Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou rejects rival narrative and the stats back him up

By David Walton

April 19, 2022

Ange Postecoglou has dismissed the idea that his side was dominated by Rangers at Hampden in our 2-1 extra-time defeat in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

Celtic lost out to the Ibrox side despite being clear favourites heading into it. The Hoops had 8 days to prepare for the fixture whilst our rivals played in the Europa League just 3 days prior. However, come the end, it was Celtic who looked to have emptied the tank as our rivals progressed.

But Ange isn’t having the notion that his Celtic side were dominated on the day. And the truth is he’s right too. Celtic had 47% possession and managed 22 shots on goal – 2 more than Rangers. We also had the same efforts on target and had more corners to our name too [BBC].

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In the end, we were simply undone by a counter-attack and a slice of bad luck as Carl Starfelt put through his own net. And Ange was keen to point that out in the aftermath. As quoted by the National, Postecoglou said: “I didn’t see it that way. They did press us, but I still thought we had our moments to play through, and we did.

“In these kinds of games you know you’ve got stay strong, get through the sort of sticky patches and wait for your moments to take advantage. I don’t think either side dominated the game, it was pretty even, and it was decided by one moment.”

Celtic remain 6 clear at the top of the Premiership ahead of Sunday’s encounter with Ross County.

What next for Ange Postecoglou and Celtic after defeat to Rangers | 67HH LIVE

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What next for Ange Postecoglou and Celtic after defeat to Rangers | 67HH LIVE
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Ange right to point out nobody dominated at Hampden, but that’s the disappointment

Rival supporters will be quick to come out and state that they bossed us, or that they dominated the game. Just because we were disappointing, however, doesn’t mean our rivals were class either.

Far from it in fact. Celtic still had their chances to get a result on the day. As so many have now mentioned, if Cameron Carter-Vickers fires home for 2-0, it’s all over. Nobody would’ve begrudged Celtic the result, and an inquest would currently be going on over at Ibrox.

That they managed to eke it out in extra time has totally changed the narrative of the game. But let’s be honest, did Joe Hart really have a bunch of saves to make? Once again, he didn’t have a thing to do before Scott Arfield’s 78th-minute equaliser.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Granted, the fact that nobody did dominate is a major disappointment in itself. Celtic fans expected a controlled Hampden showing in which we would blow Rangers away and boss proceedings. Even after Greg Taylor’s surprising opener, it never really felt things had totally swayed our way.

Both sides looked evenly matched, and that’s why this narrative of Rangers being the better of the 2 sides has come from. Due to the expectancy of a Celtic turnover, it’s being spun into a sensational display from our rivals. It wasn’t, and Celtic should have every confidence when they come to Parkhead in just under 2 weeks.

Ange is spot on to point out that nobody dominated. As frustrating as that actually is.

In other news, Kris Boyd’s laughable Celtic refereeing hypocrisy couldn’t be more outrageous