in recent meetings and you have to go back to March 2013 for the last time the Dingwall side won the fixture - a 3-2 league victory at Victoria Park. Their last meeting in this competition saw Celtic win 2-0 in the 3rd round of the 2011/12 competition. But in perhaps the Staggies most famous ever result, they beat Celtic 2-0 to reach the 2010 Scottish Cup final, eventually losing to Dundee Utd. Also includes highlights of yesterday's semi-final between Hibernian and St Johnstone at Tynecastle.
Commentary by Liam McLeod and Craig Paterson.
Live coverage of the 5th round of the FA Cup at 1800.