Hampden draw gets the tongues wagging
The quarter-finals of the League Cup had some notable moments with the two games on Tuesday not being decided until right at the very end. Alan Gow broke the deadlock for Motherwell against Dundee United with a few minutes on the clock and Aberdeen have a debatable penalty to thank for dispensing with Falkirk in the regulation 90 minutes.
Wednesday night saw the big Glasgow sides in action and Rangers were able to make a couple of changes to their team for the trip to Kilmarnock.
Killie created some chances but the Glasgow side looked in control and the 2-0 score-line was a fair reflection of the match.
Celtic won 3-2 at St Johnstone but that doesn’t get anywhere near in telling the full story. 3-0 up in 13 minutes, Neil Lennon’s side looked in complete control before a Glen Loovens error gave the home side a way back into the match. A cracking goal from a corner gave the Saintees a great chance but to be fair, Celtic dealt with everything the Perth side could throw at them.
It took a wonder save by Fraser Forster on the 90th minute to keep Celtic ahead but they got through, which is the key factor in the cup.
The draw for the Scottish League Cup semi final is as follows:
Aberdeen v Celtic
Rangers v Motherwell
And we all know what the talking point is:
The fact that the big two clubs have been kept apart will be greeted with no surprise from fans outside the big two who will no doubt see this as a “stitch-up.” The opportunity for the big final is there…but it also provides two opportunities for a shock and you can bet Mark McGhee and Craig Brown will not be conceding their League Cup dreams are over.
The ties are not scheduled to take place until February 2011, which frankly seems ages away…but this has been the case in the past few years for this competition. Well……that was the original date but in a break from the norm, the league cup ties are behind held on a Saturday and Sunday this year…so its January 2011 instead!
Dates for ties: Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th January 2011
This will see the SPL fixture card decimated that weekend. The affected fixtures in the SPL are:
Kilmarnock v Celtic
Aberdeen v Hamilton
Motherwell v St Mirren
Rangers v Caley Thistle
The sensible approach would be to play these games in the midweek originally scheduled for the cup semis. This should ensure a bit more exposure and hopefully bigger crowds for the semi-finals. Not a crazy move to be honest so you can see why this decision was taken.
With the final set to place on Sunday 20th March, just one win is all that is required to put a team within reach of Hampden silverware.
Is your team going to lift the Cup?