Buidling Dreams Together


Scottish Cup Talking Points

A look at the main takeways from the Scottish Cup semi-finals.


Aberdeen 3-1 Kilmarnock

It’s not been plain sailing for the Pittodrie faithful has it. Neil Warnock’s arrival was supposed to bring some added nous from his time salvaging down and out teams in England. Things did not quite pan out that way as they failed to win a league game, sliding down the table into a relegation battle.

Warnock departs with a 25% win rate.

This victory over Kilmarnock however does mean the departure is not on an entirely sour note. Aberdeen looked dominant as January signing Junior Hoilett added some much needed energy down the flanks. Graeme Shinnie will be gutted as he received a yellow that meant he will be suspended for the semi-finals.

Less positive however is the conversation the Aberdeen board will need to have. Fans will be wondering how the club, having made big investments in the playing squad, is languishing near the bottom rather than the expected 3rd place. As the board announced they will be conducting interviews this week before a potential appointment during the international break, the next choice will need to impress or heads will be called for.


Celtic 4-2 Livingston

When Daizen Maeda opened the scoring in the 7th minute, it looked like it would be start of a long afternoon at Celtic Park for Livi. Yet if David Martindale’s interviews have been anything to go by, his side will never curl up and try to limit damage. They looked like a side that should not be 6 points adrift at the bottom of the table as Tete Yengi continued his impressive form since arriving in January. The 6ft4 Australian bullied the Celtic centre-backs before adding a terrific curling finish of his own.

Tete Yengi has been a shining light for Livingston.

Unfortunately the Hoops were too strong on the day as Maeda grabbed a hat-trick before Kygo Furuhashi finished them off in the 94th minute. With games against Hibs and Aberdeen with another Celtic game sandwiched in between, Martindale will be buoyed by his side’s performance and will hope they can grab some vital points before it’s too late.

Meanwhile Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers will be concerned by the way Livingston were twice able to equalise. Despite defensive frailties, a return to form by his goal scorers and an impressive Nicolas Kuhn will ease worries.


Hibernian 0-2 Rangers

For about 67 minutes, Hibernian had Rangers fans biting their nails. Despite a John Lundstram goal following a saved James Tavernier penalty, Hibs had looked dangerous and nearly clawed back an equaliser. They were almost ahead after 15 minutes as Myziane Maolida tackled Jack Butland, the ball hit the post but the warning signs were there.

However Jordan Obita’s second yellow followed by a straight red for Nathan Moriah-Welsh as he lunged in with both feet 3 minutes later put paid to any hope of mounting a comeback as a collapse in discipline left them with 9 men.

The league leaders duly took advantage as Fabio Silva put away his 4th goal of the season. It was shame that Nick Montgomery’s men had to go down that way but they will take a valuable lesson from it. For most of the game the Hibees looked up to the task as the side showed that they just needed time for their new arrivals to gel.

Myziane Maolida and Emiliano Marcondes are looking like inspired signings for the side from Leith and they will hope Martin Boyle can recover from his nasty fall that saw him stretchered off to make a push to secure a top 6 finish.

Manager Montgomery will be pleased by he side’s performance for most of the game.

Despite an assured performance, Rangers manager Philipe Clement will be frustrated by further injuries to an already depleted side. Dujon Sterling hobbled off before Ross McCausland, having only just returned to the side, joined him in the infirmary. With the second-leg against Benfica approaching, the gaffer will hope the bench can continue to step up as they have done in recent weeks.


Greenock Morton 0-1 Hearts of Midlothian

If nothing else, Greenock Morton have sent a warning shot to the league above as Cappielow has shown itself to be a cauldron of a stadium. Having bullied Motherwell off the ball in the previous round, Dougie Imrie’s men could not quite repeat the feat as injuries to key players took their toll.

They will be hoping that their strong performances can be a platform for a promotion push as they sit on 37 points in 4th, only 3 behind Partick Thistle.

Vargas redeemed missing a sitter with an 85th minute winner.

Hearts meanwhile will take a win no matter how scrappy as Lawrence Shankland had to go without a goal joking that he was busy in a judo match with defender Kirk Broadfoot. He had teed up Kenneth Vargas right in front of goal but the Costa Rican could only chip it over the bar. Luckily he made up for it with a fine finish 85 minutes in, courtesy of another Shankland set-up.

More good news for Steven Naismith as Craig Gordon returned with an impressive display in goal. Having returned from a double leg break a year ago, the 41 year old will try to displace Zander Clark and take his spot in the Scotland squad ahead of the Euros as both were called up for Scotland’s upcoming friendlies.

Semi-final draw

Aberdeen vs Celtic

Rangers vs Hearts of Midlothian