Aberdeen-Celtic reaction: Invincible manager, Celtic-Rangers strike woe solution under noses, broken scoreboards, 2009 keepers

We pick out some ‘extra’ talking points from Celtic’s thrilling penalty shoot-out win over Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-finals

The man for Hampden

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers must feel a certain sense of invincibility when he rocks up at Hampden Park these days. The 51-year-old has now been on duty at the national stadium ten times across two spells and has come out on the right side of every single one. His record was stretched to the very limit against Aberdeen, mind you, with the Northern Irishman quipping that he will require therapy after being put through the wringer in the match against the Dons, which finished 3-3 before Celtic won 6-5 on penalties. With a date against Rangers or Hearts to come in the final on May 25, Rodgers certainly goes into his next Hampden sojourn with a spring in his step.

Marvellous Miovski

Aberdeen's impressive striker Bojan Miovski opened the scoring against Celtic.Aberdeen's impressive striker Bojan Miovski opened the scoring against Celtic.
Aberdeen's impressive striker Bojan Miovski opened the scoring against Celtic.

Not that too much more evidence is required, but this match was an example of how both Celtic and Rangers have missed a trick in not signing Aberdeen striker Bojan Miovski. Some may call it “lazy” to sell off a star player from a Scottish club to the Old Firm, but given that both teams were in the market for a striker in the summer and January transfer windows, a viable option sat right under their noses. Aberdeen would likely want in excess of £5 million for the North Macedonian but there are strong arguments to fork out such a fee. Still young at 24-years-old, he is extremely quick, good in the air and is a composed finisher. His opener in this semi-final at Hampden was his second at the national stadium this season and his third against Celtic. Cameron Carter-Vickers, widely regarded as the best centre-half in the country, did not enjoy his afternoon against him.

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Miovski has also scored against Rangers this term. A man for the big occasion, he is only going to get better. He now sits on 24 goals for the campaign and when Neil Warnock was in interim charge of Aberdeen, he said Miovski was an English Premier League player. Surely there will be serious interest in him this summer. Aberdeen can command a sizeable fee given he’s contracted to 2026, but if Celtic and Rangers are interested – and they really should be – then they’ll face stern competition from big clubs and will have to pay top dollar.

Technology fails us

Such are the powers of Miovski these days, his goal did not just break the deadlock but the Hampden scoreboards too. Those inside the stadium were denied the big screens at either end of the stadium for much of the first half after the Aberdeen opener. It led to members of the Dons’ family and friends section next to the press box asking on more than one occasion how long was left to assembled media. Thankfully for them, the technology was resuscitated at the interval and kept going right until the end.

The scoreboards at Hampden found the drama too much to handle.The scoreboards at Hampden found the drama too much to handle.
The scoreboards at Hampden found the drama too much to handle.

Poles apart

Penalty shoot-outs are pretty rare at Hampden – and goalkeepers hitting one during them even rarer. The last time such an event occurred was on January 28, 2009, when Celtic and Dundee United played out one of the epic 12-yard contests in Scottish football history. The League Cup semi-final finished 0-0 but the shoot-out more than made up for it. Celtic prevailed 11-10, with both Polish goalkeepers that night scoring. Artur Boruc netted for Celtic and Lukasz Zaluska did the same for the Terrors.



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