Celtic beat Rangers, Scottish League Cup final 2023, Ange Postecoglou, Premier League, news, score, results, reaction, highlights

In December 2019, Celtic beat Rangers 1-0 in the final of the League Cup. Overnight, the two bitter Glasgow rivals met in the final for the first time since that clash – and Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic emerged 2-1 victors in another massive win for the Hoops.

Just one player, captain Callum McGregor, remained in Celtic’s starting XI from that meeting three-and-a-half years ago. It is a sign of how transformative the Australian’s time in Celtic has been.

Postecoglou’s men lead the league by nine points with 12 matches remaining, a margin that has never been overhauled in the past, while Celtic are into the last eight in the Scottish Cup. A treble is a distinct possibility.

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“You start every season hoping it’s a special season,” said Postecoglou.

“But we’ll enjoy tonight and it’s important we celebrate tonight because the staff and the players, everyone at the football club have worked hard for this.

“The supporters too deserve to celebrate this moment. But, once we’ve done that in the right way, we’ll focus on next week against St Mirren.”

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Last month, Ranges manager Michael Beale raised the hackles of Celtic fans by calling Postecoglou ‘lucky’ for the deep pockets at his disposal – money that only Rangers come close to matching in the Scottish league.

Beale said: “We don’t spend the most money in this country. Celtic have made three signings and people are asking: ‘Are you going to make three?’ No, we will do what we think. But also, they spend a lot more money than us.

“So Ange is a lucky man because he’s spent a lot of money. He’s a good coach – but he’s spent a lot of money.”

The moment Celtic won the final at Hampden Park, former Celtic striker turned commentator Chris Sutton sarcastically said: “Lucky Ange”. He wasn’t the only one, with former Socceroo and Celtic star Scott McDonald also twisting the knife in Rangers fans.

Postecoglou now has two wins and a draw in three meetings with the club’s biggest rivals this season, and four wins, two draws and two losses against Rangers all-time.

He also has three trophies in less than two years at his new club – and quite simply shows no signs of letting up.

Addressing fans outside Celtic’s stadium after his team returned in triumph, he praised the team before saying: “They were brilliant today and have shown what this football club is about. We win and we win the right way which is the most important thing.

“We will enjoy tonight, the players will enjoy tonight. I hope you all enjoy tonight and then we go again because we never stop.”

Former Rangers gun Neil McCann said: “There’s only one driver at Celtic. Ange is in front – and I don’t see him stopping.

“He’s been a brilliant acquisition for the club. His drive for success and application levels have been quite incredible.”

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Speaking on Fox Sports News, Socceroos great Robbie Slater said: “The domestic treble is well within their reach.

“Aaron Mooy was outstanding, the Australian midfielder. Kyogo (Furuhashi) got both goals, Mooy had a big hand in both of them.

“Rangers stuck in it, but there is a bit of a gulf between Celtic and Rangers at the moment.

“You can see that in the league, they’re nine points clear. They’re gonna win that. Then it’ll be up to if they can get the (Scottish) Cup (for the treble).”

Ange Postecoglou congratulates Kyogo Furuhashi at the final whistle.
Ange Postecoglou congratulates Kyogo Furuhashi at the final whistle.Source: Getty Images

Postecoglou has constantly been linked to other clubs – particularly in the Premier League – on the back of his impressive work at Celtic.

Recently, that has included rumours of a move to Leeds, who sacked American coach Jesse Marsch after a year in charge before turning to Spaniard Javi Gracia on a ‘flexible’ contract. Far from Leeds’ first choice, he is unlikely to be the head coach next season – even if he does rescue them from relegation.

But Slater believes Postecoglou is unlikely to go to a relegation-threatened side in England’s top flight, where it is doubtful he would receive the time it takes to implement his high-octane style of football.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou lifts the Viaplay Cup.Source: Getty Images

Slater says: “I think Ange will be where he wants to be, the way it’s going … He’s in a very comfortable position.

“People talk about the EPL, I’m sure he can go to the EPL. But I think the club would have to be right. I don’t think would go to a struggling club where relegation would be a huge possibility.

“It might be in his mind to create a dynasty at Celtic, to go and win lots of titles in a place where he’s comfortable and he’s loved.”

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