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BBC Sport's Roddy Forsyth
"A match which started explosively ended volcanically"
 real 14k

Celtic boss Martin O'Neill
"I thought we were dominant early on"
 real 14k

Rangers boss Dick Advocaat
"I was disappointed with a lot of the referee's decisions"
 real 14k

Thursday, 8 February, 2001, 00:39 GMT
Celtic clinch stormy semi-final
Willie Young sends off Rangers' Claudio Reyna
Willie Young sends off Rangers' Claudio Reyna
Celtic 3-1 Rangers

Three players were sent off and referee Willie Young awarded two disputed penalties as the Old Firm semi-final boiled over into controversy.

But it was Celtic who emerged the victors to deservedly take their place in the final against Kilmarnock.

Celtic took command with goals from Chris Sutton and Henrik Larsson after only 17 minutes.

Jorg Albertz brought Rangers back into the game shortly before the break from the spot.

But Larsson killed off the reigning league champions with another penalty in the second-half.

I wasn't satisfied with some of my players and I'm not happy with how they behaved
Dick Advocaat
Rangers lost their discipline at that point and Claudio Reyna was sent off minutes from the end after being shown a second yellow card for a lunging tackle on Bobby Petta.

In the melee that followed, Celtic substitute Lubo Moravcik and Rangers replacement Michael Mols were both shown red cards and Celtic's Neil Lennon was lucky not to follow.

Rangers captain Barry Ferguson and winger Neil McCann had returned from suspension and midfielder Jorg Albertz was back in the squad after an ankle injury.

Out injured

But Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Craig Moore, Lorenzo Amoruso, Billy Dodds, Sergio Porrini and Ronald de Boer all remained on the sidelines.

Belgian defender Joos Valgaeren was out injured for Celtic.

Henrik Larsson celebrates his spot kick
Henrik Larsson celebrates his spot kick
Petta was injured in training and was on the bench, but midfielder Stilian Petrov was back from suspension and international duty.

Jonathan Gould replaced the cup-tied Rab Douglas in goal, while Didier Agathe was also out having played for Hibernian earlier in the competition.

Celtic took the early initiative and took the lead after six minutes from an Alan Thompson free-kick.

Ramon Vega climbed above the Rangers defence to head against the crossbar after a touch from Stefan Klos's fingertips.

Our penalty also looked an innocuous challenge from where I was standing
Martin O'Neill
But Chris Sutton volleyed home from 10 yards.

Henrik Larsson put Celtic two ahead after 17 minutes and it was a disaster for Rangers' Robert Malcolm.

The 20-year-old defender was a surprise choice for his first Old Firm game and slipped going for a long ball into the Rangers box.

Larsson stole in to chip the ball over the advancing Klos.

Rangers rarely threatened but eventually back into the match after 36 minutes.

Scott Wilson collapsed inside the Celtic box as Vega and Sutton came in from behind.

Powerful challenge

It looked a soft award as the referee pointed to the spot and Albertz sent Gould the wrong way from the spot.

Reyna was booked for a late challenge on Celtic's Paul Lambert, who was then left hurt by another fair but powerful challenge from the American.

A penalty is given as Wilson and Larsson clash
A penalty is given as Wilson and Larsson clash
Lambert and Rangers' Tugay were booked after an altercation as they left the field at half-time and the volatile Turk was replaced by Allan Johnston during the break.

A Thompson free-kick again caused Rangers a problem and his cross found Vega eight yards out as the Swiss defender again evaded the marking of Tore Andre Flo.

But the Celtic man's downward header bounced off the Hampden turf and over the bar.

A clash of heads between Larsson and Wilson left the Rangers man with blood flowing from a head wound and the Celtic striker nursing a black eye.

Booked for protesting

It was a tangle between the two that settled the tie after 67 minutes.

The pair crashed to the ground as they chased a ball inside the Rangers box and referee Young pointed to the spot.

Klos was booked for protesting what looked like another dubious decision and was then sent the wrong way by Larsson from the spot.

Then came those unsavoury final moments that leave three players out of Sunday's league game between the sides.

Celtic: Gould, Boyd, Mjallby, Vega, McNamara, Lambert, Lennon, Petrov, Thompson, Larsson, Sutton.

Subs: Moravcik, Petta, Tebily, Johnson, Kharine.

Rangers: Klos, Malcolm, Wilson, Konterman, Tugay, Numan, Reyna, Ferguson, Albertz, Flo, McCann.

Subs: Ricksen, Mols, Miller, Johnston, Brown.

Referee: W Young.

See also:

08 Feb 01 |  CIS Ins Cup
Advocaat blasts red-card pair
07 Feb 01 |  Scotland
Scottish football clockwatch
07 Feb 01 |  CIS Ins Cup
Celtic v Rangers preview
06 Feb 01 |  CIS Ins Cup
Killie defend Hampden venue
06 Feb 01 |  CIS Ins Cup
Killie show their final class
06 Feb 01 |  CIS Ins Cup
Larsson 'better than Batistuta'
05 Feb 01 |  Celtic
Valgaeren has ligament damage
05 Feb 01 |  Rangers
Gio out of Old Firm cup tie
08 Feb 01 |  Photo Galleries
Wednesday night's football - in pictures
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