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Celtic better than Rangers in Old Firm cup tie - Lennon

Celtic manager Neil Lennon
Lennon's side will now face Rangers seven times this season

Celtic manager Neil Lennon hailed his side after they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Rangers at Ibrox in the Scottish Cup fifth round.

"I though we were the better team. After a ropey start we got a grip of the game and the midfielders were outstanding," he told BBC Scotland.

"We told them we believe in them and to be fair they believe in themselves.

"We kept taking the game to Rangers. The belief, character and quality we should today was top drawer."

Rangers went ahead through Jamie Ness within three minutes, before Kris Commons levelled the match at 1-1.

Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster conceded a penalty and was sent off for bringing down Steven Naismith, and Rangers went again before half-time when Steven Whittaker netted the spot-kick.

We'll take a lot out of today, but we're delighted at the progress the players are making

Neil Lennon

Celtic captain Scott Brown curled the equaliser, before Naismith was shown a second yellow for simulation.

Forster's dismissal divided opinion, but Lennon said: "It was a fair decision. I couldn't complain.

"It came from us being slack and playing square balls where we shouldn't have been, at a period when we were in control of the game."

And Lennon was impressed by his team, who still managed to outplay Rangers for spells despite being a man down.

"After Brown's goal, which was a touch of quality, I thought there was only going to be one winner," said Lennon.

"On the balance of chances perhaps a draw as a fair result, but on the balance of football played I thought we were immense.

"I wouldn't say it was a typical Old firm games - but one of the better ones I suppose.

"We'll take a lot out of today, but we're delighted at the progress the players are making."

The two teams will meet again at Celtic Park in March to determine who will travel to Inverness in the quarter-finals.

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see also
Rangers 2-2 Celtic
06 Feb 11 |  Scottish Cups
Scottish Cup as it happened
06 Feb 11 |  Scottish Cups

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