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MURTY’S SEMI-FINAL WARNING FOR CELTIC

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RANGERS caretaker boss Graeme Murty fired a warning to Celtic after the Glasgow giants were paired in the Scottish Cup semi-final tonight.

Brendan Rodgers’ men were first out of the ballot and the Ibrox side followed while Motherwell will take on Aberdeen or Kilmarnock in the other last four clash.

For the Parkhead and Ibrox sides, it is a replay of last season’s semi when goals from Callum McGregor and Scott Sinclair, with a penalty-kick, saw the Hoops emerge victorious on their way to their Invincibles campaign.

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Murty watched his side overcome the challenge of Paul Hartley’s plucky Falkirk outfit 4-1 at Ibrox this afternoon with Jason Cummings netting a hat-trick.

Aaron Muirhead scored for and against the Championship side as the Govan outfit eased into the meeting with the Parkhead men who are zeroing in on a historic back-to-back double trebles.

The Gers gaffer said: “I called it. I thought if we got through, we would get them.

“To win the Cup you have to beat the best teams and it will be a fantastic occasion, a fantastic day.

“It will be a game we’ve got to do our best to win. I see a group of players in my changing room who want to take the mantle off them and that’s a good thing.

“Regardless of their strengths or weaknesses, we have to impose ourselves on the game and I believe we have the squad with the capacity to go and do that.

“And, in recent times, that’s the first time we have had that.”

On the triumph over Falkirk, Murty added: “We weren’t at our most fluent, but I thought we were professional and got the job done.

“Will Jason Cummings play next week against Celtic? Would I drop someone who has just scored a hat-trick?

“He hasn’t done his case any harm, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

The holders, of course, booked their place at Hampden 24 hours earlier with a solid 3-0 victory over Morton with Moussa Dembele (2) and Odsonne Edouard on target.

Motherwell will now meet either the Dons or Killie who drew 1-1 at Pittodrie yesterday.

The Lanarkshire team got through to their second successive competition semi-final this season. Earlier, they beat the Pittodrie side 3-0 before losing 2-0 to the Hoops in the League Cup Final.

Well made sure of their place with a dramatic late 2-1 win over Hearts at Fir Park this afternoon.

Curtis Main netted the opener for the home side after a mix-up in the Tynecastle side’s defence, but Kyle Lafferty levelled with a well-taken penalty-kick before the interval.

Carl McHugh hit the winner near the end with an explosive 25-yard drive that hurtled past the helpless Jon McLaughlin.

SEMI-FINAL DRAW

Celtic v Rangers

Motherwell v Aberdeen or Kilmarnock

Ties to be played on the weekend of April 14/15.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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