10-man Celtic prolong Rangers’ wait for silverware

GLASGOW (AFP) – Steven Gerrard lamented a huge missed chance to land his first silverware as Rangers manager as 10-man Celtic claimed a 10th straight Scottish domestic trophy with a 1-0 win over their fierce rivals in the League Cup final early yesterday.

Christopher Jullien scored the only goal on the hour mark, but Neil Lennon’s men had goalkeeper Fraser Forster to thank for a string of saves, including from Alfredo Morelos’ second-half penalty after Jeremie Frimpong was sent off for bringing down the Colombian striker.

Rangers enjoyed by far the better of the play and the chances even when Celtic had their full compliment but could not find a way past the inspired Forster and remain without a major trophy since 2011.

“Finals are normally decided on big moments and the big moments have not gone in our favour today,” said Gerrard, who was furious that Jullien’s goal was allowed to stand despite the French centre-back scoring from an offside position.

“There’s three of them standing in an offside position, but unfortunately we play in a league with no VAR (video assistant referee).”

Scottish football does not have VAR in any competition, but Gerrard believes officials need the extra help it would offer.

“I’d be a liar if I said I was 100 per cent in favour of it (VAR), but the one thing I do know is that officials up here need support,” added the former Liverpool captain.

A torrential downpour made playing football on the ground difficult, but what little there was came from Rangers, who could have been out of sight by half-time if not for Forster.

The giant former England international made a brilliant save from Ryan Jack’s long-range effort before denying Morelos three times before the break.

“I’ve not seen a goalkeeper like him for a long time,” said Lennon of the on-loan Southampton stopper.

“We’re grateful to have him, he’s thrilled to be here and we needed him today. He just stood up and made saves other goalkeeper just can’t make.”

Celtic players celebrate with the trophy after their Scottish Cup final victory against Rangers. PHOTO: AP