Celtic 4-0 Rangers: Graeme Murty laments 'passive' Scottish Cup semi-final display

Rangers duo Graham Dorrans and Russell Martin look dejected
Rangers struggled to get close enough to Celtic and made costly errors in defence

Rangers boss Graeme Murty admitted he was at a loss to explain his side's limp Scottish Cup exit as Celtic eased into the final with a 4-0 victory.

Murty's men were swept aside as they fell 2-0 down by half-time before Ross McCrorie's red card five minutes after the interval all but ended their hopes.

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos had two chances to grab a goal back, but Craig Gordon denied him each time.

"We were just passive; I don't know why," Murty said.

"I asked them to get into a shape and a structure in order to go and press. But when it comes to one against one, you have to actually get up closer to your opponent than we did in the first period.

"We didn't put them under enough pressure; we allowed them to play far too easily. All four goals were easily avoidable through just basic, good defending.

"Then in the second half, we gave them a penalty and a sending-off which makes their job far, far easier.

Alfredo Morelos misses a chance to score for Rangers
Alfredo Morelos missed chances to add to his 18 goals this season

"We had really good opportunities to claw something back from the game and we haven't managed to do it. I said we had to be clinical in both boxes but we didn't manage that at all.

"Craig [Gordon] made a couple of good saves but we should be scoring at least one. We were not worthy of getting anything from the game."

Rangers midfielder Andy Halliday, back in the starting line-up, vented his frustration at being removed five minutes before the interval, replaced by Josh Windass.

"I wouldn't have been happy," Murty said. "I completely understand his frustration.

"I was reacting to the situation in the game. We wanted to get a different shape to the team, and Josh fitted that bill.

"Andy is frustrated. But if you deal with people in an emotional state, you get an emotional response. I will speak to him in the week, we will have a chat and move forward from there."

Rangers' final five Premiership games
Sun 22 April: Hearts (home)
Sun 29 April:Celtic (away)
Sat 5 May:Kilmarnock (home)
Tue 8 May:Aberdeen (away)
Sun 13 May:Hibernian (away)

Murty admitted there was anger and frustration - "all the kinds of emotion you would expect from a changing room that has just gone through that".

But he urged his players to use that emotion to ensure a positive response next Sunday against Hearts, as Rangers - second in the Premiership on goal difference from Aberdeen - begin their final run of five matches, including facing Celtic again on 29 April.

'There are big games ahead for us'

"There should be disappointment and frustration and anger there," Murty said. "It is about making sure they turn that into positives and energy to power us through to the end of the season, rather than allowing it to be disruptive.

"The players need to respond for themselves. It isn't just Celtic we have got to play. There are big games ahead of us and we need to make sure we get a response between now and the end of the season, if we want to finish as we should."

Murty, who refused to discuss his hopes of retaining his post beyond the end of the campaign, also apologised to Rangers supporters and asked them "for their patience and to keep believing".

"But it is no good to keep asking for it," he added. "We have to put a performance in that is worthy of their support.

"It has been brilliant the whole time I have been at the club. But we didn't do enough for them to want to stay in the stadium today."

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 15th April 2018

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