Rangers 0-2 Motherwell: Stephen Robinson says 'We knew were fitter'

Ryan Bowman and Louis Moult celebrate Motherwell's victory
Strikers Ryan Bowman and Louis Moult both played key roles in Motherwell's victory

Manager Stephen Robinson was confident Motherwell's fitness levels would prove decisive as they beat Rangers 2-0 in their Scottish League Cup semi-final.

Louis Moult's second-half brace sent Well into their first domestic final since 2011, against Celtic next month.

"At half-time, I said 'Listen, that was probably our worst performance of the season'," Robinson told BBC Scotland.

"But we knew we were fitter and stronger and would keep getting better and better as the game wore on."

After Rangers missed three further chances early in the second period, Moult volleyed home form a corner in the 52nd minute, before a wonderful lob 16 minutes from time put the game beyond Rangers.

"With our fitness levels and desire, the quality we didn't show in the first half started to come through," Robinson said.

"It was a brilliant finish from Louis [for his second goal], and don't forget Ryan Bowman as well. He was superb alongside him.

"The two of them up there are a big threat, and as long as you stay in games, we have always got a wee chance.

"We didn't start great in terms of our decision-making on and off the ball. We gave them a bit too much respect and time.

"[Defender] Cedric Kipre was struggling with illness today, and I think that showed in the first 20 to 30 minutes. But he really dug in and probably epitomised the spirit we have.

"Once we sorted that out after about 30 minutes, I didn't think there was any great threat, and I knew we were fitter and stronger."

'Pedro and I were both quite silly'

Pedro Caixinha points at Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson on the touchline
Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha lost his cool as he remonstrated with Robinson (front left) on the touchline

Robinson and his Rangers counterpart Pedro Caixinha were both sent to the stands for a touchline altercation, after Caixinha was furious that Motherwell striker Bowman escaped further censure for an aerial challenge which forced Fabio Cardoso off with a bloodied face.

"Pedro was obviously trying to claim that one of our players should have been sent off," said the Northern Irishman. "It's a passionate game and I was just sticking up for our player. We were both quite silly.

"But it is about the players, not about whether I was in the stands or not. I am sure I will learn from it.

"I am just absolutely proud to be involved with this squad and delighted for the board and everyone associated with the club. They have been through some hard times and dark times and hopefully we have repaid a bit of faith they had in me."

'It was an unbelievable feeling' - Moult

Two-goal hero Moult, meanwhile, admitted he enjoyed the feisty nature of the encounter, which saw six yellow cards issued, four to Motherwell players.

"The whole game was so physical," he told BBC Scotland. "It was very tough, I've got cuts and bruises all over me. But thankfully we got the breaks today.

Louis Moult celebrates scoring his second goal for Motherwell
Moult's sublime second strike was his 10th goal of the season

"It was feisty, but I've got to be honest, that is the way I like it. I enjoyed that.

"When that second goal went in, it was an unbelievable feeling. I can't describe that.

"The keeper was running backwards and I thought 'I am going to hit it'. It is one of those where sometimes it goes over the bar and sometimes it goes in."

Moult was one of those booked after a late aerial clash with Bruno Alves, with the Rangers man fortunate to escape punishment after appearing to kick out at Moult on the floor.

"He kicked me whilst I was down," added the Motherwell striker. "He actually agreed with me that he should have been booked as well as me."

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 22nd October 2017

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Falkirk44001311212
2Inverness CT42115328
3Stirling42116517
4Brechin401319-82
5Forfar4013310-71

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dunfermline42201331010
2Peterhead43017619
3Hearts42117437
4East Fife411236-34
5Elgin4004213-110

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dundee Utd4310102811
2Dundee431082610
3Raith Rovers42029546
4Cowdenbeath4103511-63
5Buckie Thistle4004315-120

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hibernian43101311210
2Ross County422080810
3Arbroath412167-16
4Montrose4103215-133
5Alloa401328-61

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ayr44001531212
2Kilmarnock43019369
3Clyde4202711-46
4Annan Athletic4013210-82
5Dumbarton401328-61

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Motherwell44001221012
2Morton42118628
3Queen's Park42119907
4Edinburgh City4013312-92
5Berwick401347-31

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hamilton422011659
2Albion413012937
3Queen of Sth41306427
4East Kilbride411259-45
5Stenhousemuir401339-62

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Livingston431083511
2Partick Thistle431092710
3St Mirren42029726
4Airdrieonians4103410-63
5Stranraer4004412-80
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