JOHN KENNEDY watched Celtic squander a penalty-kick and three other excellent opportunities in the team’s miserable 2-0 Scottish Cup exit at Ibrox yesterday.

The caretaker boss, who has been in charge since Neil Lennon departed in February, witnessed the last chance of the club to achieve silverware being extinguished in an appalling campaign that has limped through a disastrous sequence of inexplicable results and equally drab performances.

The Parkhead club will now complete their first term without a trophy in 11 historic years in which they claimed the phenomenal quadruple treble.

However, their flop in Govan typified their wretched crusade with Jonjoe Kenny scoring the killer goal for the home side when he diverted in a right-wing cross from Joe Aribo.

The on-loan Everton right-back was also slow to react to the Gers’ opening goal in the tenth minute when Steven Davis launched himself at a deflection off Kristoffer Ajer to hook  a close-range effort beyond Scott Bain.

GOAL No. 1…Steven Davis reacts before Jonjoe Kenny to hook an effort wide of Scott Bain.

GOAL No.2…Jonjoe Kenny slams the ball past Scott Bain.

Odsonne Edouard, who had earlier passed up the opportunity to pull one back 12 minutes after the turnaround when he failed to hit the target from six yards, also fluffed a penalty-kick with 10 minutes to go.

Earlier, Stephen Welsh and Mohamed Elyounoussi had waywardly missed with just Allan McGregor to beat.

Stand-in chief Kennedy, speaking to the Daily Record, admitted: “I thought we lacked belief, in terms of how we defended and pressed.

“And with the ball, we were passing it just for for the sake of it and passing the ball onto someone else to do their job.

“The second-half, we came out and reacted well, playing on the front foot, that’s when we are our best.

“We created chances to pose the question, if you get back to 2-1, then you ask the question, but we weren’t decisive enough in those moments.

MISS No.1…Odsonne Edouard can’t bear to look after missing from six yards.

MISS No.2…Odsonne Edouard has that familiar sinking feeling after fluffing his penalty-kick.

“The big chances you have we weren’t clinical and when you don’t get it back to 2-1 then it’s comfortable for Rangers in the end.

“You need quality, even in front of goal, we didn’t have enough belief, in terms of the ball forward to you, first time finish or whatever it might be.

“In taking those moments, asking the question and then you gain the momentum and can attack the game with everything you’ve got.

“But when it stays 2-0 you have a mountain to climb.”

Kennedy added: “Disappointed, bitterly disappointed. Didn’t like the first-half, second-half was better, but this game was all about the result, nothing else.

“You can’t give cheap goals away and you have to be decisive at the top end. Especially when you come to Ibrox, you may not create a lot of chances, so when you get itt you have to be decisive.

“That’s where Rangers have been better than us for most of the season.”


About Author


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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