Rangers secured their place in the final of the Scottish Cup in an enthralling Old Firm clash with their rivals on Sunday.
Gio van Bronckhorst’s side came from behind to seal a 2-1 win and they now have a chance to lift silverware next month.
After failing to capitalise on their good play in the first 45, Rangers were made to pay for falling asleep at a free-kick as Callum McGregor was afforded the time and space to feed Greg Taylor and the full-back’s shot deflected in off Calvin Bassey.
However, they found their equaliser with just over 10 minutes left as substitute Scott Arfield found the back of the net from James Tavernier’s assist.
This allowed them to take the game to extra time and they found their winner in the 115th minute as Carl Starfelt turned the ball into his own net after a ball into the box by Bassey.
Whilst Arfield coming on to level the scores set-up the win for the Gers, the player who really stole the show was James Tavernier at right-back.
Former Gers man Neil McCann lauded his display, saying: “James Tavernier has defended really well, the fitness that the boy shows is absolutely out of this world.”
Journalist Joshua Barrie also dubbed his and Connor Goldson’s play as “superb” in the build-up to the equaliser as the full-back’s cross – aided by Kemar Roofe – set up Arfield to score.
The £24k-per-week Englishman held his own defensively and was a constant threat in possession as he put in a complete performance on Sunday. He did not allow the likes of Jota and Liel Abada to expose him at the back as he remained strong in his one-on-one duels and this meant that Jon McLaughlin was not troubled as much as he could have been, with Celtic managing two shots on target all game.
Along with his great work for the equalising goal, the machine also almost scored the winner in extra time. He hit the post late on as he came inches away from being the match-winner before Starfelt turned the ball into his own net a few minutes later.
Van Bronckhorst will surely be delighted with his captain’s performance as the ex-Newcastle man stood up to the test and led by example throughout the match. It is now down to him and his teammates to continue to produce on the pitch in the coming weeks to win as many trophies as they can.