Rumour Mill: Steven Gerrard takes blame as Dons set up Celtic semi | Mystery over Scotland player’s omission | ‘Punt him’ - Rangers fans slam key man

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Gerrard shoulders blame for cup loss

Steven Gerrard looks on grimly as Aberdeen knock Rangers out of the Scottish Cup. Picture: SNS Group

Steven Gerrard looks on grimly as Aberdeen knock Rangers out of the Scottish Cup. Picture: SNS Group

Steven Gerrard took the blame as Rangers crashed out of the Scottish Cup at the hands of Aberdeen, and in all likelihood extending their wait for a major trophy.

Speaking after the Dons had won 2-0 at Ibrox in the quarter-final replay, Gerrard said: “It’s a huge blow, this was a huge game for the club - for me, the players, all the fans - and we’ve let the supporters down.

“I take full responsibility for it; we were nowhere near good enough. I thought the best team won, we started the game extremely poorly, and we never really got much better from there.” (Various)

‘Injured’ striker left out of Scotland squad - but scores for club

Steven Fletcher scored for club side Sheffield Wednesday last night - despite being omitted from the Scotland squad through injury.

The former Hibs, Wolves and Burnley forward netted the opener as the Owls beat Bolton 2-0 - but was assumed to be injured after limping out of Wednesday’s draw with Derby on Saturday after sustaining a leg knock.

Alex McLeish said: “He came back from an eight-month absence with a knee injury and he’s feeling things a little bit. That’s fate, it sometimes happens and we have to cover that with as good a player we can.” (Various)

Rangers fans slaughter Tavernier after cup loss

Rangers fans took to social media to eviscerate club captain James Tavernier after the Light Blues were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Aberdeen, with some supporters branding him a “fraud” and suggesting he “bottled it” in big games.

One Gers fan wrote: “Season was over the minute the armband was put on James Tavernier and you can disagree all you want, it’s a fact” while another said: “The guy is a fraud, when the going gets tough he fails. Time to punt him to WBA.”

Another supporter called for Rangers to “take any money for Morelos and Tavernier whenever you can please”. (Various)

McInnes has a dig at ‘experts’ who wanted Old Firm semi-final

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes savoured another victory over Rangers in Glasgow after they reached the Scottish Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 replay win at Ibrox.

McInnes, whose side will face Celtic at Hampden next month said: “Everyone was expecting an Old Firm semi-final, so sorry to disappoint everyone who tipped that. Not one expert tipped us,” added McInnes.

“I took strength from the fact we have won in Glasgow before this season, and won here and at Hampden,” he added. (The Scotsman)

Dons fans smuggle mattress into Ibrox

Aberdeen fans managed to smuggle a mattress into Ibrox for their side’s William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final replay against Rangers in a dig at Light Blues striker Alfredo Morelos. The prank follows a banner displayed at Pittodrie by a section of the home support in the first meeting of the sides in the cup competition. The banner read: “Morelos tu madre es un colchón”. It loosely translates from Spanish as “Morelos, your mother is a mattress”.

Rangers fans hit back during their clash with Hibs last Friday but pictures of the blow-up mattress appeared on social media being held up in the away end at Ibrox. (The Scotsman)

Hampden mural planned for first black footballer

A crowdfunding scheme has been launched to fund a mural on the back of the pavilion believed to have been used for changing rooms when Scotland romped to a 5-1 victory over England in 1882. The game was played at the first Hampden Park and Scotland included Andrew Watson, the world’s first black international footballer, in their line-up. The pavilion is now used as the clubhouse for the Hampden Bowling Club which sits where the ground built in 1873 used to be.

The artwork would depict the scoreline as well as Watson and skipper Charles Campbell, who went on to become the president of Queen’s Park and the SFA and refereed the 1889 Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Third Lanark. (The Scotsman)